The Maltese countryside is thriving with various different types of seasonal wild produce. Often times, wild edible plants are often overlooked. But The Cliffs Interpretation Centre incorporates seasonal local produce (in sustainable quantities) as a means of enhancing awareness of our rich biodiversity. Wild plants are considered as important pillars of any particular cuisine, expressing a sense of place to a particular local environment.
Amongst the wild edible produce commonly found this time of the year are the Borage (Fidloqqom, Borago officinalis) and the Wild Nettles (Ħurrieqa, Urtica dioca).
The tiny blue-star shaped flowers have edible properties, and even the leaves are eaten both raw and cooked. The medicinal value of this plant has been recognised since Ancient times, as a brew from the borage was given to gladiators and crusaders before battles and long journeys. In ancient Roman Times, the borage was used to lower fever and treat bronchitis. In Malta, old medicinal traditions of the borage include its use for treating coughs, however it is also beneficial as a tonic and anti-inflammatory.
The Cliffs Centre makes its utmost to promote this herbal plant using both the leaves and flowers depending on the season. The borage soup is made with fresh borage leaves when in season, whilst the Ravioli Borage is a pasta dish filled with the borage leaves, characteristic of the local produce in the area.