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Adding to our heritage in Malta’s cheese culture
30/05/2019
A dding to our heritage in Malta’s cheese culture   After the successful launch of the “ Gobon Tan- N ar ® ” range of Maltese cheeses last October, FarmFresh Ltd., a company owned by the distinguished Magro Brothers Group in Gozo, is extending its range to include a new cheese, “ Gobon Malti tal-Milord ”!   The “ Gobon Tan- N ar ® ” range celebrates Malta’s lost heritage in cheese-making culture, which, after years of intense research into melitensia documents, up-to-date technology and best practice standards in dairy production, has been re-introduced into the Maltese market.   F or hundreds of years , up to the turn of the twentieth century , Malta boasted its very own cheese culture. Most towns and villages had their own “ imhazen tan-nar ”, warehouses specialising in cheese produced in large vats over open flames. When herdsmen had excess milk, they took the fresh milk to these warehouses to turn it into cheese, which could be kept for longer periods of time. This cheese , commonly referred to as “ tan-nar ”,   was made from a combination of two or three sources of milk, depending on the composition of the herd of the farmer concerned. The technique to make the cheese was a delicate process , with each master craftsman having his own secret recipe and craft technique.   This created a very competitive market among the craftsmen and herdsmen – all contesting for the best tasting cheese on the island!   In those days the heat process used was in no way an easy task to perform, considering   that households did not have electricity or gas supply and cooking was still carried out over stone stoves fired with wood, or coal in the case of wealthier families. Either way, fueling a large open flame was a laborious task!   This wide-scale cheese production process came to a sudden halt in the early thirties of the last century   when Malta was still u nder British rule . I n a bid to curb the spread of undulant fever “ deni rqiq ” , all trade dealing with fresh milk suddenly became illegal and t his brought about the immediate closure of all cheese warehouses , wip ing out most of the cheese making culture that had developed so profusely over the previous centuries .   With the introduction of the “ Gobon Tan-Nar ®” brand, Farm Fresh reignite d the passion for local cheese making and pick ed up where our ancestors left off. The original range introduced on the market consists of 4 traditionally-inspired flavours; plain, peppered, cumin and fennel and are crafted using primarily cow`s pasteurised milk mixed with goat`s milk.   The latest addition to the range is the “ Gobon Malti tal-Milord ”, a semi-hard artisan cheese made primarily from sheep`s milk, to give a distinctive rich creamy taste, mixed with goat`s milk, to add a rustic aftertaste. “ Tal-Milord ” a corrupted Maltese word meaning “ My Lord ” was a title conferred upon noble English gentlemen by their willing staff, and has since become a common Maltese word and family nickname.This cheese is aged for a minimum of 16 weeks. During the 19th century, this delicacy   was highly sought after by the English gentry of the time, hence the name.   All the cheese crafted under the “Tan-Nar®” range follow the same traditional recipes and methods whilst using modern technology to guarantee food safety to the end consumer. The new “Gobon Malti tal-Milord”   will be available on supermarket shelves in the coming weeks.   The new “Gobon Malti tal-Milord” was launched on the 30th May 2019 at Ta’ Frenc restaurant in Gozo, where distinguished guests, food lovers and historians were treated to a cheese tasting and wine pairing event.   During the launch, Mr. John Magro, Chairman of Magro Brothers Group of Companies, addressed the event, proudly presenting his years of research in Malta’s lost cheese heritage. He recounted how he managed to revive this forgotten culture through the “Gobon tan-Nar” range of cheeses. Chef Mario Schembri, of Ta’ Frenc Restaurant with over 35’ years experience in the field, also acclaimed the new cheeses both in taste and versatility!   