Have you ever thought you were eating something truly and 100% Maltese when in actual fact the only thing Maltese about it is was its name?
You very well might have. Some food items, including the beloved Maltese sausage, are branded as ‘Maltese’ to catch your eye at the supermarket but would actually be made with ingredients that are not in fact Maltese.
When you buy local, you also help out local industries, who after all need every little bit of help they can get as they struggle to compete against global giants.
Enter Lokali Foods. Set up this year by people passionate about true Maltese produce, Lokali is an online store dedicated solely to preserved Maltese produce.
From sausages and salad to teas and olives, they have an extremely wide range of products, but here are just some of the highlights.
1. They have raw goat’s milk.
When was the last time you had raw goat’s milk? Did you know you could still buy fresh goat’s milk in Malta? Well, you can, and you can buy it through Lokali Foods.
2. They have three types of local cheese.
Lokali Foods offer not one, not two, but three different kinds of proper Maltese cheese: tal-Fuklar, tal-Marzalok, and Sarracino peppered cheese. These sheep cheeses are tough to find anywhere else and will surprise your guests if you place them on a local cheese board.
3. Their bagged salads have zero artificial preservatives.
The reason many bagged salads can remain in your fridge without going bad for several days is that they’re given a touch of artificial preservatives before they’re sealed.
Lokali Foods have gone down a different route though – their bagged salads come fresh from the farm, de-leafed, bagged and sold. That’s it. Of course it means you have to eat it faster but who’s complaining?
4. They have products made of pure Maltese beef.
As the world changed around us and Malta got more and more urbanised, pure Maltese beef has become harder and harder to find.
Yet Lokali Foods isn’t letting the challenge stop them and is selling bragioli, hamburgers and meatballs which are completely local.
5. They stock beer made out of Maltese barley, as well as Maltese herbal teas.
We’ve all heard of malted barley, but have you ever heard of Maltese barley, let alone beer made out of Maltese barley?
Launched last year, Oh My Grandma is the only local beer made from local barley, and as such has earned itself a spot on Local Foods’ store.
They also offer a range of fully local herbal teas, with an instant eye-catcher being the ‘Inner Balance’ infusion made with local carob, sage, orange and cinnamon – a combination that is supposed to balance your blood sugar levels.
When Lokali Foods say their products are local, they mean it. They know the farmers, fishermen and artisans who produce them and verify all ingredients before selling them to ensure they came from local workers.
Everything is produced in small quantities and once an item is sold out, it is immediately listed as being out of stock. Lokali Foods have pledged to never replace local products with imported ingredients, even if the product is a best seller.
They have also made it a point to only sell Maltese items that are harder to find – for example, they don’t sell cow milk products, kunserva or wine, as they’re easily accessible elsewhere.
Lokali Foods deliver to your door twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays), with free delivery for orders over €20. Alternatively, you can pick up the food yourself on Monday and Friday afternoons.
WIN: And one lucky person will be able to try out their wares for free because Lokali Foods are giving away a hamper with an assortment of preserves and cheeses.
All you need to do is tag a friend in the comment section below this article on Facebook and you will be in with a chance to win.
You might try out many platters over the summer but not many will be fully Maltese, despite what the menu might say. With Lokali Foods, you can now get the real deal.
Photos: Lokali Foods, Cover photo inset: Ministry for Gozo