Malta is one of the few remaining countries in Europe where tomatoes are handpicked, as opposed to mechanically harvested. This allows the farmer to make a better selection and inspect every tomato individually.
The journey of the tomato starts in February when farmers plant the tomato seeds which are of the highest quality, free from genetically modified organisms. The young seedlings are then re-planted in the open fields around Malta and Gozo.read more..
Given the proper weather conditions and the farmer’s dedication, it can take between 90 to 120 days for the plants to start producing mature, good quality tomatoes, with the harvest starting towards the beginning of July and ending in September.The picked tomatoes are processed within 24 hours into the delicious kunserva, tomato pulp or canned tomatoes.
Kunserva is used widely in the Maltese kitchen. Nothing tastes as delicious as hard-crust Maltese bread spread with Kunserva, or ravjul biz-zalza (ricotta-filled ravioli with a Kunserva and garlic sauce), not to mention the traditional culinary dishes such as stuffat tal-fenek, laham jew qarnit (rabbit, meat or octopus stews), soppa ta’ l-armla (widow’s soup), imqarrun- il forn (baked macaroni) and most pasta sauces! The addition of Kunserva to our dishes simply gives the dishes the signature of Maltese flavours!