May 2018 / Issue 06
// Strawberry Fields / p.20 // Breakfasts From Around The World / p.33 // // Think Outside The Sandwich Box / p.42 // Ditching Plastics / p.49 //
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Toss less, salvage more
LAST week, I discovered a carton of milk at the corner of my fridge which had gone by the best by date. I discarded the milk and carton. The amount of food that goes to waste globally is shocking. And my carton of milk was no exception. But there are people out there who give this issue the attention it deserves since the food industry is one of the largest contributors to waste production on the island. Chef Dario - a professional mobile chef whose passion for cooking has spurred him on to fulfilling his commitment towards waste-reduction in the food industry – shares his thoughts on how best to adapt a zero-waste cooking concept. It’s that time of the year when the weather gets warmer and the rains of spring have abated, the outdoors are beckoning families who love adventure to have fun outdoors while enjoying some good food. In this edition, Foodist features some easy-to-make recipes which travel well and could be served cold. From Tomato Quichelets to
Lemon Balm and Mint Iced Tea, these are the hallmarks of great meals outdoors. So try these recipes out and get your friends and family together at a favourite spot. And why not get a glimpse of what people from other countries are having for breakfast and try something new tomorrow morning as Foodist features a bunch of international breakfast recipes – from Turkey to Brazil and Israel. We also run a feature on our retailer partner Park Towers Supermarkets on their convenient-driven concept - lunch while you shop!
READ ON AND ENJOY
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09 An endless scroll of experiences
20 Strawberry fields
42 Think outside the sandwich box
May 2018 / Issue 06
15 Gozitan morsels
18 Rustling up a mouthwatering feast
27 What lurks beneath…
33 Setting the tone for the day ahead
40 Lunch while you shop
49 Ditching plastic to reduce food waste
52 Keep the ‘peas’
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An endless scroll of experiences From climbing the Great Wall of China, to marvelling at the Forbidden City and soaking in the serenity of the Summer Palace, Veronica Stivala is left enthralled by Beijing. CHINA is like several countries rolled into one. Even though I was aware of this before I went, I realised for myself how very true this was as we travelled from Beijing to Shanghai, Guilin, Souzhou and Hong Kong. It is for this reason that I will focus on
Beijing alone, for even for this city alone do I feel I have merely scraped the surface. The cityâ€™s selling factor is definitely that it is home to a whopping six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is home to the extraordinary
Forbidden City, a magnificent palace of astonishing proportions and to the Summer Palace, an idyllic palace so big it felt like a city. Travelling to China does involve a certain amount of preparatory work, such
as applying for a visa, which in turn requires that you plan out your travel and accommodation, as well as researching the best times to go. Everyone will advise you not to go in the beginning of October as this period of time marks Golden Week, the semiannual seven-day holiday when thousands of tourists travel throughout China. One of the best pieces of advice I read was not to underestimate Beijing. The city is so huge that you always need to factor in time to find your destination, perhaps to get lost, and to savour it in its entirety.
My highlights included the city’s celebrity – The Forbidden City (known as Gu Gong), the largest palace complex in the entire world. A good idea is to visit Tiananmen Square and then enter the palace from the Meridian Gate on the north side. Since 2015, a north to south entrance and exit policy was introduced, although you can exit from more than one gate. Words cannot do justice to this palace. Serving as the home of emperors and their households for almost 500 years, it houses 800 buildings and 9,000 rooms;
Beijing… is home to the extraordinary Forbidden City, a magnificent palace of astonishing proportions and to the Summer Palace, an idyllic palace so big it felt like a city.
the courtyard at the Gate of Supreme Harmony holds 100,000 people. While the reason for its name is now defunct – only those with permission from the emperor were granted entrance – the site is so popular among tourists that you are advised to go early during peak season because there is a cap of 80,000 visitors a day. While everyone has to enter
through the same gate, it is a good idea to steer off the main path because it can really become crowded. We did this and before we passed through the Gate of Supreme Harmony, veered right to visit the Ceramics Gallery, inside the Hall of Literary Brilliance, featuring the splendid history of Chinese ceramics. The Summer Palace was a welcome break during hot September to cool off at its extraordinary ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces. Interestingly, the palace is the second version as the first was devastatingly looted and then almost entirely destroyed by the British during the Opium Wars. But, covering an area of almost three square kilometres, the current Summer Palace is an adequate substitute. You’ll need to get the full ticket to visit the entire complex – highly advisable – and it is a good idea to start off in the cafés and the little shops area and then take a boat around the luxurious surroundings in one of the colourful boats. Kunming Lake is particularly stunning at sunset.
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Beijing traveling tips
I’ll end with the highlight of all highlights – the Great Wall of China, and the reason I decided to go to China in the first place. This engineering feat is one of the Great Wonders of the World for good reason and I remain impressed, enthralled and yearning to explore more to this day. The name is actually a misnomer as there are many walls. The most popular, because it is restored and even features a lift to reach it, is the Badaling part. However, we decided to go to a more rural part of the wall, one which was not restored and which was indeed crumbling in certain parts but it was definitely worth the while. We entered from an entrance at Gubeiku village and took a walk which was supposed to take some five hours in
total, but which took longer as we went a bit further than planned. Picture this, you are walking along scaling heights, a deep drop below you, greenery beneath and sprawled in front of you, and as far as your eyes can see, the winding Wall in all its glory, with a peppered history that saw millions die to build it, and that dates all the way back to c. 200 BC. Tom Carter’s words from his book, China: Portrait of a People, serve as an apt conclusion: “I drift like a cloud/ Across these venerable eastern lands,/ A journey of unfathomable distances,/ An endless scroll of experiences... / Lady Zhejiang here we must part, / For the next province awaits my embrace. / Sad wanderer, once you conquer the East, / Where do you go?”
