Malta has a rich history documented in museums, literature and archaeological artefacts scattered throughout the island.
But a lot can be learned about our heritage and culture from the food we eat.
Taste History explores Malta’s rich past through the exploration of food and its latest episode tells a lot through the story of ice cream and sorbet.
Episode two of the picturesque show explores how ice was brought to Malta centuries ago and the ingredients that made a particularly refreshing and delectable bitter orange sorbet.
In addition to highlighting the logistical genius of the Maltese in obtaining ice from Mount Etna using a boat called the tartana della neve, the show highlights just how elaborate and far-reaching the island’s trade network was.
With sugar being imported as far as the Caribbean, a sorbet was most definitely a luxury to enjoy during the times and according to the show, was eaten by Grand Master Pinto as he watched the fleet leave the Grand Harbour.
However, ice wasn’t used for sorbet and dessert alone but was a commodity with various uses, including keeping wine cool.
While 18th-century Malta would be considered a much more primitive time, it’s evident that we still maintain a lot of the habits and traditions up to this day.
Who knew you could learn so much from ice?