Summer in the Maltese Islands is characterised by the sweltering sunshine and high temperatures, but it is also reminiscent of bountiful fresh local fruits. During the summer months, The Cliffs Interpretation Centre has been active in creating local products from wild and semi-wild produce of the Dingli countryside.
The concept of The Cliffs Interpretation Centre relates to the provision of innovative means of communication to promote the area’s natural, historical and traditional aspects. One means of providing informative communication is by the range of gastronomical products, tied to knowledge systems of the past, with various culinary and medicinal values. The Cliffs Interpretation Centre’s saying “A new concept…local produce” is represented by the numerous local produce which have recently been produced during the summer. The food menu and the free tours organised by The Centre also continue to add value to the local produce of the area, amalgamated to informative and recreational visits.
Typical of the Mediterranean region and the early days of summer is the Fig, one of the oldest cultivated fruit species. Figs are a good source of protein and fibre. Available at The Cliffs Centre is the Fig Conserve.
Mid-August is the time for the harvest of the carob fruits. Characteristic of the Maltese countryside, the Carob tree often grows without care or cultivation. During World War II, carobs were sold to people to fight off famine in times of need, however now, they are only harvested to feed cattle and horses. The Cliffs Interpretation Centre produces Carob Syrup, traditionally used in the treatment of coughs and sore throats (by adding the syrup to warm water and lemon). This syrup is traditionally prepared from well-selected juicy carobs without any preservatives. Apart from this, the carob is a good source of vitamins, fibre and potassium, whilst containing twice as much calcium as milk. Of interesting note is that carob seeds were used in antiquity as an effective measure of the weight of gold.
Although not indigenous to the Mediterranean, the Prickly Pear tree adapted very well to the climate of the Maltese Islands. The trees act as good boundary between fields, while the fruit contains anti-oxidants and vitamins. The Prickly Pear jam is also produced by The Centre to make the public and visitors appreciate this often neglected fruit. Another way by which The Centre promotes the prickly pear fruit is by including it in the food menu, as a chutney served with fresh salad.
All the above produce, together with local dried herbs and spices, are available for sale at The Cliffs Interpretation Centre. For our wide range of produce, kindly visit our website here.