• Keep your passport with you all the time. You’ll need it to get into most attractions • Prepare translated versions of your accommodation and take these with you in case you need help getting back. • Download a VPN app so that you can still access many banned sites and apps. • Buy a local SIM card to be able to use maps, for instance, and avoid having to get taxis everywhere (though they are very cheap). • Haggling is standard procedure in markets and shops (not department stores) and vendors sometimes go as low as a quarter of their initial asking price. • Squat-style toilets can be a challenge for visitors but keep in mind they are actually healthier for the body. Do keep tissues on you as toilet paper is not always available.
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The colours Gozitan Braun
Mona Farrugia travels to Toulouse to meet chef Philippe Braun.
Anna Marie Galea speaks to Angela Galea who started to learn how to cook from practically the day she could walk. Seven decades later she is still making Gozitan cheeselets (gbejniet). PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNA MARIE GALEA
Anna Marie Galea
Each one would last around two years but they were surprisingly resilient given the fact we would make cheese every single day. We would buy the qwieleb from Victoria but I think they used to be made in Nadur and Xewkija. I think we must have changed over to using plastic qwieleb fifty odd years ago. Although the plastic qwieleb are smaller than the original reed version, the taste of the gbejna remained exactly the same and they just looked more aesthetically pleasing and presentable.”
IT’S a beautiful late March day; the sun is shining and the ever-
present breeze that is characteristic of Gharb, Gozo is mild and inviting. If you don’t look too closely, Gharb seems like a village where time has stood still and where what many people consider to be tradition is part of daily routine. Indeed, for some there is little distinction between what they do now and what they did 70 years ago; 81-year-old Angela Galea is one of those people. Like many women of her generation, Angela learnt her cooking skills from her mother as soon as she could walk. Despite the fact her own daughter doesn’t own any sheep, there was no question that Angela would when she was younger. She has been making Gozitan cheeselets or gbejniet in exactly the same way for over seven decades and after a bit of coaxing, she told Foodist magazine exactly what goes into making the perfect gbejna. “I don’t remember a time when we didn’t make cheese at home. When I was around seven or eight years old, I would sit at the table watching my mother who wouldn’t really let me help. Fiercely independent, she was very much the matriarch and even after we lost my father, she refused to leave her house and come and live with me or my sister who lives right next door to me. It was only when I got married and moved out that I started making my own cheeselets. Four sheep will give you anywhere between 30-35 cheeselets, depending on how young or old they are and whether they are pregnant or not.”
Reminiscing about the first cheeselet qwieleb that were made of reeds (the slotted moulds into which the cheese curd is poured so that it can drain and take shape), Angela states that while the size of the gbejna has changed, the taste hasn’t: “I remember the time when we used qwieleb made of reeds: they were quite big and you would scrub them with a brush when you were done with them.
Though not particular intricate to follow, the method of making gbejniet is very specific: “gbejniet need to be made with warm milk, so literally, the second you’ve finished milking the sheep you should take the milk upstairs and start the cheese making process. We put the milk in a bowl and we add rennet to it, known in Maltese as xorrox, to help the cheese to curdle. Xorrox is a by-product of lamb stomach; every household would have a lamb’s stomach and a separate jar of xorrox, with the lamb’s stomach being preserved in salt when it isn’t being used. After every batch of cheese you make, you can collect the rennet and put it aside. In reality, you only need a few drops of it to curdle your cheese so you rarely have to bring out the lamb’s stomach from storage to make more. It is important to turn the cheese around in the qwieleb every so often. I like to put salt on each side of the cheeselet to give it some extra flavour; if you want fresh cheese you can basically eat it after a few hours!” Of course, if it’s a slightly harder biting taste you’re after, you’re going to have to be a bit more patient. At this point, Angela shows me to a small corner of her flat roof where she has a zinc and wooden cupboard-like structure erected: “I don’t know if this has a more technical name or not but we call it the cheese box or kaxxa tal-gobon. It’s important that the box has little holes for the air to be able to pass through. If there is a lot of the characteristic rih isfel, or southerly wind that the Maltese islands are famous for, it might take days for the cheese to dry. I also make it a point to turn each cheeselet around every day to make sure that it is completely dried through. If you want a gobna moxxa you would leave it in the cheese box for around four days; just enough for a hard skin to form on the outside but for the cheese on the inside to still be slightly soft. However, if you want to make a traditional hard gbejna, you should leave it in the cheese box for around ten days, depending on the direction of the wind. I still pickle some of my gbejniet and what I usually do when I want to make gbejniet tal-bzar is to put a hard gbejna in some vinegar and then coat it in coarse salt and pepper and store it in a glass jar. For me, there truly is no better meal under the sun than a piece of crusty Maltese bread with oil, tomatoes and a peppered cheeselet.”
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Rustling up a mouthwatering feast Well known for their hearty buffets, the chefs at the newly renovated Terrace at The Westin Dragonara Resort have something to satisfy any taste. The following recipes are just a small taste of what one can experience when dining during the Saturday or Sunday buffet. Priced at â‚Ź37.95 per person one can experience both local and international flavours. The price also includes free parking and half a bottle of wine per person. Try these recipes at home and pop by during their buffet to watch the chefs in action.
