The Maltese are very passionate about their food, with several food festivals organised throughout the year. Maltese food has been described as rustic, full of flavour and colour, with influences from both Europe and North Africa. However, its adaptations using ingredients that are easily available locally is what makes Maltese food truly unique.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I'm a true foodie. In fact, Maltese food was one of the first things I fell in love with when to I moved to Malta. Today I share with you my favourite Maltese delicacies and some information about them that will surely whet your appetite!
Sundried tomatoes are one of the most popular delicacies in Malta. Due to Malta enjoying a warm, Mediterranean climate, and benefiting from a calcium-rich soil, Maltese sundried tomatoes acquire a distinctive sweetness. They can be used in pasta dishes, salads or even to make dips.
Maltese capers are grown in the wild and are carefully hand-picked before being packed into glass jars filled with vinegar or salt brine. Capers are an integral part of the Maltese cuisine and are often added to fish dishes, salads and in the traditional “Hobż biż-żejt”
Malta has been recognised for its honey since ancient times. In fact, ‘Malta’ derives from the Greek word meaning ‘honey’! Maltese honey has very unique characteristics due to the large number of wild flowers on the island. It has a distinctive taste, with the unique flavour of wild thyme, carob tree flowers, white mustard and bitumen clover.
Prickly Pear Jam
The prickly pear cactus plant can be found in fields all over Malta and Gozo due to the warm, Mediterranean climate. The prickly pear fruit, which comes in a variety of colours such as yellow and red, is picked between August and September by local farmers. It is then used to make a variety of food products including jam, which tastes great with toast or on traditional Maltese ‘galletti’ (Maltese water biscuits).
Malta is famous for its unique liqueurs, made from traditional Maltese ingredients. These include prickly pear liqueur, carob liqueur, lemon liqueur, pomegranate liqueur, and you can even find Maltese honey liqueur! This delicacy is often bought as a souvenir, or enjoyed as an after-dinner drink.
What Maltese delicacy are you most looking forward to trying out on your next trip to Malta?
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