Parparellu – London’s first Maltese cafe and patisserie

20140319_180117The island of Malta is best known in the UK and beyond for its culture, Mediterranean climate, sandy beaches, and eventful history.  As a curious foodie, one of the things that excites me most about Maltese culture is its cuisine.  Malta has a rich and diverse culinary heritage that has been influenced by countries that have been part of its historic past.

Even though London is a cultural melting pot of a wide variety of races and their native cuisines, Maltese food and restaurants are not easy to find here.  So, I was really excited to discover London’s first Maltese cafe and pasticceria in Hammersmith, in the form of Parparellu.

Parparellu was established by Joseph Pace and his business partner Leroy Stevenson in September 2012.  Having lived in London for about 25 years, Joseph was inspired to embark on his pioneering culinary venture by a desire to introduce Mediterranean cafe culture, and food from his homeland of Malta to food-loving Londoners.  In their first 18 months, Parparellu has also evolved into a foodie haven for Maltese people looking for a taste of home.

As a cafe and patisserie, Parparellu serves a classic selection of savoury and sweet Maltese delicacies, such as qassatat, kwareżimal, and kannoli.  Their signature item, which is also their most popular savoury snack is the pastizzi.  Pastizzi are savoury pastries that are made from a kind of layered flaky pastry, and are filled with either ricotta cheese or slightly spiced mushy peas.

pastizzi

Pastizzi

Aside from their everyday selection of snacks, Parparellu also treats its customers to traditional full meals and more elaborate dishes at weekends, for special occasions and on Maltese festivals.

I recently visited Parparellu and spoke to Joseph about his mission and vision, as well as about the story of his cafe and their delicious food.  You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.

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