Micro Bait Fritters, garlic and mayo dressing YOU NEED 400 grms micro bait 100 grms zucchini schredded 100 grms chopped coloured peppers 50 grms finely chopped onions 20 grms garlic
10 grms ginger
FOR THE JAM
50 grms mixed chopped herbs (parsley, marjoram, mint)
200 ml mayonnaise
1 zest of whole lemon
50 grms white flour
30 grms finely chopped chives, parsley and mint
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt and pepper
Salt and pepper
Take the microbait and leave in a strainer to drain well. Then place on a cloth to remove excess water. Sweat all the chopped vegetables until cooked, let it cool down. Place in a bowl and add the fish, herbs, the flour and eggs to form a soft paste. Then take a spoonful and fry in a non-stick pan on medium heat, turn twice until golden brown. Place on a mat to drain excessive fats. For the dressing: Take the minced garlic and herbs and place in a bowl, add the herbs and the lemon juice, add the mayonnaise and desired seasoning, serve separately.
Caramel and peanut mousse
YOU NEED PEANUT SPONGE
MILK CHOCOLATE PEANUT COATING
200 grms whole eggs
200 grms sugar
500 grms milk chocolate
200 grms sugar
25 grms butter
50 ml sunflower oil
200 grms flour
200 grms fresh cream
100 grms crushed peanuts
50 grms warm peanut butter
20 grms gelatin leaves 50 grms crushed peanuts
METHOD Whip the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, fold in the flour and peanut butter. Lay on a sheet approximately 1cm thick, and bake at 200 degrees celcius for 10 mins.
500 grms whipped cream
METHOD Gently melt oil and milk chocolate onto a bain-marie or microwave, then add peanuts.
METHOD Put the sugar in a pan and cook until caramelised. Add the butter and the 200 grms of fresh cream. Whisk until combined. When the mix is still hot, gently melt in the gelatine leaves and set aside to cool. Once cool, fold in the whipped cream and crushed peanuts to form a light mousse.
ASSEMBLING Cut 2 pieces of sponge into desired mould shape and soak with syrup. Put mousse between layers of sponge and cover again with mousse. Set in the freezer until hard. Demould and put on wire rack. Pour warm milk chocolate and peanut mix until well coated. Pop in the fridge. Best served cold.
Strawberry fields There’s no better indication that spring is with us than the beautifully colourful and vibrant sights and sounds it brings with it. It’s a time when the days start getting longer, dresses start getting shorter and fruits and flowers start appearing in every house in the country. In the same way that the watermelon usually hearkens the arrival of sweet and sticky summer, the strawberry has always represented the freshness of spring. Sweet enough on their own but extra special with a big dollop of thick cream on the side, the simple strawberry doesn’t need to be dressed to impress, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try anyway. Anna Marie Galea catches up with Matthew Mamo who shares three recipes which will make you see the humble strawberry in a whole new gourmet light. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS SANT FOURNIER
Strawberry Jam Stuffed French Toast
Strawberry Matcha White Chocolate Bark
Strawberry & Basil Shortcakes
Strawberry Matcha White Chocolate Bark YOU NEED 300g white chocolate 1 tablespoon matcha powder 3 tablespoons freeze dried strawberries 1 drop red food colouring 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
pink shade and mix in the processed freeze-dried strawberries.
Using a food processor, blend the freeze-dried strawberries until they reach a crumb-like texture.
Sift the matcha powder into the large bowl with the majority of the melted white chocolate and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly onto your lined baking tray.
Roughly chop the white chocolate into smaller pieces and place into a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water in order to melt the chocolate, ensuring that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. Once half of the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow the remainder of the chocolate to melt using its residual heat. Reserve about 4 tablespoons of the melted white chocolate in a small bowl. Add a drop of red food colouring in order to achieve a
Pour the reserved white chocolate on top of the matcha mixture and use a chopstick or large toothpick to create a decorative swirl. Scatter the sea salt flakes over the mixture and refrigerate for 15 minutes, or until the chocolate has set. Break or cut the chocolate bark into pieces or servings of your desired size and garnish with additional strawberries and mint if desired.
Strawberry Jam-Stuffed French Toast YOU NEED FOR THE JAM
FOR THE CUSTARD
FOR THE FRENCH TOAST
FOR THE TOPPINGS
450 grams strawberries
400 grams white sugar
120 millilitres heavy cream
2 slices of bread (preferably brioche) cut to 1.5 inch thickness
1 large granny smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
1 tablespoon white sugar
30 grams unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
METHOD Start by making the jam. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a large heavy pan. Stir in the grated apple and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring to break up the strawberries, until the sugar has melted completely. Stir in the lemon juice and remove the jam from the heat before transferring to a bowl or jar in order to cool. Cover and chill the jam in the fridge until it has set, about 2 hours. This recipe produces more jam than is needed for the French toast. Extra jam can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Make the custard by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and whipping together until the mixture has turned a pale yellow colour, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the custard to a dish in preparation for dunking the bread slices. Preheat your oven to 180Â°C.
Take your slices of bread and make a 2 inch slit into the side of each piece, being careful not to slice beyond the centre of the bread. Spoon about a tablespoon of your jam into each slice of bread. Cook the slices of French toast one at a time in a frying pan. Melt half of the butter in the frying pan on medium-high heat before dunking a slice of bread into your pre-prepared custard and placing it in the pan. Cook for 1 minute on each side, or until the bread has turned golden brown. Transfer the toast to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining slice of bread. Place both slices of toast into the oven for 6 minutes while you prepare to serve. Remove the finished toast from the oven and place each slice on a plate. Dust both slices with icing sugar and serve it a dollop of whipped cream, extra jam, a dash of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sea salt flakes.
