Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Religious food consumption in the sacred island of Malta
Other Titles: Food and the pilgrim : nourishment for pilgrims and faith-based tourists
Authors: Buttigieg, Noel
Munro, Dane
Keywords: Pilgrims and pilgrimages -- Malta
Food -- Religious aspects
Food tourism
Tourism -- Religious aspects
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Peter Lang GmbH
Citation: Buttigieg, N. & Munro, D. (2023). Religious food consumption in the sacred island of Malta. In D. Munro, N. Buttigieg & D. H. Olsen (Eds.), Food and the Pilgrim: Nourishment for Pilgrims and Faith-Based Tourists (pp. 129-148). Oxford: Peter Lang.
Abstract: Malta is a predominantly Roman Catholic island nation, and its first national identity marker was St Paul, follow by Our Lady. In a society dominated by religion, food also became subject of the liturgy in its most basic form in the Holy Mass, wafers i.e. the Host or the Body of Christ, wine i.e. the Blood of Christ and water. Outside the Holy Mass, food was also regulated and followed the demands embedded in the Scriptures, the liturgical calendar and what was actually available on the very small islands making up the Maltese archipelago, where food, famine and thirst often vied with each other. That strict adherence to food has lost some of its relevance through the influence of shifting societal norms, secularization, the media, tourism and social media. Nonetheless, the Maltese population, perhaps also out of a sense of nostalgia, but certainly for a desire to taste their identity, has not lost interest in those special interest foods, although consumption of it is no longer strictly depending on the liturgical calendar. The importance of food and religion as touristic products representing Malta as a destination is only recent development. In less than two decades, Malta started to reach higher numbers of incoming tourists and consequently there has been a significant drive to market Malta as an exotic destination. This exogenous shock caught many unprepared. In the absence of a concerted effort, and lack of adequate research, the importance of religious food was provided with a ‘front burner’ status. Included in the recently published tourism strategy for the next decade, the Malta Tourism Authority has identified religious tourism and food tourism as two important areas of potential growth. In order to understand the current situation, but also to indicate possible opportunities for the religious food tourist, a series of interviews will be conducted with tourist guides who specifically cater of tourists attracted by Malta religious tourism product. Tourist guides play a crucial role in disseminating knowledge about local foods and provide a context when and why these were traditionally consumed. In the spirit of pilgrimage and faith-based tourism, sampling food made according to original recipes at a sacred spaces where these where habitually consumed, may add great value to consumer satisfaction. Keeping alive food traditions may well be a quality pillar of the tourism product, as it can create a link between food, its producers, local communities and visitors. Religious food, of course, does not have to be consumed on site, it can be taken home as souvenirs as well.
ISBN: 9781800798861
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacEMATou

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Food book article Buttigieg and Munro OARUM.pdf
  Restricted Access
520.46 kBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.