Since the 13th century, Wales has been under British rule. Nevertheless, this country continues to strive to maintain a strong and proud national culture, one of which is its culinary arts. Welsh culinary recipes stem from the history of its people who lived their lives on what the land provided and what was available at the time.
Wales’ natural resources have shaped the country’s culinary history. Wales is now renowned as a producer of artisan food products and markets and has many restaurants that honor Welsh cuisine of the past. For those of you who are curious about Welsh food, here is a list of the names of the food.
- Welsh Cawl
The traditional meat for Welsh people is a goat. Usually, the meat of these animals is consumed after they no longer produce wool or milk. Today Welsh sheep are in great demand all over the world.
The use of traditional farming methods and breeding expertise and extensive natural grazing areas produce meat that is sweet, delicious, and of great color.
This Welsh dish is half soup and half stew. The origin of this dish dates back to the 14th century and is commonly consumed in the southwest of the country. From North Wales, there is a food very similar to the Welsh cawl but less well known, namely lobsgows.
Usually, the choice of meat is neck meat because it is cheaper, then the meat is cut into pieces and cooked over low heat and added with potatoes, swede (a type of root vegetable), green onions, and carrots. However, the materials used may vary depending on what is available at the time.
When meat supplies become scarce, there is another version, namely cawl cennin made with scallions and beef broth. In coastal areas, this stew is often made using seafood. Most importantly, this stew has to be cooked for hours to fully absorb the flavors. To bring out the sweetness and flavor, this stew is cooked the day before so that the meat and vegetables blend.
Once cooked, these foods are thickened with flour or oatmeal. Unlike cawl, and lobsgow, the cuts of meat and vegetables are smaller and the broth doesn’t thicken.
- Wyu Ynys Mon
The name of this Welsh food is quite difficult to pronounce. This traditional dish is a hard-boiled egg placed on top of soft mashed potatoes and topped with a thick and creamy sauce made of butter, scallions, and cheese. Then this dish is sprinkled again with grated cheese after it is baked.
Anglesey eggs, which in Welsh are called wyau Ynys mon, are best made using local ingredients. Among the local ingredients include locally-produced scallions which give the dish a mild sweetness and the Welsh salty butter and Aberwen cheese that make this dish so extraordinary.
The size of this delicious dish is large enough to enjoy on its own. To enjoy Anglesey eggs, it can be served as a side dish with grilled sausage or smoked pork.
- Welsh Cake
When it comes to Welsh food at its best, Welsh cake is at the top when it comes to cooking in Wales. Grandparents have passed down recipes from generation to generation and this dessert has many variations including fillings, such as strawberry jam.
This traditional Welsh cake keeps it simple and consists of combining flour, butter, and eggs. Add the sultanas (dried grapes) and sugar to the mixture, and thin out until they are about 1/4 inch thick. Welsh cakes are always round.
After taking on a cast iron skillet, sprinkle with a generous amount of caster sugar. Usually, Welsh cake is served with coffee, tea, or afternoon tea. This food can also be a dessert after dinner.
- Wales Rarebit
It is said that this dish has been around since the 18th century. However, it is said the age of the recipe is much older. In the beginning, this Welsh food was called ‘Welsh rabbit’ even though this food did not contain rabbit at all.
According to the news, the origin of the recipe is a South Wales Valley staple. There a generous amount of cheese is dipped in the beaten egg and milk mixture, and seasoned with salt and pepper, then baked in the oven until the egg mixture has hardened and the cheese has melted.
Many people call it expensive cheese and toast. Although the main ingredients are melted cheese and bread, the cheese sauce has a variety of condiments, such as mustard, ale, paprika, or Worcestershire sauce. There is something that remains the same about this dish, namely that it is recommended to use the best Welsh cheeses.
From recipes that have been developed over centuries, many other variants have emerged. If this dish is served with a fried egg on top, it becomes a buck rarebit. Mix with the tomatoes and the food becomes a blushing bunny.
- Bara Britho
Sometimes this Welsh specialty is known as speckled bread which is the literal meaning of its name. Bara brith is made from self-raising flour and traditionally flavored with dried fruit, tea, and mixed spices then baked in the oven. Usually served sliced and topped with Welsh butter, of course.
Unfortunately, the traditional bara brith recipe is declining in popularity in Wales. But the rich core flavor of the tea tries to stay alive in other forms, such as ice cream and chocolate. Several modern variations have been made, including a chocolate version and the food was even turned into ice cream.
- Tatws Pum Munud
Tatws pum munud is a traditional Welsh-style stew. The ingredients to make it consist of a combination of potatoes, carrots, bacon, onions, and broth. The sliced vegetables are then laid out in layers in the pan instead of the pot, and other ingredients are added.
The stew is cooked over low heat until the potatoes are tender and then seasoned with salt and pepper after which it is served. The thicker the gravy when the stew is cooked, the better. It is recommended to serve tatws pum munud (five-minute potatoes) along with crusty bread, baked beans, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Glamorgan Sausage
Sausage by definition contains meat. But it is different from the sausage which is a typical Welsh food. Also known as “poor man’s sausage”, this sausage comes from Glamorgan, which is located in the south of the industry. This sausage replaces the meat with cheese and scallions and the casing is replaced with breadcrumbs. So, this dish is more like a vegetarian croquette.
However, this sausage was created and named amid poverty. Initially, this sausage was made with white, easily crushed cheese made from Glamorous cow’s milk. This cow is now so rare that the cheese is no longer made. But it turns out that white, crumbly Caerphilly cheese has a similar taste and texture.
This dish can also be made using the same crumbly Lancashire cheese or even cheddar. The choice of cheese depends on what the maker likes.
- Conwy Muscles
Seafood lovers, don’t miss out on the beautiful beaches of North Wales to the whitewashed stone walls of Conwy. Conwy scallops are popular for their striking coloration, but especially for their rich flesh.
Many restaurants in Conwy and throughout the north serve these delicious scallops. These shells can also be purchased during winter and spring, which is September to April.
Fry the scallops with garlic, onion, parsley, white wine, and double cream for the full and amazing flavor of this North Wales coastline product.
These are thick pancakes like American pancakes. And like American pancakes, the cremfog is often served stacked and sliced. The difference is, that the cremphog contains vinegar.
This Welsh delicacy has been around for centuries and is generally made on a stone grill until it is replaced by a metal gradell (pan).
Crempog forum is a variant that is made by adding yeast, crampog wen is made from fine flour instead of regular coarse flour, and crempog surgeirch is made from oatmeal. Simple and delicious, these treats are a favorite for Shrove Tuesday.
- Miser’s Feast
Miser’s fest is a traditional frugal dish that originated in Wales. Simply put, this Welsh dish is made from potatoes and pork. The original recipe uses English bacon. Although the addition of pork chops is a luxury, now, bacon is a bit of a luxury because it is expensive, while pork chops are not expensive.
Usually, the list of ingredients includes potato wedges, pork (or bacon), onions, black pepper, and salt. Potatoes, onions, and pork are layered in a baking dish, then sprinkled with water, salt, and pepper. Cover the food and bake until the potatoes are tender and the pork is fully cooked.
After that, it is opened and baked again until the liquid forms a thick sauce. Miser’s feast is always served warm as a single dish.
That’s a typical Welsh food that keeps its traditional recipes. Uniquely some of these foods have names that use the Welsh language which is a bit difficult to pronounce. Most Welsh dishes use potatoes as an ingredient.
Some foods don’t reflect their names, such as glamorous sausages that don’t contain any meat at all. Interesting right?