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Learn how to cook an 18th century meringue

Learn how to cook an 18th century meringue

Heritage Malta’s Inquisitor’s historic cook-along sessions are back on the 18 of November and this time, it’s with a sensory experience focused on eggs in the 17th and 18th century Malta, including a 1748 meringue recipe.

Referred to as a power food, eggs and egg-based dishes were included in several period cookery books. The product caught the attention of leading European chefs, whose imagination highlight the versatility of this basic food. Eggs were also used as a means to differentiate social class, especially since the majority could afford to consume eggs on a daily basis. Apart from the traditional boiling, frying and poaching methods, culinary knowledge about the use of either the yolk or the white of the egg allowed for improved tastes and textures of many products, including the Pan de Spagna or, in this case, the meringue.

The kitchen complex at the Inquisitor’s Palace is probably Malta’s best documented early modern kitchen. Research into a number of 17th and 18th century inventories reveal an impressive facility, fully equipped to store and cook several ingredients, including of course, eggs. The criminal proceedings of the tribunal of the Inquisition also shed interesting light on the consumption of eggs in early modern Malta.

In 1637, Inquisitor Fabio Chigi left no stones unturned when three friends were reported for eating eggs on lean days. Following a session of public humiliation in Vittoriosa, they were, in a matter of days, found guilty of committing similar offences, costing them a sour sentence of two years and forced rowing on the galleys of the Knights of St John.

Photo: Heritage Malta

This cook-along sessions is being held in conjunction with Taste History and its team of food historians, chefs and curators, who have in the past years seen Heritage Malta present unique and historic culinary experiences. This 8th cook-along session will see food historian Dr Noel Buttigieg explore this fascinating theme, while Taste History chef Malcolm Baldacchino will be conducting an exclusive historic cook-along demonstration of egg meringue from 1748.

The event will be taking place in the newly refurbished Cardinals’ Hall on the top floor of the Inquisitor’s Palace and will start at 7pm.

Tickets stand at €12 per person and €10 for Heritage Malta members and are available from all Heritage Malta museums and sites, as well as online here.

All attendees will be given a complimentary copy of the Heritage Malta publication MUŻA – The National Community Art Museum.