Strawberry & Basil Shortcakes FOR THE SHORTCAKES 60 grams white sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 260 grams plain flour, plus more for dusting 85 grams unsalted butter 240 millilitres heavy cream 1 large beaten egg
FOR THE BERRIES AND ASSEMBLY 675 grams strawberries hulled and cut into quarters, divided 50 grams white sugar, divided 2 sprigs of basil 480 millilitres heavy cream 2 tablespoons crème fraiche
METHOD Preheat your oven to 200°C. Start by preparing the shortcakes. Combine all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl using a whisk. Use your fingers to gradually incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture has a coarse consistency with a few small lumps of butter remaining. Add the cream and mix until the dough just starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a flowered surface and pat into a large rectangle approximately ¾ inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or glass rim to cut the dough into 2 ½ inch rounds. Reroll the dough as necessary in order to cut a total of 8 rounds. Transfer the rounds to a pre-prepared baking tray lined with parchment paper and brush with a beaten egg. Bake until the tops of the shortcake are golden brown and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Place approximately half the strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has softened and the mixture thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the compote to cool completely. In the meantime, mix the remaining strawberries, 1 tablespoon sugar and basil together in a large bowl, allowing the fruit to release its juices, about 10-15 minutes. Discard the basil and prepare to assemble the shortcakes.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, crème fraiche and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar together until the mixture has achieved a soft peaks consistency. Split the shortcakes in half and cover the bottom half with the compote, whipped cream and macerated strawberries in that order before topping with the remaining half of your shortcake.
What lurks beneath…
As we reach the peak of the lampuki (dolphin fish) season, VICTOR PAUL BORG writes about what could possibly drive dolphin fish to lurk beneath palm fronds - an old fishing technique used to trap fish, oblivious to the ploy of their predators – fishermen. He also gives us tips on how best to clean and cook this type of fish. PHOTOGRAPHY BY VICTOR PAUL BORG
THIS month is peak season for Malta’s most abundant and egalitarian fish, the dolphin fish (lampuka). The dolphin fish on the market this month are relatively young and tender; those caught later in the season are larger and tougher, and their particular odour and taste slightly overpowering. In any case, don’t let the distinctive stink of the dolphin fish put you off – read on for simple, tasty ways to neutralise its odour – for the great thing about dolphin fish is that it is meaty and substantial, and only marginally more expensive than pork. The prolific dolphin fish spawn in the central Mediterranean in July and August, and the young feed voraciously – dolphin fish hunt smaller fish such as squids, mackerel, sardines, and even others of
Victor Paul Borg
their kind (they are a cannibalistic fish) – and grow rapidly in their first few months of life. After a few months of frenzy feeding in the central Mediterranean – which is when they are caught by Maltese fishermen – they then disperse, and largely disappear from the scope of Maltese fishermen by the end of the year. Fishermen fish for dolphin fish by what’s technically called the ‘FAD’, which stands for ‘floating aggregate device’. It’s a sumptuous name for a simple home-made contraption that consists of pieces of polystyrene tied together to form a float. Palm fronds are then affixed to the perimeter of the float, and the whole structure looks like a fan of palm fronds. Such floats have been used for many years, but the palm fronds are a relatively recent addition pioneered
That way, the dolphin fish would be safer from their predators, dolphins particularly, but totally ignorant of the ploy of the cleverer predators – the fishermen, who use purse-seine nets to round up dolphin fish hidden under the float. Each fisherman deploys hundreds of floats in a straight line leading out the sea, with the floats placed about 500 metres apart, thus creating a fishing route of many miles long. Fishing takes place from launches, involving crews of at least four men. A typical fishing trip lasts at least 20 hours (and up to two days for the larger fish). Dolphin fish are also popular among sports fishermen. These tempt dolphin fish by using a trolling device a couple of miles offshore. This consists of a hook nestled in a frilly sheath of coloured rubber that is reminiscent of the head and tentacles of a squid, which is one of the staple foodstuffs of dolphin fish. The fisherman then jiggles the trolling device underwater, and any dolphin fish nearby would think there is a squid to be eaten, and makes a dash for the trolling device and gulps the whole thing, in the process biting the hook and getting snagged. The catch may be small – a sports fisherman would be lucky to catch more than one dolphin fish in an afternoon of fishing – but the dolphin fish homing in on the trolling device is quite a spectacle. Dolphin fish have stout and taut bodies, they are formidable hunters that dart through the water in pursuit of prey.
by one fisherman in the 1970s, who once noticed a shoal of dolphin fish lurking under a clump of palm fronds randomly floating at sea.
No one knows for sure why dolphin fish congregate under the float: the most plausible conjecture holds that dolphin fish lurk under the floats to become less conspicuous to predators, and the palm fronds are additionally useful to the dolphin fish by providing sharp leaf edges on which the fish can scratch off the worms that attach to their skin.
In Maltese cookery, the traditional lampuki pie is one of the most celebrated Maltese dishes; it is also the tastiest dish involving dolphin fish. It takes considerable time to prepare and bake the pie; I only make a pie once or twice in a season. For quick, simple dishes, I cook the entire fish in two separate ways. I fillet the fish lengthwise along its body – you need some practice and a sharp knife to cut it clean off the backbone – then I use the head and backbone to make the stock for Maltese fish soup (aljotta), and I cut the fillet into chunks and fry it gently in turmeric-infused flour. The point of turmeric is to neutralise the dolphin fish’s distinctive taste and odour, which can be off-putting.
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Fish soup YOU NEED 2 litres water Head and backbone of two small dolphin fish, or one large one 1 cube of fish stock Half a lemon 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Large onion, finely chopped
Four cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Put the water, half lemon, head and backbone of the dolphin fish in a pot, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Squeeze and discard the lemon, scoop out the fish head and backbone. Pick out any flesh attached to the backbone and present in the cheeks of the head, and put aside.
