The Republic of Malta is a small and densely-populated island comprising an archipelago of the main islands Malta, Gozo, Comino and the two uninhabited islands of Kemmunet and Filfla. Maltese Islands are located 93 kilometres south of Sicily and 288 kilometres north of Tunisia with a total area of 316 square kilometres. Malta is the largest island in the archipelago and it is the cultural, commercial and administrative centre. According to the latest estimate, the total population of Maltese island is 401,880 (July 2007). Malta embraces various ancient cultures: the Sicilians, Romans, Phoenicians, Byzantines… Malta is commonly associated with the Knights of St. John.


The traditional Maltese food includes bread, pastry, pasta, gbejna and various types of soups. In the past, every family would make their own gbejna cheese but nowadays, there are only a few traditional cheese-makers left. Some of these cheese-makers run their own restaurants and sell these ġbejniet there. In the past it was believed that ġbejniet were supposed to be made from milk produced by sheep born in autumn not summer. These cheeselets are made by adding rennet to unpasteurised sheep milk and left to harden. Then they are transferred in qwiebel (plastic containers) and left to harden even more. In order to get the hard ġbejniet, the cheese is left in the sun for an additional 3 days.


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