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A Taste of Wales

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A Taste of Wales

Welsh food and drink is a secret worth sharing. Welsh food has a long-established reputation for distinctiveness and quality and prides itself on supplying some of the finest produce. Its very landscape reflects freshness and variety. Wales can offer something to meet every customer need. 
 

Traditional Welsh foods include cheeses, crempog, bara brith and cawl - a rich stew made with bacon, scraps of Welsh lamb and vegetables including Wales' emblem, the leek.

 

A great way to find out about food in Wales is to visit local Farmer’s markets, delis and farm shops. At many locations throughout Wales you can meet the farmers and you can buy award-winning local food direct from the experts.

Welsh delicacies 

 
  • Bara Brith

    Once a week, the stove was lit for baking day, as the heat began to fade in the stove, so a handful of currants were added to the last of the bread dough and this speckled bread became a treat. The flavour, however, of this spiced, honey-glazed fruit bread is delicious and it is no wonder that Bara Brith is still produced all over Wales.
  • Cawl

    A broth or soup made of meat and vegetables, including Welsh leeks, served best in a bowl and eaten with slabs of homemade bread and Welsh cheese.  Known as Lobscaws in North Wales.
  • Crempog

    These are Welsh pancakes. They are made not too thin and served hot and buttered. The fillings are whatever cook had handy, or the household liked most. Savory Crempog, hot and fresh, make an excellent starter.
  • Glamorgan Sausages

    These are made mainly from grated cheese mixed with breadcrumbs, herbs and chopped leeks or onions.
  • Laverbread

    Laver, an edible seaweed commonly found on the South West coast of Wales, has to be prepared at great length by washing many times and boiled for up to 5 hours, then drained to form a gelatinous puree. It is mixed with fine oatmeal, formed into small cakes and fried in bacon fat.
     
 
  • Laver Sauce

    This is particulary good with shellfish and lobster. The lava has to be prepared as for Lava Bread, and is then heated and whisked with orange juice, butter and mutton (or lamb) stock or cream.
  • Welsh Cakes

    The Welsh Cake is a traditional Welsh snack, somewhat similar to a scone. The cakes are also known as bakestones within Wales because they are traditionally cooked on a bakestone, a cast iron griddle about 1.5cm or more thick, which is placed on the fire or cooker.
  • Welsh Rarebit

    Welsh Rarebit, Rabbit or "Caws Pobi" gets its name quite literally from the words rare (meaning very lightly cooked) and bit (a small piece or portion). It is an ideal savoury snack.

    Recipies can be found by clicking here.

    Updated June 2017 

 

Welsh produce  

  • Cheese
    Cheese makers in Wales have a reputation for producing a wide range of award winning cheeses. Caws Cenarth, a family run farm, is the oldest established producer of Welsh Farmhouse Caerffili.  As well as other varieties of Caerffili, they also produce the award winning Golden Cenarth cheese. Caws Teifi Cheese were awarded the title of Best Welsh Cheese for a record seventh time in 2017 at the annual British Cheese Awards.  They also picked up the award for Best Semi-Soft Cheese for Saval, a semi-soft, washed rind cheese made with quality milk supplied by Cilcert Farm, Ceredigion. 

  • Chocolate
    Award winning Wickedly Welsh are chocolate makers based in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. They allow visitors to take part in hands-on demonstrations, and make their own tasty treats in the Chocolate Experience Centre. Group bookings can also be taken. Cathryn Cariad produces award winning chocolate including chocolate castles, dragon eggs and dragon hearts. The handmade chocolate is made from a Victorian farmhouse in Snowdonia using local Welsh produce.  Sarah Bunton has won awards for her luxury handmade chocolate. The workshop is based in Devil’s Bridge, Ceredigion and produces a wide range of chocolate including some filled with Welsh honey and Merlyn Liqueur. Visitors can watch the chocolatiers at work through the purpose built window.  Black Mountain Gold make fine artisan chocolates in Abergavenny. They offer Chocolate making and tasting workshops.
  • Honey
    New Quay Honey Farm is the largest honey farm in Wales.  With 500 hives located around the countryside of Ceredigion, the honey has diversity and depth from the country's many wildflowers.  The farm also has a tearoom, an exhibition about the honey bee and hive and a shop with sells many honey related produce.  There is also a Meadery on the farm which produces the oldest alcoholic drink Mead.

  • Meat and Fish
    The award winning Welsh Venison Centre and Beacons Farm Shop is in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. They produce free range high quality venison, beef and lamb which can be found on the menu of many of the area’s top restaurants and hotels including those that hold a Michelin star.  Black Mountain Smokery produce gourmet, award winning smoked foods in their family run smokehouse in Crickhowell.  Their meats and fish are delicately cured and oak smoked.  They also produce delicatessen smoked foods. Smokery tours and tasting can also be booked.  Carmarthen Ham is cured at the family home from a recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation.  The award winning ham has been served at the Queen's official birthday ing the Parisian Embassy, and also at Royal Garden Parties.