Medium round field tomato, finely chopped 1 teaspoon tomato paste 1 teaspoon fresh chopped mint 1 tablespoon fresh chopped marjoram Half cup white rice 400 grams frozen shell-less mussels
In a frying pan, fry the onion and garlic on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often,
until it starts to become golden. Add the marjoram, mint, cube of fish stock, tomato and tomato paste, cover and cook until the sauce thickens. Pour the contents of the frying pan into the pot with stock, bring to the boil, add the rice, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the frozen mussels, bring to the boil, then simmer for another five minutes. Mix in the shredded dolphin fish flesh. Let the soup settle and then serve.
Lampuki Chunks in Turmeric Flour YOU NEED 1 kilogram of lampuki fillets, cut into three-inch-long chunks Three tablespoons white flour 1.5 tablespoons ground turmeric 1 teaspoon sweet paprika Two eggs, beaten in a bowl Salt to taste Corn oil Slices of lemon, to serve
In a deep plate, mix the flour, spices, and salt. Dip the lampuki chunks in eggs, then let drip and toss in the flour mixture. Fry on low heat heat in the frying pan, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes depending on thickness (overcooking will dry out the flesh). Flip over halfway through. Serve, and squeeze a drizzle of lemon on the lampuki chunks.
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Setting the tone for the day ahead Said to be the most important meal of the day, each country and culture has its own very special way of starting the day. Anna Marie Galea meets Emma Warrington of Emmaâ€™s Kitchen and Trevor Diacono of Pure to share their breakfast recipes from around the world. The results: pretty egg-cellent! PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS SANT FOURNIER
Turkish eggs (Cilbir) YOU NEED 1 cup plain Greek yogurt Few sprigs of dill 1 clove garlic Salt and pepper, to taste 100 grams herbs, such as a mix of parsley, coriander and mint 1/2 cup olive oil 2 cloves garlic 100 grams unsalted butter 1 teaspoon Aleppo chili powder 2 fresh eggs
METHOD First, youâ€™ll need to make a yogurt base. Season some plain Greek yogurt with crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and finely chopped dill. Next, make a fresh chimichurri with the fresh herbs of your choice, the
olive oil and the remaining cloves of garlic. Make Aleppo chili butter by browning some unsalted butter in a pan and adding a teaspoon or so of Aleppo chili powder (to your taste). To plate up, smear the yogurt
onto your plate, poach two eggs in salted boiling water and nestle them onto the yogurt. Top the dish with the chimichurri and Aleppo butter, and serve with lots of toast or pita bread to scoop it all up!
Levantine toast YOU NEED 1 can of chickpeas Juice of half a lemon 1 tablespoon tahini Salt and pepper to taste Sourdough toast 2 fresh eggs 2 slices of halloumi cheese
METHOD Start off by making a good hummus. Blend the ingredients and thin the consistency with water or olive oil if necessary. Smear the hummus onto a thick slice of toasted or fried sourdough bread. Top with two poached eggs. Pan-fry a couple of slices of halloumi cheese and add on top. You can finish with a good drizzle of homemade chimichurri, as per above, and a handful of rocket leaves and pine nuts
Shakshuka - Israel Breakfast dish YOU NEED Â˝ an onion 2 tomatoes 1 clove of garlic 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 10 millilitres olive oil 1 poached egg (poached in the sauce) Salt and chili to taste Coriander
METHOD Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat until simmering. Add the onion, the garlic and a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika. Add some chilli to taste and spread into an even layer. Once the spices melt into the oil, add the large deseeded and peeled tomatoes and cover for about six minutes. Remove the lid and stir. The tomatoes will thicken up to a point where you can create a well in the centre of your pan. Place the egg. It is important that this egg is as fresh as possible as it holds better. Once all the egg white has coagulated, sprinkle on some coriander and a dash of paprika. Serve with toast.
Pitaya Bowl - Brazilian breakfast bowl YOU NEED 2 blended pitayas (dragon fruit) Âź frozen banana 80 millilitres orange juice Banana Dried coconut Fresh strawberries Blueberries Fresh mint Crushed pistachio Coconut and lime granola
METHOD Blend the ripe pitayas (or a frozen alternative) with the frozen banana and the freshly squeezed orange juice; the mixture should be thick enough not fall out of the blender if turned upside down. At the base of the coconut bowl set the granola, place the pitaya mix on top and then decorate with your favourite fruits and nuts. Here we are using blueberries, strawberries, banana, and coconut flakes.
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Lunch while you shop Itâ€™s way too easy to get caught up for hours on end when shopping without taking time to grab a bite. Park Towers has taken shopping to a new level by offering you the option to eat while you shop. It also offers the option of having you choose your meat from the butcher counter and have it cooked by the in-house bistro chef. Duncan Barry speaks to Park Towers Director Christopher Borg on this convenience-driven concept. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SEAN MALLIA
THE trend of shoppers eating at “grocerants” - the in-store supermarket eateries that first appeared in the United States and which sell freshly cooked meals on the premises there and then, is steadily increasing in Malta. Imagine heading to the supermarket for lunch and dinner, not to just buy your groceries, but to actually eat at the store. Park Towers Supermarket in Spinola offers the concept of blending a restaurant experience with a supermarket experience across one floor. The quality and freshness of the food gives a feeling of a full-service type restaurant. Playing host to several eat-ins, Park Towers offers a variety of options such as purchasing meat from the supermarket butcher, including well-priced dry-aged meat - showcased in a custom-built display fridge that divides the bistro’s dining room and the butcher shop - and having it cooked by the in-house bistro chef within your view. While there, you can also
Park Towers offers the concept of blending a restaurant experience with a supermarket experience across one floor.
choose to seek advice from the bistro chefs or butchers on how best to cook certain meats. Both the butcher and bistro are operated by In-House Butchers. Another eat-in station within the supermarket, which is operated by Experia Eatery, gives you the option to eat in or order a take-out. The smell of freshly-baked ciabattas and pizzas wafts through the supermarket as our master chefs prepare these comfort foods daily. To end your meal on a sweet note, you can hang out at the coffee station manned by the renowned Cake Box – and treat yourself to a portion of freshly baked cake and a hot drink.
