Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 2019:In a world where chefs and venues are preoccupied with contemporary novelty, Malta has embarked on a different approach.
Heritage Malta’s Taste History programme (http://www.tastehistory.org), allows visitors to step back in time at the country’s museums and experience the wide range of foods served on the Mediterranean island in the 18th century.
From frugal snacks to celebratory dinners and decadent desserts, a professional team of curators and chefs have come up distinctive dishes that will appeal to cultural and gastronomic tourists. Documents and paintings helped the team recreate menus from a bygone era.
Guests can enjoy a sit-down dinner based on a corsair expedition conducted by Captain Michele Picasso in 179, and stand-up reception inspired from a Maltese diary written in 1770. The dinner includes sorbets and iced drinks which were popular during this period and Far East spices rubbed into the meat – a reminder of Malta’s early cosmopolitan flavours.
Travel industry executives from around the world had the chance to experience the flavours on Malta Tourism Authority’s stand at the recent ITB Berlin 2019 show.
Carlo Micallef, Malta Tourism Authority Director, said: “Malta is renowned for its food but perhaps visitors aren’t always aware of our rich gastronomic history. This innovative programme is a great way of bringing old flavours back to life and educating current generations about the breadth of Maltese cuisine.”
Foodies visiting the island today are spoilt for choice with Hobz biz-zejt (bread with oil), Stuffat tal-Fenek (rabbit stew), Torta tal-Lampuki (pie made out of fish), Timpani (baked macaroni) and Pastizzi (savoury pastries) among the must-try delights. But many of the foods served in restaurants today owe their links to Malta’s colourful history, which stretches back to Neolithic and Roman times.
As with many destinations, Malta is now catering more to health-conscious consumers and focusing on small menus while leveraging on its unrivalled seasonal produce.
The Taste History initiative is one way Heritage Malta is maintaining cultural links with the past. More than 31,000 adults and students have visited cultural sites under its ‘passport scheme’.
It recently launched the first Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit for the management and protection of marine cultural assets, so they can be accessed by divers in a controlled manner.
A multisite pass allow visitors to see 23 heritage sites and museums for one price and provides savings of over €200.
Valetta continues to draw visitors after basking in the limelight as joint European Capital of Culture last year.