A selected number of restaurateurs were invited to come forward and together work towards further promoting Malta’s cheese heritage - “In Malta we have enough cheese varieties to create our very own Maltese cheese platters, and we are more than willing to invite restaurateurs and chefs to work together to promote this as much as possible!” claimed Mr Magro.   Guests were exposed to various ways of using the “Gobon tan-Nar” cheese, through live cooking demonstrations and recipes created by Chef Mario. A selection of dishes were prepared by the chef, using the tan-Nar Cheese as one of the main ingredients. Later on, all guests present had the opportunity to savour these creations themselves.   Sole distributors for “Gobon tan-Nar” range of cheeses are M&Z (Marketing) Limited, and the new “Gobon Malti tal-Milord” will be available on supermarket shelves in the coming weeks. 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Celebrating 85 years of an iconic Maltese brand - Three Hills Brand
03/01/2019
The year, 2019, marks the 85th anniversary of Three Hills Brand Kunserva! This much-loved Maltese delicacy started way back in 1934, in Gozo, and till today it is still being produced according to the same original Gozitan recipe. The story all started by a humble businessman from Xewkija, Ganni Magro, who began his career as a general provision merchant in 1916. In the twenties, Gianni’s three male sons, who by then had joined the firm with their father to form Magro Brothers, ventured into yet another field that would eventually become the firm’s main business activity to present times; they started to contract and purchase tomatoes from Gozitan farmers. This pulpy fruit was already used in the local kitchen during the summer months when the crop was at its best, but it was not cultivated commercially. By 1934, the three Magro brothers had completely taken over the business from their father and established themselves as leading general merchants and food distributors in Gozo. The Magro Brothers decided to start processing tomatoes to produce Kunserva, tomato-paste – a totally new venture for their firm. In 1934, the first Kunserva production was canned in containers with a capacity of five and a half pounds (5 pounds 8 ounces), equivalent to around 3 kgs. Grocers would then sell the Kunserva by weight and roll it in a grease-proof paper. The Three Hills Brand was an immediate success and it was destined to become, in a few years’ time, a household name in Gozo, in Malta, and even abroad. The ingredients used are all natural and its exceptional taste comes from the Maltese summer grown juicy tomatoes and the well-guarded, secret recipe and formulation created by the Magro family. Kunserva is used widely in the Maltese kitchen. Nothing tastes as delicious as hard-crust Maltese bread spread with Kunserva, or ravjul biz-zalza (ricotta-filled ravioli with a Kunserva and garlic sauce), not to mention the traditional culinary dishes such as stuffat tal-fenek, laham jew qarnit (rabbit, meat or octopus stews), soppa ta’ l-armla (widow‘s soup), imqarrun- il forn (baked macaroni) and most pasta sauces! The addition of Kunserva to our dishes simply gives the dishes the signature of Maltese flavours! Today, the traditional Kunserva is available in 200g and 400g metal cans as well as for the catering sector. Kunserva is produced as well in glass jars and convenient squeezy tubes. Today’s lifestyle demands a more health-conscious diet. In response Three Hills Kunserva can be enjoyed with no added salt and with 30% Less Sugar added. For the adventurous ones, one can also try Kunserva with added tastes including mint and onion, basil and garlic or the pungent version; the Kunserva Pikkanti. From 1934 till today, 85 years on, Three Hills Brand Kunserva is still very much “Fil-Qalb tal-Maltin” and will continue to be one of Malta’s staple kitchen ingredient!    
The Annual Christmas Staff Party 2018
18/12/2018
 This year's annual Magro Christmas gathering was held on Saturday 15th December at Hotel Ta' Cenc in Sannat. All Magro Group employees celebrated this festive season together with good food, company and nice atmosphere.                      
