Gibraltarian cuisine is the result of a long relationship between Andalucía, the British as well as the many foreigners who made the Rock their home over the past three centuries. The culinary influences also include those from Malta, Genoa and Portugal. This marriage of tastes has given Gibraltar an eclectic mix of Mediterranean and British cuisine.
Some typical Gibraltarian dishes in addition to the famous Calentita (Paloma - the last known street seller is shown here) are: Rosto – a local pasta dish of Italian origin; Fideos al Horno – similar to the Maltese mqarrun il-forn; Panissa – a bread like dish akin to Calentita; Bollo de Hornasso – a sweet and dry bread like the Spanish hornazo; Pan Dulce – a sweet fruit and nut bread specially popular at Christmas; Rolitos – a beef dish of Maltese origin similar to bragjoli and Japonesa – a sweet fried doughnut filled with custard and cream.
CALENTITA – THE NATIONAL DISH
Calentita has become the celebrated national dish of Gibraltar. The ingredients are simple –perhaps a throwback to the days of siege.
250g chick pea flour
1 litre water
salt & pepper
(An egg and a pinch of cumin can also be added)
Mix chickpea flour, water and salt/pepper in a bowl. Leave to stand. Preheat oven to 175C. Take a tin 15x23cms or oven dish. Put enough oil to cover the bottom. Heat in oven. When hot, spread oil over the sides of tin with a pastry brush or by tilting. Stir mixture, pour immediately into tin then put back in the oven for about an one hour (until it is set in the middle). Will serve two or three people.