Maltese sweets like carob caramels and Maltese nougat are expected to form part of a newly set up National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, with National Heritage Minister Josè Herrera inviting producers and sellers to reach out to ensure the long-standing traditions are not lost to time.
Minister Herrera was replying to a parliamentary question posed by Opposition MP Godfrey Farrugia, who expressed concern that the restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus had left a deep impact on the sector, with the products disappearing from the local market.
Pointing out that the number of producers is very small, Dr Farrugia therefore asked the Minister what is being done to ensure that the traditions tied to the production of Maltese nougat (qubbajt) and other traditional sweets are kept alive.
In his reply, Minister Herrera said the Ministry is working on a National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, with a promotional campaign to be launched in July.
The campaign will be inviting people to come forward to increase awareness of Malta’s intangible heritage and safeguard it.
“I take this opportunity to encourage producers and sellers to make contact with the Directorate of Culture so that the production of Maltese nougat is included in the National Inventory,” he said.
Mosta patisserie Choc Au Lait manager Aiken Zerafa, in comments made to this website, said that he does not feel that demand for the beloved sweets, which the confectionery both produces and sells, has gone down over the last year and a half.
“It remains a highly sought after product,” he said, “and the sweets fly off the shelves whenever we stock them.”
Asked whether this could indicate a shift in supply from the customary roadside kiosks plying the village festa circuit, Mr Zerafa said this could very well be the case.
“Whether its carob caramels, qagħaq tal-għasel, qagħaq tal-ħmira, krustini, sfineġ – all the seasonal Maltese foods related to particular feasts or events remain very popular,” he said.
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