Food & drink
Malta's iconic kunserva has just turned 85 years old
Tat-Three Hills!

Jillian Mallia

Malta's own Three Hills Brand has been making the beloved and iconic Maltese kunserva for 85 years! The scrumptious delicacy (essentially a tomato paste) was first produced in 1934 in Gozo, and to this day, still uses the original Gozitan recipe.

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The story

Gianni Magro and his three sons formed Magro Brothers in the 1920s and ventured into purchasing tomatoes from Gozitan farmers – a popular fruit in the kitchen. By 1934, the brothers became leading merchants and food distributors on Malta’s sister isle. They began processing tomatoes to produce the delicious kunserva, which was at the time sold by grocers in grease-proof paper.

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The Three Hills Brand soon became a resounding success in Gozo, Malta and abroad too! The stuff’s just that good. Kunserva uses all-natural ingredients and its exceptional taste comes from Maltese summer-grown juicy tomatoes (and the top-secret recipe formulated by the Magro family!)

Fancy giving it a try? Here are 5 delicious local dishes using kunserva

1. Ħobża bil-kunserva

This is possibly the most popular snack on the Maltese Islands. Crunchy Maltese bread spread with kunserva is just the stuff of dreams. Kick it up a notch and prepare a full-blown Maltese ħobż biż-żejt with Three Hills’ kunserva. You’ll be licking your lips!

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2. Ravjul biz-zalza

If you’ve never tried ricotta-filled ravioli drowned in sauce made with kunserva, you’re missing out. It’s a plain and easy dish to make that's just bursting with flavour!

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3. Stuffat tal-fenek

A must-try traditional Maltese dish is rabbit stew. The kunserva creates a delicious red sauce that totally compliments the rabbit (or any other meat for that matter). Maltese nannas definitely know what they’re doing!

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4. Soppa tal-armla

Why this dish is named ‘widow’s soup’ has always been a mystery to me, but it’s such a winter warmer! Full of goodness and easy to make, this veggie-based soup using kunserva to add flavour won’t disappoint.

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5. Timpana

Haven’t tried this one? Well, what are you waiting for?! This baked pasta dish will have your taste buds tickling and your mouth watering! The pasta mix made with veggies, meat, kunserva and a whole lotta cheese (ovja!) is baked with crunchy pastry all around. Trying to watch that figure? The same pasta dish can be baked sans-pastry, which locals call imqarrun il-forn (oven-baked pasta). Either way, it's absolutely divine!

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Is it lunchtime yet?


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

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