  • Organic
    Graig Farm Organics is a family run farm in the beautiful countryside of Montgomeryshire. They offer award-winning organic food including Welsh mutton. Their range covers everything from organic meats, vegetables, fish, and wines and spirits. The family are passionate about organic farming and do not use any synthetic pestacides, growth promoting drugs and additives.  Slade Farm Organics is also a family run farm in St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan.  They produce beef, lamb and pork all of which has been born and raised on the farm.  Groups can experience Welsh farming by pre-arranging a Slade Safari. They also provide VW graded property for groups up to 9 guests.

  • Sea Salt
    Halen Môn Sea Salt comes from salt flakes harvested from the Menai Strait in Anglesey, with a mineral content that makes it unique in appearance, texture and taste. The salt is a certified Protected Food Name.  Tours can be arranged at the award winning Saltcote Visitor Centre where visitors will learn the history and culture of the Sea Salt.


    Updated June 2017

 

  • Whisky

    Penderyn is the only distillery in Wales and one of the smallest distilleries in the world. Here the Welsh Whisky Company produces award winning Penderyn Single Malt Whisky and a range of high quality Welsh Spirits including Merlyn Cream Liqueur, Brecon Vodka and Brecon Gin. Tours can be booked online for groups of up to 20 guests.

  • Spirits
    Celtic Spirit Company near Pontypool is the oldest spirit company in Wales.  High quality Spirits and Liqueurs are produced from old family recipies., including the award winning Black Mountain and Danzy Jones.

  • Welsh Ales
    SA Brain & Co Ltd is Wales' leading drinks and hospitality company as well as being the best known and biggest selling brewed beer in Wales.  It brings together centuries of brewing tradition and even today, all ales are still produced according to time-honoured methods at the company's landmark brewery in the heart of Cardiff.  There are over 200 Brains pubs across South Wales, the West Country and central Cardiff.

  • Breweries

    As well as SA Brain, other award winning breweries include Breconshire Brewery in Brecon, Mid Wales,  Purple Moose Brewery in Porthmadog, North Wales, Felinfoel Brewery in Llanelli, West Wales, Tiny Rebel Brewing in Newport, South Wales and Otley Brewing Company in Pontypridd, South Wales. There are many more breweries across the country, some of them microbreweries. Find out more about the great beers of Wales by clicking here and beer tours here.

  • Soft Drinks and Water
    Lurvill's Delight is a carbonated soft drink made from nettles, dock leaves and juniper berries.  It was invented by twin brothers from Ynyshir, South Wales in the late 19th century.  It stopped production 14 years later due to the lack of dock leaves found in the area.  It is now produced in Cardiff.  Radnor Hills produces not only water but also fruit juice and Premium Presse.  The water is sourced from layers of rock in an under populated area in Mid Wales which gives the water its purity and taste. Ty Nant spring water has continued to win awards since 1989 not only for its pure water but also for its distinctive blue bottle.  Sourced from a small hamlet in West Wales on the edge of the Cambrian Mountains, it has been used in television and Hollywood films. To find out more about Welsh spring water, click here.

  • Welsh Wine

    You can find some excellent Welsh wines around Wales including award winning wines from Parva Farm Vineyard, Glyndwr Vineyard and Sugarloaf Vineyard.  Llanerch Vineyard offers 5-star accommodation, bistro cafe and bar, a cookery school and vineyard tours. Wine in Wales is growing in popularity and reputation and many vineyards open their doors to visitors.  More details can be found can be found here.

 

 

Festivals 

 
  • Welsh Beer and Cider Festivals

    Cambrian Beer Festival A weekend of real ales located at Oswestry station on the Cambrian Heritage Railway - runs in conjuntion with the Food and Drink Festival.

    Gower Cider Festival Weekend is at the Gower Heritage Centre.  A demonstration takes place using an 1890 year old cider press and advice is given on apple juice and cider making. Welsh produce, a Gower roast and barbecue can be eaten.
     

    Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival in Cardiff is a major festival which features over 150 different real ales and more than 40 ciders. 

    Mid Wales Beer Festival takes place in Llanwrtyd Wells, Britain's smallest town.  The 10 day festival starts off with the Real Ale Wobble (on mountain bikes) and culminates with the Real Ale Ramble (on foot).

    Swansea Bay Beer Festival is part of Swansea Bay's Summer Festival.  Over 100 different real ales, a big selection of real cider and perries, with live music and food.

    Welsh Perry and Cider Festival is held in the surroundings of the beautiful Caldicot Castle and Country Park. A weekend of music and entertainment along with many Welsh perrys and ciders.
     

    Updated June 2017

 
 

 

 

 

 

Michelin Starred Restaurants in Wales

 

Wales has 7 Michelin-starred restaurants across Wales. Add one to the list of places to eat when you visit Wales:

 

The Checkers Montgomery Powys

 

James Sommerin, Penarth

 

Sosban and the Old Butchers, Anglesey

 

Tyddyn Llan Denbighshire

 

The Walnut Tree Abergavenny

 

The Whitebrook Monmouthshire

 

Ynyshir Hall Macynlleth, Powys 

 

Updated June 2017 

 

Gourmet Wales

 

Gourmet Wales - the online deli for luxury Welsh food - is determined to champion the unsung heroes of Welsh food production.  The recently launched deli, which is a sister enterprise to Welsh Rarebits, has discovered a host of outstanding producers beavering away throughout Wales. 

 

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