Maltese cuisine is influenced by Mediterranean, Sicilian and North African flavours reflecting its history over the centuries. It is believed that the name of Malta was derived from mel which means honey, which was always produced in Malta. Malta is home to the Maltese honey bee which is a sub-species of the Western honey bee.
The food in Malta has been largely influenced from the Italian cuisine. Most restaurants in the busier towns such as Sliema and St.Julians cater mostly for british tourists so one will need to go a little out of the way to find 'real' Maltese food. One of the island's specialities is rabbit, and small savoury pastries known as pastizzi which can be found in either peas or cheese and are very cheap and tasty. Other Maltese favourites are the fish, the Maltese sausage, Maltese bread and gozo goat's cheeselets. In february, strawberries start hitting the Maltese shelves and are really delicious!
A typical soft drink that originated in Malta is Kinnie, a non-alcoholic fizzy drink made from bitter oranges and slightly reminiscent of Martini. The most famous local beer is called Cisk. It has a uniquely sweeter taste than most European lagers and is well worth trying.
Food products that Malta excels in and are suited to the Maltese climate are mainly the citrus, carob, figs onions, potatoes and capers. The Maltese bambinella pears (tiny peas) are very popular as well and infact is exported to the UK for Marks & Spencer’s.