Launching of Tan-Nar Brand
31/10/2018
“Tan-Nar” is a new local cheese brand which has just been introduced to the market by Farm Fresh Ltd, a Magro Brothers company. The launching activity took place at 'Tal-Massar' Winery, a craft wine maker on the outskirts of the village of Gharb in Gozo. Chairman of Magro Brothers' Group, Mr John Magro gave a presentation outlining the four flavours of 'Tan-Nar Cheese' which will be available in local shops in the coming weeks. Also, present for the activity was distinguished chef Shaun Smith Roberts, who is currently head chef at Ta’ Frenc Restaurant. He hosted a tasting session where he paired some of the wines from the local estate with the four different kinds of Tan-Nar cheese whilst describing the characteristics of each individual cheese and how they complement the full-bodied textures of the wines that were present. Attending the activity were representatives from M&Z Marketing - the distributors for the product.   Tan-Nar cheese, is a semi-hard artisan Maltese cheese boasting centuries of cheese-making heritage and skill. It matures at a slower rate than the Maltese Gbejna or Gibniet and its characteristic taste peaks after aging for sixteen weeks and remains relatively stable for considerable time.   Using time-tested methodologies acquired from the recipe books of our forefathers combined with the latest technology and best-practice standards in dairy production, Farm Fresh Ltd aims to re-introduce this once greatly-loved cheese back into the Maltese market.   Tan-Nar is a cheese that is based on a production process that existed commonly throughout the Maltese islands for hundreds of years up till the turn of the twentieth century. Many towns used to have their very own “Mahzen tan-nar”, which would specialize in crafted cheese production through heat processes. In those days, households did not have electricity or gas supply and cooking was carried out over stone stoves filled with wood, or coal in the case of wealthier families. Either way, fueling a largescale open flame was a laborious task! When herdsmen had excess milk, they took the fresh milk to these warehouses to turn it into cheese, which could be kept for longer periods of time. Tan-Nar cheese was made from a combination of two or three sources of milk, depending on the composition of the flock. The technique to make the cheese was a delicate process with each Mahzen’s master craftsman having their own secret recipe and craft technique. This created a very competitive market among the craftsmen and herdsmen – all contesting for the best tasting cheese on the island! Under British rule, all trade dealing with fresh milk became illegal in a bid to curb the spread of undulant fever “deni rqiq”. This brought about the immediate closure of all cheese warehouses and quickly wiped out most of the cheese making culture that had developed so profusely over the years. With the introduction of Tan-Nar brand, Farm Fresh intends to reignite the passion for local cheese making and pick up where our ancestors left off. They still follow the same traditional recipes and craft methods whilst using modern technology to guarantee food safety to the end consumer. The current lineup consists of 4 traditionally-inspired flavours; plain, peppered, cumin and fennel. The product will be hitting supermarket shelves in the coming weeks. For more info please follow Tan-Nar Brand on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GobonTanNar                
Magro Brothers at SIAL, Paris
22/10/2018
Magro Brothers are currently participating in bi-annual international food fair in Paris. It is a place where one can discover products from all over the world, the latest culinary trends. For this year's marked dates 21–25 October 2018, SIAL Paris will be the largest international marketplace for food service professionals seeking inspiration. Magro Brother's stand is Hall 5B J074.                                  
MEP Roberta Metsola Visits the Magro Food Village
19/10/2018
It was our pleasure welcoming Member of Parliament Dr Robera Metsola at the Magro Food Village in Xewkija. Dr Metsola was shown around the premises including Savina Creations, Farm Fresh and Magro premises.          
MEP Dr Miriam Dalli Visits the Magro Food Village
18/09/2018
Member of Parlament Dr. Miriam Dalli paid an official visit at The Magro Food Village in Xewkija, Gozo. Mr Christian Magro welcomed Dr Dalli and showed her around the various factories and workshops. Dr Dalli met a number of employees from the various divisions of the company.          
End of Tomato Season BBQ
06/09/2018
The Directors of Magro Brothers closed this year's season 2018 with a grand BBQ offered to all the staff and their families from Malta and Gozo. The event took place at the Magro premises on Saturday 1st September and started with a mass. The mass was followed by the opening of various entertainment activities which included a bouncing castle, a children's water slide and many more. All guests, over 300, were entertained to music, lavish food buffet and drinks. The social gathering ended with a grand raffle for all those present.              
