Hundreds of books have been written about Mediterranean cookery and cuisine. It is a cuisine which is lauded as healthy, flavoursome and an expression of the food producers’ oneness with the land, the sea and their rich bounty.
Mediterranean cuisine is steeped in history. It is a reflection of the blend of ingredients and cooking methods of the diverse nations which have worked the land and fished the seas of the Mediterranean region. What is so unique about the Mediterranean cuisine is that whilst there are many common ingredients in the various traditional recipes of the different nations, over the ages, the people of these nations have taken these same ingredients to create their own special cuisine with particular traits.
Thus, to use the term ‘Mediterranean cuisine’ is somehow a misnomer, since such type of cuisine is characterised by a rich, regional diversity, providing an endless variety of traditional dishes across the whole of the Mediterranean basin. Each dish is a reflection of the nation’s history and family traditions, and of local and seasonal produce, delicately revealing cultural identity, religious and social beliefs, as well as regional and geographic overtones.
Maltese cuisine is no exception. The vast repertoire of dishes which would be considered as making up traditional Maltese cuisine are imbued with a complex history of colonialism, trade links and multi-cultural influence. Yet whilst Maltese cuisine has several ingredients in common with other Mediterranean-nation cuisines, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, pasta, rice, fish, octopus, rabbit, herbs, olive oil, honey, almonds, various fruits and wine, it also has given its own signature to various dishes. Thus Maltese kusksu is not the same as Morocccan-style couscous and Maltese krustini are not the same as Italian crostini. Sun-ripened fruits and vegetables, colourful pulses, piquant sauces are blended with grains, fish and to a lesser degree meats to provide a highly appealing menu with a vibrant sensual quality
In recent years, Mediterranean cookery has enjoyed a marked resurgence in Malta and there are a number of Maltese restaurants that serve a blend of traditional Maltese and Mediterranean dishes. When you are visiting the Maltese Islands we invite you not to miss the opportunity to savour and relish our genuine, local Mediterranean cuisine. You will not be disappointed.