Have you tried all these preserves and delicacies on the island of Gozo?

June 21, 2018

Away from the landscape, the beaches, the coast, the historic landmarks and cultural events, Gozo also offers a gastronomical experience. Don’t leave the island before you visit one of the farming estates or outlets where you can taste typical Gozitan food.

Here’s a list of what you should not miss:

1. Tomato Paste and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Maybe this is one of the most ignored foods, but Gozitan tomato paste or ‘kunserva’ deserves a mention here. Tomato paste is simply delightful when served on crusty bread with a dash of olive oil. Found in practically all Maltese and Gozitan kitchens, this ingredient is widely used with pasta sauces too. Another variation of the tomato paste is the sweet tomato paste which as its name implies is a sweet variation as opposed to the traditional salty recipe. Sun-dried tomatoes, another local delicacy, are often used as appetizers or along with a side dish, giving whatever food you’re eating a Mediterranean feel.

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2. Olives and Olive Oil
Olives in oil or brine are another strong-flavoured preserve to try. Naturally apart from the olives themselves, you will also find cold pressed extra virgin Gozitan olive oil available at some of the estates and specialised shops.

 

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3. Capers, Pickles, Chutneys and Pates
Other firm favourites on the island include capers that have been painstakingly picked by hand from the wild bushes growing all over the island. Capers can be preserved in olive oil, brine or vinegar. Similarly, pickled onions, chutneys and pates can be sourced at most of the above-mentioned outlets.

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4. From the Jam Kitchens
When it comes to jams, you will be able to find a good variety of sweet preserves – strawberry, tangerine, lemon and orange marmalade abound along with the more unique jams like prickly pear, bambinella, pomegranate, mulberry, melon and fig jam.

5. Peppered Cheeselets
Needing no introduction, peppered cheeselets made from sheep’s milk are available widely on the island and can be considered as the island’s artisan cheese.

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6. On the Sweeter Side
Check out the carob syrup for a truly sweet taste. The syrup extracted from the carob tree pod is perfect as a sugar substitute. You will also be able to find tins of carob sweets. Other syrups available include borage, lemon and chamomile. On a class of its own, is Gozitan nougat. Usually available at the streets stalls during the local feasts, there are two main types of try – the white nougat with almonds and honey or the dark hard one. For the ultimately sweet taste, seek out authentic Gozitan honey.

7. Toast to a Gozitan liqueur
Ending our round here today, with a quick mention of the variety of liqueurs you can enjoy on the island – limoncello, orange, tangerine, prickly pear, pomegranate, carob, and aniseed are all different liqueurs you can try.

Most of the above products honour the centuries-old, traditional recipes and are usually a guarantee of eco-friendly and organic produce carefully grown and tended by farmers on their land.