Welcome baby Lucia
27/08/2018
The Magro family is happy to announce the arrival of baby Lucia! Joanna gave birth to Lucia on Friday 24th August 2018. Both mother and baby are in good health. CONGRATULATIONS to the Mercieca and the Magro Family!    Toni and Joanna - the new parents
Introducing Pintos Pride Indian Cooking Sauces
20/07/2018
Do you crave the taste of the orient?   Pinto’s Pride Brand is introducing a new range of Indian ready-made cooking sauces. Freshly made, convenient, and super easy to prepare! Simply stir fry some pieces of chicken or meat and add the vegetables of your choice in a little oil for three minutes. Add a jar of Pinto's Indian sauce of your choice and simmer until chicken or meat is cooked through. Simply serve with basmati rice. Three different flavors to choose from including Tikka Masala, Korma and Curry Sauce. Outstanding cuisine, ready in minutes!      
Pinto Italian Cooking Sauces Launch
20/07/2018
Do you fancy a classic Italian pasta dish?   Pinto’s Pride Brand is introducing a new range of Italian ready-made cooking sauces. Freshly made, convenient, and super easy to prepare! Simply warm contents of jar over a low flame, stirring occasionally, until hot. Pour over freshly cooked pasta. Pinto's pride range of Italian sauces are ideal to be served with penne or fusilli. Three different flavors to choose from including Basil & Garlic, Spicy Arrabiata and Napoletana (onion & carrot). Outstanding cuisine, ready in minutes!    
Hanini Fresh Cheeselets now with EXTRA CALCIUM
19/07/2018
Hanini Fresh Cheeselets are now available in the local market with ADDED CALCIUM!   Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is essential to build and maintain strong bones and teeth both for adults and especially children. Each of these special Hanini cheeselets contain more than 250mg of calcium, equivalent to 30% of the daily recommended intake. The recommended daily allowance for calcium is 800mg. Fortunately, the addition of calcium enriches the great taste and firmness of the traditional Gozitan cheeselets.   Conveniently packed in packs of 2 cheeselets, these new cheeselets can be easily spotted from their brown colored sleeve.   Hanini Gibniet are produced from pasteurized milk and are gluten free! Enjoy a Gibna with your salad today!   Hanini Fresh Cheeselets with Added Calcium Pack    
Tomato Season 2018
04/07/2018
The heat is on and as the tomatoes grow plump and juicy, the machinery and factory at Magro Brothers is busy awaiting the first truckloads of tomatoes to arrive! It is an exciting time - over a hundred and fifty employees are involved in one way or another to commence the harvesting season. Paperwork, maintenance on various, glimmering, stainless steel machinery is in check, trucks and tents are set up to welcome and weigh the red fruits and visits to local farmers ensures that the plants meet the strict quality control adhered to by the company. The factory will now be operating around the clock with rivers of tomatoes making their way to their appropriate cans - some will be chopped into pulp chunks, others made into juice and sauces and yet others will be used in the production of Malta's favorite brand - Three Hills Kunserva! Magro Brothers invite you to join them during this special time. Factory tours are available, whereby qualified tour guides will give demonstrations of the entire tomato process - a tour which will be enjoyed by young and old alike. Booking in advance is highly recommended. To book your tour please contact us on Freephone 8007 5533 or email us on visits@magro.com.mt                  
Lactose Free Cheeselets - (Gibniet)
04/07/2018
Farm Fresh Limited proudly introduces Hanini's Fresh Cheeselets Lactose Free.   Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk. Some people and is difficult to digest lactose. To produce Hanini’s Lactose Free* Gibniet, an enzyme is added to the milk during the production process that breaks Lactose into other simpler sugars which can be digested by lactose intolerant people. Fortunately this process does not effect the great taste of the traditional Gozitan cheeselets.   Hanini's Gibniet (singular Gibna) are conveniently packed in packs of two cheeselets. Enjoy!    
Preparations for the tomato season
22/05/2018
Our dedicated farmers are very busy taking care of their fields and tomato plants. The photos below show the preparation of the open fields and the gradual scenario from sowing to planting. All in preparation for the tomato processing during July and August.        Plants ready for transplanting   Field preparation    Field preparation    Growing plants     Growing plants     Growing plants     Growing plants