Park Towers director Chris Borg said: “Shoppers are looking for more than just freshly baked products. They’re looking for made-to-order, freshly brewed coffee, and grab-and-go items. Some are also looking for a seating area to enjoy breakfast, and Park Towers Supermarket offers this option. “Whether it’s stopping for a quick breakfast bite on the way to work to get off on a better start or getting through the afternoon slump with a meal of your choice or an early dinner, at Park Towers we have it all.” For Mr Borg, the entire customer experience is the most vital aspect of the business: “The entire shopping experience literally needs to be an experience, not a commodity. “We try to give our customers the best prices possible but most of all making our customers’ shopping experience as convenient as possible.” Free parking available.
Think outside the sandwich box No picnic would be complete without some delicious food to nibble on; Tom Magri walks Anne Maria Galea through some easy-to-make recipes which travel well and can be served coldâ€Ś PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS SANT FOURNIER
Guanciale and cream cheese wrap YOU NEED Serves 2 360 grams cream cheese 200 grams chopped guanciale, plus 2 unchopped slices Roughly 50 grams of baby spinach Store-bought large-size wraps
METHOD Put a pan on low heat and fry the guanciale. Let it cook in its own fat for a few minutes, just until the fat goes transparent. Add the spinach leaves and allow them to wilt down and cook in the guanciale. Set aside to cool and mix into the cream cheese, adding pepper to taste. Next spoon some of the mix onto the base of the wrap, fold from the sides and roll tightly. Lightly fry the guanciale slices until just cooked and fold around your wraps.
Redcurrant Cream & Meringue jars YOU NEED 150 millilitres double cream A handful of fresh redcurrants, crushed Mini store-bought meringues Fresh berries of your choice 2 small hermetic jars 2 piping bags
METHOD Split the double cream into two bowls. Whisk half the cream with the crushed redcurrants and put into a piping bag. Whisk the other half of the cream with 20 grams of icing sugar and add to another piping bag. Pipe small drops of each cream alternately at the base of the jar. Add a layer of blackberries and the meringues. Pipe alternately over this layer and top with your fresh berries and additional meringues. Close the jars and keep in the fridge. Eat cold from your cooler.
Tomato Quichelets YOU NEED 500 millilitres cream 6 eggs 100 grams gruyere cheese 100 grams fontina cheese 5 grams salt 2 tomatoes, sliced Fresh nutmeg Fresh sage leaves
METHOD Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Whisk together the cream, eggs and salt. Add the cheeses and grate in some fresh nutmeg. Pour into 12 silicone moulds until thereâ€™s still some space left as the quiches will slightly rise in the oven (and settle once cooled). Place one tomato slice across the top of each quiche and bake for 15-20 minutes. Bring out of the oven and leave to cool to room temperature. Put a pan on the heat and lightly fry the sage leaves for 1-2 minutes in some vegetable oil. Dry off with some kitchen paper and place leaves onto each quiche.
Lemon Balm & Mint Iced Tea YOU NEED 750 millilitres water 1 bunch of fresh lemon balm leaves A good handful of fresh mint leaves 1 Assam tea bag 2 tablespoons honey
METHOD Boil the water in a pot, add the teabag and remove from the heat. Add the leaves and leave to steep with the honey till cool. Strain and pour into your picnic friendly bottle and chill in the fridge before leaving, and keep in your cooler.
Cottanera wines are made from grapes grown at high altitude, on rich, volcanic lands. They are fine, exclusive and well-balanced wines. Cottanera vineyards around Mt. Etna are a true, natural, chemical laboratory. The company owners, aiming at oenological excellence, speak of their work as â€˜vulcaenologyâ€™.
Ditching plastic to reduce food waste Chef Dario is a professional mobile chef whose passion for cooking has spurred him on to fulfilling his commitment towards waste-reduction in the food industry. The main rule of thumb, he says, is to buy fresh produce and avoid pre-packaged food - a zero-waste cooking concept. THERE is an ever-increasing awareness of how much waste we generate daily. A quick glance at the newsfeed on Facebook and youâ€™re sure to come across a clip about the devastating effect pollution is having on planet earth. Apart from the ever-growing concern of global warming, there is also the alarming degradation of the environment due to the tons of waste produced by the food industry and enemy number one â€“ excessive plastic packaging! Malta is a microcosm of what is happening globally. The difference is that, because it is a small island, the effects of pollution are much more tangible than countries with vast tracts of land where landfills are out of sight and out of mind. The two largest contributors to waste production on this island are the construction industry and the food
industry, due to the boom in tourism and consumerism in the past few years. This has created an ever-growing trend towards finding solutions for waste reduction, especially amongst the younger generation, who are developing interesting and innovative ideas into boutique businesses, reviving the principles of our forefathers. The only difference being that, back then, things were built to last, while today, we are living a fast and disposable lifestyle which has led to the situation we face today. Every setback is also an opportunity for growth and change. My concern for the environment was what spurred me on to steer my business towards a plastic-free concept. Finding alternatives to plastic is possible, though sometimes challenging,
but it has given me the scope to be more creative in the way I prepare, cook and present my food. One of the first principles I apply is to always opt for fresh ingredients. I prefer local produce, especially fruit and vegetables, primarily because I like to support local farmers, secondly because the transportation from where they are grown to the retail outlet or market is less than imported produce and finally because they can be bought off the shelf and, for the most part, do not come wrapped in plastic. Those that are, I do my best to wash the containers and return them to shops that will reuse them. As much as possible, I try to support organic farming since this uses a minimal amount of pesticide. It is heartening to see that more and more
supermarkets are accepting that people bring their own reusable containers to the deli counters to avoid consuming more plastic. All it takes is a little bit of planning. The real breakthrough would be when entire supermarkets will supply food and consumables by weight so people would have to bring their own containers. This system has already started in other countries and I hope that we soon follow suit. Washing your disposable plastic with the rest of the dishes is not a lot to ask for, especially when you know the positive impact it has on the environment. The excessive use of plastic is not only harmful to the environment but condensation inside plastic-packaged food causes it to deteriorate quicker, especially vegetables. What also irks me is the practise of disposing of good cardboard boxes which can be used for carrying groceries. They are often a sturdier way of carrying produce. I am a mobile chef and my clients are diverse. I like to present my food as creatively as possible and I enjoy watching people’s reactions when they see the way I display my food. I love vibrant colours so, for example, making a bowl out of banana leaves is a great presentation for a thick soup. Another great alternative is hollowing out a pumpkin or squash. For finger food, I like to make little cups from caramel, chocolate or pastry for sweets and, for savoury, a base of baked cheese or little pockets of home-baked bread.
