Maltese food owes much to the many cultures of the peoples who have occupied or traded with the island over the centuries. Like Italian food it often uses pasta, and like Moorish food it relies on spicy sauces, but it has a quality of its own which has evolved from the special circumstances of the island. Many vegetables can be grown all year round while fish tends to be seasonal. The shortage of firewood for ovens in the past meant that food was cooked slowly in earthenware pots or taken to the village baker to be roasted. Despite the advent of modern stoves these styles of cooking are still preferred and they too influence the taste of the food.
Traditional soups are often based on fish with onions, tomatoes and marjoram.
Traditional meat dishes which should be tried include rabbit, cooked in wine and garlic, and bragioli.