It’s all about the Flavours
Prickly Pear is G3 Group’s latest dining concept where we seek to delight you with an extraordinary flavourful adventure. Named after the local prickly pear fruit with a tough exterior and a soft interior, this dominant fruit on the Maltese Islands surprises one’s palate, as underneath the prickly fruit skin, lies a fruit intense in flavours.
Our creative chefs follow a seasonal menu created with the intention to tantalize the health conscious and equally those who like us, prefer to let go. Dishes include some typical local and Mediterranean dishes, along with our signature ‘House-Favourites’. All of our offerings can be paired with a selection of local craft beer, wine or cocktails, all while enjoying a great ambience decorated with traditional Maltese tile prints and interiors.
Discover the Prickly Pear
Locally referred to as ‘Bajtar tax-xewk’, the resilient Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) is often found majestically dominating various areas and fields all across the Maltese Islands. A proud member of the Cactus species, the Prickly Pears grow with large flat playclades, which in the height of summer produce a fruit at the end of their tip. The succulent fruit comes in various different colours and is best consumed when it is well ripened.
Originally used for medicinal purposes, nowadays the Prickly Pear is also used for various other delights, such as ice-creams, sorbets and liqueurs.
Mellieha is a rural village and tourist resort in the North-western part of Malta and derives its name from the Semitic root m-l-h which in Arabic means salt. The name was probably derived from the ancient Punic and Roman salt-terns which historians indicated as lying adjacent to the large sandy bay at the foot of the village.
Mellieha has been inhabited since early Neolithic times (3000 B.C). Several megalithic remains and tombs of this era, and other primitive tools and fragments of pottery were found in various localities around this area, primarily at il-Latnija – a natural cavity used by several stone-age peoples – and at l-Gholja tax-Xemxija.
During the Roman and Byzantine occupations (213 BC–870 AD), Mellieha’s valleys were inhabited by troglodytes, who irrigated the land, adopted natural caves as their dwelling places and buried their beloved ones in Punic style burial chambers. Following the Arab conquest and during the medieval period (870–530 AD), the area was deserted, primarily due to the continuous raids of corsairs.
Notwithstanding the hardship experienced by the Maltese during the Reign of the Order of St. John (1530-1798 AD), Mellieha’s medieval chapel, dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary, was one of the most venerated places on the island. Several distinguished persons, such as grandmasters, kings and bishops visited the shrine and pilgrimages to the sanctuary from all over the island were held frequently.
In the late 17th century, the Knights built several fortifications along the coast to protect the inhabitants. This venture brought about the gradual repopulating of the area, mainly by those who wanted to exploit the fertile valleys and the new enterprise of tunny net fishing. Under the British, in 1844, Mellieha was established again as a parish and since then it grew up into a modern town of circa 6,500 people.
Today, Mellieha is one of Malta’s most picturesque tourist destinations. The town centre boasts of its splendid hotels, fine restaurants and traditional shops. It has a unique primary school, a majestic baroque church (built in late 19th century) and various cultural organizations, including band clubs, sports clubs, an orchestra, various religious societies, a parish community centre and an environmental pressure group. Since 1993, local affairs are being run by the Mellieha Local Council, an institution made up of seven councillors, elected every three years by the people.
Mellieha’s main festive season occurs in the first two weeks of September and reaches its climax on the 8th September. During these days various cultural manifestations are held, such as musical concerts, fireworks, folk singing, art exhibitions and the traditional religious procession. The town’s people, known as Mellehin, are renowned for their laborious nature, their ironic sense of humour, and their friendliness and hospitality. Those who visit us, no matter where they hail from, do not merely enjoy themselves but feel at home.
Text by David Muscat via www.mellieha.com.
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