If you would like to start veering towards a zero-waste lifestyle, you can start by doing so in the kitchen. The main rule of thumb is to buy fresh produce, avoid pre-packaged food. The great thing about this is that you are aware of the ingredients you are consuming; therefore, you are going for the healthier option. Pre-packaged foods usually have a very high content of hidden sugar and salt, apart from harmful preservatives. You may find that, thus, your garbage bin gets full
The two largest contributors to waste production on this island are the construction industry and the food industry, due to the boom in tourism and consumerism in the past few years.
with organic waste much quicker, however there are two options to reduce your carbon footprint – the first is to follow Wasteserv’s new initiative of collecting organic waste separately. This waste generates gas that, when harnessed generates energy. If you do want to go that extra mile, you can invest in a compost heap if you have an outdoor space in your home. It may take a little while before you start seeing results, however, if you’ve got green fingers, you can reuse this to grow a little herb garden. It’s pretty and growing plants is a great way to de-stress. The food and beverage industry is a big offender when it comes to excessive plastic. Waste recycling would be a good start at addressing the issue, however I am currently considering the supply of edible cutlery. If it were possible to replace the tons of plastic cutlery that is thrown away daily with an edible/biodegradable alternative, this would have a big impact on the amount of waste we generate. It would even make for cleaner streets, especially in tourist areas and beaches. I also enjoy experimenting with food display in recycled glass containers. The different shapes present a variety of
options both for finger food and drinks. There are alternatives to plastic straws too nowadays – stainless steel straws can be reused dozens of times, and good old fashioned paper straws are biodegradable. These options are ideal for buffets or informal outdoor parties. From a Chef’s point of view a debatable subject would be the plastic usage generated by sous vide cooking method. This precise method of cooking is favoured by many chefs because of its many merits, however its drawback is that food is cooked in plastic. Thankfully there is an effective alternative, however this does bring in a bit more work to a busy kitchen. Special glass containers and washable silicone sealed bags are available. It’s worth mentioning that even using the sous vide method with plastic bags can be planned in a way to use less plastic bags for multiple portions. There is always a lot of washing up to do after cooking. I am steering towards using products that are less damaging to the environment. Baking soda is by far the cheapest and best product to remove grease from pots and pans, kitchen floors, kitchen towels and grimy ovens. It is also very effective in cleaning blocked drains. A dash of white vinegar in warm water makes for shinier glasses. Lemons give a lovely scent to wiping cloths when you boil them in a pan to remove grease. There is a wealth of information at our fingertips today, thanks to the internet. Opting for a zero-waste lifestyle can be challenging at times, especially with our busy lifestyles. However, even if you can’t go completely plastic-free, you can choose to separate your waste properly, keep reusable bags in your car for when you go shopping, and as much as possible, buy fresh produce. In the words of Ryunosuke Satoro, ‘Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.’
Verona, Romeo and Julietâ€™s city. And more
Keep the ‘peas’ Foodist features a selection of photographer Ivan Ebejer’s moody food photos. PHOTOGRAPHY BY IVAN EBEJER
Give peas a chance…and turn the humble legume into an awesome spread. Simply blend blanched peas with mint, thyme and olive oil and slather liberally on crunchy rustic bread. This spring pea puree pairs beautifully with fresh chèvre or simply ricotta.
Raw deal: swap high-carb spaghetti with zoodles (zucchini noodles) and a cherry tomato sauce topped with lashings of parmesan for a quick, healthy and fulfilling meal.
For ancient Romans it was gourmet fish, fetched extraordinary prices during the Renaissance period and reached star status last century when legendary French chef Paul Boccuse created the famous rouget barbet en ĂŠcailles de pommes de terre croustillantes. Ladies and gentlemen, the mighty red mullet.
Eat, drink and pick up a copy of Foodist magazine from these outlets.
ELECTRO LOBSTER PROJECT A GREEN MENU
Giacomo’s Café Bistro, set in the heart of Sliema’s shopping district, brings together an interesting fusion of fresh Mediterranean food, international wines and signature drinks. With a flair for green living, Giacomo’s specialises in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Giacomo’s Café Bistro, The Strand, Sliema. Tel: 2713 7407.
Lobster is the specialty at Electro Lobster Project in Balluta Buildings, Sliema. The rest of the menu is classic Sicilian, with lots of fresh fish, quality meats, vegetarian and vegan options. Fresh smoothies and juices, a large selection of teas from RARE Tea Company, specialty coﬀees and daily changing desserts top the list of delights.
