Unique Maltese Souvenirs Worth Exploring!
- Feb 23, 2019
A memento that is part of the history of Malta would just make a perfect souvenir!
If your soul has been captivated by the breath-taking beauty of the Maltese islands then you would want to a take a piece of it back home with you! Here are some typical Maltese gifts that you can find across the archipelagos.
Handmade lace is a unique craft that was introduced in the mid 1880’s by Lady Hamilton Chichester. Lace went on to become an important source of income for Maltese families. However, now it is very much a labour of love, and is sadly one of Malta’s dying traditions. Intricate designs are made with a series of knots in several cotton threads using pins and wooden ‘combini’. Look out for lace made from distinctive creamy honey-coloured Spanish silk and the eight-pointed Maltese cross which is worked into the most delicate design!
Silver or Gold Filigree
Filigree is the fine art of creating intricate jewellery designs and decorative items out of crafting thin strands of precious metals such as silver or gold. Filigree making is an age-old tradition in Malta since Phoenician times and has been passed from father to son through families for generations. The best examples of filigree work can be found in Valletta or Ta’Qali Crafts Village in Mdina. Whilst you are there try to watch these skilled artisans at work as the creative process is truly mesmerising.
If you are willing to wait a few months to get your not so little piece of Malta, then it could be a custom-made, handcrafted, hand painted and gilded masterpiece clock. Original Maltese clocks are now priceless collectors’ items and extremely rare, but reproductions are made to order using the very same techniques that have been handed down through time since the 17th century. Rabat and Valletta are specialist centres to visit if this timeless tradition is on your wish list.
The skill of mouth-blown and handmade glass has been present on the island since Phoenician times.
Yet the industry only really took off on the island after 1968, when Englishman Michael Harris, set up the famous Mdina Glass. The company made its name producing free-formed organic glassware in colours that were inspired by the beautiful surrounding sea, sand, earth and sky. Still all mouth-blown and handmade today, Maltese glassware remains very popular and is produced in the same Mediterranean inspired colours. Ta’Qali Crafts Village in Mdina and Ta’ Dbiegi Craft Village in Gozo, are the best places to head for the finest selection of glassware.
The Maltese islands were famous in the ancient world for their very special blend of spicy honey. Honey is what gave Malta its ancient name ‘Melite’ from the Greeks. Maltese honey is very distinct with aromas of carob, thyme and citrus. This is attributed to the vast array of wild flowers in Malta. Maltese honey is a blend of seasonal flora and is not just down to one crop. Ironically however the Maltese delicacy honey rings, Qaghaq Ta’ L-Ghasel, which date back to the 15th Century, have no honey in them at all!
Maltese Almond Sweets & ‘Twistees’
If you are a fan of almonds, then you are going to love Malta’s traditional sweets as they are nearly all made with almonds. From Pastini, to Krustini, to Biskuttini and Figolli, they are all delicious and because they are baked and not creamy, they are very easy to take home with you. The divine halwa, helwa tat-tork, comes in a very handy and packable tub too. If, however you don’t have a sweet tooth then Twistees, Malta’s iconic branded snack produced from the original factory in Marsa, established over 40 years ago, will be for you. All these years went by and ‘Twistees’ is still the most popular snack food in Malta! The original cheesy ‘Twistees’ are still a firm favourite due to its unique taste, as well as being the first baked snack rather not fried.
So, whatever your taste or budget, you will most definitely have plenty of souvenirs to choose from to fill your suitcase, and to remind you of your magical time in Malta.