‘Dead Men’s Bones’ cookies are just one way that the island nation remembers the dead. Check out the recipe here.https://t.co/KrD4Fmkgce
— Atlas Obscura (@atlasobscura) October 12, 2022
Malta, the island nation in the Mediterranean, marks November as the Month of the Dead. One of the traditions associated with the Month of the Dead is a cookie called Għadam tal-mejtin, which translates to Dead Man’s Bones. Thanks to the influence of Halloween, these cookies start showing up in Maltese bakeries in late October.
They are more than bone-shaped. The outer layer is a sweet vanilla cookie with a consistency that you’re used to in regular shortbread cookies. Inside, however, is the “marrow.” It is a chewy yet crumbly dough made of almond flour with spices like cardamom and cloves. The baked cookie is often decorated with icing. Għadam tal-mejtin is more than a treat; it serves as a memento mori, a reminder that we are all destined to die one day. That reminder spurs people to remember and honor those that have gone on before them.
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That said, who wouldn’t want to try one of these cookies? You’ll find the story of Għadam tal-mejtin, plus a recipe so that you can make your own, at Atlas Obscura.