FOOD FOR YOUR MOOD
Café Jubilee is the place to eat and drink whatever the time of day and the mood you’re in. Gzira outlet is now oﬀering takeaway delivery service also in the evenings from 6pm till 11pm, available in the localities of Gzira and surrounding areas.
A NATURAL APPROACH
At The Deli, ingredients are everything. The Deli stands behind sustainable and organic suppliers who are passionate about the quality of their products. The Deli grows its own organic ingredients at The Ladybird Farm in Dingli. Every morning fresh produce is delivered to the store to ensure the freshest of food.
A MATCH IN DELICIOUSNESS
Talbot & Bons oﬀers a unique ambience in the Central part of Malta, at the Malta International Airport, SkyParks Business Centre. The wide variety of craft Italian beers, South Tyrol cider, organic soft drinks and juices as well as a varied food menu including salads, platters and their very well known burgers make this place ideal for business lunches, meeting friends as well as a relaxed dinner with your loved one!
COOKED WITH PRIDE
The Pulled Meat Company serves only the best slow cooked soul food from the heart of Valletta. By soul food we mean food cooked with pride, using nothing but the best fresh ingredients. Our menu will be updated daily with a variety of crunchy ftajjar, nutritious soups and fresh salads. Follow us on Facebook for updates where we would love to hear your feedback.
CHEERS TO FOOD AND WINE
Good wine deserves good food and at Sistina Wine & Co. you will find an extensive wine selection to pair with a small but diverse menu oﬀering flavours from around the globe. Sistina Wine & Co. is now also oﬀering a special lunch menu with a diﬀerence. For more information visit www.sistinawineco.com.
CHEERS TO A GREAT EXPERIENCE
The Master Cellar is determined to oﬀer a bespoke and friendly experience within the pleasant interiors of their outlet, promising its patrons that feel good factor, whether buying a premium wine or a single malt, for the start to a great moment.
REACH FOR THIS SHORE
Shoreditch Bar & Kitchen is situated in the heart of the Maltese nightlife. Shoreditch is the ideal place to have a great meal and enjoy a pint of lager.
Voted best coﬀee shop chain in Southern Europe at the Allegra European coﬀee awards, Costa Coﬀee is now oﬀering its freshly ground Mocha Italia coﬀee in two two new, welcoming stores in Marsaxlokk and St Julian’s. Follow Costa Coﬀee on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
Serving the best of New York Cities most recognised eats, without having to fly across the Atlantic! Pizza, burger, hot dogs and shakes, all made from scratch with exclusively procured ingredients. New York Best oﬀers a cool alternative vibe and recently added cheeky cocktail menu! Four locations to choose from. Follow us on Facebook.
DAY AND NIGHT EXPERIENCE
C&S Wine Café is a chic café by day and wine bar by night. They also oﬀer a tasty selection of healthy dishes and freshly made salads and their signature house specials and platters. Now open in Portomaso, the Malta Intl. Airport and the Vivaldi Hotel in St Julians.
Pure brings you delicious and healthy raw cold pressed juices, super food smoothies, gluten and lactose free desserts, home made nut milks and other healthy foods. Pure also specialises in juice cleanses. Pure Living, Windsor Street, Sliema.
THE ART OF FINE DINING
Perched on Mdina’s centuries-old bastions, within the Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, awarded the runner-up for the best boutique dining hotel in the world, the de Mondion oﬀers a unique fine dining experience, enhanced by truly spectacular panoramic views, charming features and elegant surroundings. For bookings call 2145 0560 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.xarapalace.com.mt.
GET YOUR FREE COPY Available from all Park Towers Supermarkets check-out points.
Kitchen confidential Foodist’s kitchen must haves.
NINJA PROFESSIONAL BLENDER It features a powerful and efficient 1,000watt performance, with six chopping blades that shred through fruits and vegetables and turn ice into snow in just seconds. Simple and easy-to-use buttons allow you to cycle between low, medium, and high speeds, and the pulse button makes it easy to pulverize small bits. Plus, a large pour spout is perfect for serving blended drinks without causing a complete mess on your counter.
DYSON BALL MULTI FLOOR 2 UPRIGHT VACUUM When it comes down to it, vacuum cleaner needs to be reliable, durable, and powerful. This bag less Dyson is all that. The best vacuum you can buy for its superior suction, well-thought-out design, and outstanding 5-year warranty. The Dyson Ball is one of the few vacuums that effortlessly switches between hard flooring to carpets without the need to adjust any settings.
BOSCH 300 SERIES
If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, the Bosch 300 Series won’t disappoint. Based on bestproducts.com extensive evaluation, Bosch is one of the most reliable brands of dishwashers. Yale Appliance found that only 10.4% of Bosch dishwashers sold throughout 2017 and 2018 needed service in the first year of ownership. The 300 Series is one of the highest-rated dishwashers by users across Best Buy, Google Shopping, Home Depot, Lowes, and other major retailers.
Like our vegetables need time, sun, water and great care to grow and to come to the right grade of maturation, in the same way our farm has budded and flourished year after year in the last 30 years. Our grandfathers, our fathers, the women of our family have given body and soul to the care of our land and its fruits. Their hard-working hands and their devotion have permitted us to grow up loving our sun and our red land, learning that is important to improve ourselves and the surrounding landscape. To produce as we do, let us say it, it is necessary to be a little bit agriculturist, a
little bit artisan and a little bit artist. Every time we create a new product, we stop to imagine which sensation we want to offer to our clients, which surprise we want to give them and, which is the best taste to use in order to leave a long memory of our wonderful place. Our farm is always opened to the public. With us people can discover and learn the art of cultivation, of the picking and the conservation of the vegetables. Touristic destination and meeting-place, â€œiContadiniâ€? is not only a brand but a way to choose a daily quality.