The Bay Area is a great place to live. A true representation of what America is today – a melting pot of various cultures, languages, and religions. Where else could I have such a wonderful group of friends from such places like Ghana, Philippines, Japan, China, Ireland, Vietnam, England, Iran, Fiji, Russia, Kenya, all corners of India, Eastern Europe, and Malta. Which brings me to the topic of this post; Georgina’s Maltese Easter figolli.
Gardening brought Georgina and me together
Georgina is one of my closest friends who moved to the Bay Area the same way I did – our husbands got tech jobs here and we came along with them. I’ve known Georgina for over 15 years now. We first met when Sri and her son Dylan were in Kindergarten and elementary school, and became friends with the common thread of gardening being both our passions.
Figoli an Easter tradition
I’ve known Georgina for so long now that like most long-term friendships, friends just become family. And that brings me to this wonderful Easter tradition that Georgina introduced to our family – making and sharing her Maltese Easter figolli.
Every year around Easter in the spring, Georgina would drop off her homemade Maltese figolli. She explained that these are made traditionally at Easter time in Malta and given to kids on Easter Sunday. She wanted to continue that tradition here by sharing these figolli with her friends. She would deliver 3 of these pastries – one for each of the girls.
Georgina has been doing this for so many years now that one year her delivery got delayed, and the kids were all worried – are we getting our Easter figolla this year? I was too embarrassed to ask Georgina, but somehow we must have sent some subliminal messages because that week her figolli arrived beautifully packaged and on our front door step!
Georgina’s Homemade goodies
Georgina has an amazing way of packaging her homemade goods – be it jams, jellies, pastries, cheese, or figolla. She presents them so beautifully that you just don’t want to open them and disturb the beautiful presentation.
Time and patience to create these beauties
My Dad when he visits, which is usually in the spring, who adores Georgina, would admire her figolli packaging and analyze every detail. He would just be in awe of how carefully she packaged each pastry and decorated it by hand, and then put an Easter egg on each one, how she tied it with the most delicate ribbon and embellished it all with a darling Easter ornament. All nestled beautifully in a gift bag or gift basket with raffia and delicate tissue. He would even admire her hand-made card that would accompany the treats. He would comment on her attention to detail, and how it takes time and patience and love to put something this beautiful together to give to someone else, and then deliver it to them too!
Dad would then proceed to remind me as if I didn’t already know “You are very lucky Dolly, to have a friend like Georgina.” To which I would reply with a smile “Yes Dad, I know.” Then I would promptly open the package and stuff my mouth with the yummy pastry. To which my Dad would just shake his head. “What?” I would ask him. “Dad, it’s for us to eat.”
What is Figolla?
Figolla is like a soft biscuit pastry stuffed with almond paste. Figolli is the plural of figolla. They are sweet and soft and delicious!
Georgina’s figolli are works of art! She makes them for all her friends and decorates each one differently depending on whom she is giving that pastry to. Decorated with various colored icings; blue, pink, yellow, or white, and dusted with all shades of edible glitter; or just chocolate icing for some; these are so good to look at that you feel guilty eating them.
I asked Georgina how she decorates her figolli. This was her text reply to me “Dolly, you asked me how I decorate my figolli. I first outline each cookie. Then I do spoon some icing and fill in the outline as smoothly as I can. And then I use the tube thingie to decorate the design. It’s a labor of love.” I concur; it is indeed a labor of love! Georgina also shared a few photos of her making Easter figolli.
This year’s figolli arrived beautifully packaged as expected and we have been enjoying them with coffee and the kids with milk!
Thank you Georgina for introducing us to this wonderful Maltese Easter tradition.
If you would like the recipe for Maltese Easter figolli, check out Georgina’s blog Georgina’s Maltese Figolli Recipe
Happy Easter & Happy Spring!