Last week was hail, flood, torrents and thunder; this week is set fair and blue. What a delight to start this early February week with a taste of summer as well – Malta’s strawberries are available now, earlier each year and definitely a delight of winter. In fact, strawberries are quite hard to come by in summer. Far too hot for such delicate tender flesh. But right now, under heart-warming blue skies and gentle sun, they are bountiful, enormous and boy, aren’t they sweet!
Grab some now before the best season for them ends. You can count on them until Easter, but after that they are just not the same. Punnets are punier come summer. Remember, it’s size that matters – I got only three or four strawberries in a plastic container today because the fruit were so large.
Where to buy: Mgarr is the heartland of strawberry farming. Take the road to Mgarr and Zebbiegh from Mosta direction, and you’ll pass a regular stall on the bend before the turn to the village proper. Further up towards Golden Bay, you’ll find roadside stalls on weekends. Elsewhere of course, and supermarkets, but somehow the farmers direct have the best fruit I’ve seen.
Strawberry Fair or Festa Frawli
Mgarr holds an annual strawberry fair on the 2nd or 3rd Sunday in April (will confirm for you nearer the time). Unlike the Spanish tomato fest, they don’t throw them around. Savour strawberries in just about every food and drink possible and enjoy a bit of local talent and an excuse for showcasing agricultural crafts while you do. See our write up here of a past festival for what to expect.
Photo: Courtesy Andrew Galea Debono