The Mediterranean diet, also called Cretan diet, is a traditional food practice in several countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
Characterized by the abundant consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, herbs and olive oil, moderate consumption of dairy products of varied origin (goat and sheep mainly and derived from the cow to a lesser extent), eggs and wine, limited consumption of fish and low consumption of meat.
Historically, Maltese cooking is an island cuisine made with local products. However, trade or imports have always made it possible to diversify its components. It is also a typical Mediterranean cuisine.
The island character is evident in the use of fish and fresh and seasonal produce. The Mediterranean character is reflected in the influence of Italian cuisine, especially Sicilian but also Arabic, among others Tunisian. The long British occupation also made its mark.
Although it is not possible to talk about gastronomy in the sense of «great cuisine», Maltese cuisine can boast original or typical compositions such as pastizzi (ricotta fonds) or figolli (Easter cake), cooking of fenek (formerly wild rabbit), lampuki (Coryphenous Dorade), pieces of beef in the baker’s kiln occasionally converted into a community kiln, and the use of local resources such as the ġbejniet (goat’s cheeses), the qargħa bagħli (small round zucchini), gabirjola (wild capers), olives and honey.