Surrounded by fertile farmland, mountainous terrain, and coastal waters, Welsh cuisine is fresh and diverse. From award-winning cheeses to some of the UK’s best bakes, Wales is certainly a place to delight your taste buds. After taking a look at the traditional dishes of England and Scotland, we now head West to take a look at some signatures of Welsh cuisine.
1. Welsh Rarebit
The world’s most extravagant cheese on toast. The Welsh Rarebit or Welsh ‘Rabbit’ is a savoury cheese sauce most commonly made from cheddar cheese, flour, butter, ale, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Despite the name, the sauce does not include rabbit or any meat whatsoever. The creamy cheese sauce is poured hot over crusty sliced toasted bread for the ultimate comfort food.
2. Welsh Cheese
With a long tradition of dairy farming and an abundance of local artisan and traditional cheesemakers, Wales makes some seriously good cheeses. Producing a diverse variety, including the famous creamy Welsh Caerphilly and the blue Perl Las cheese, Wales is a cheese lover’s dream!
3. Welsh Cakes
A cross between a British scone and a pancake, a Welsh Cake is a flat sugar-dusted afternoon teatime treat. Made from flour, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, and currants. They are usually enjoyed plain, alongside a cup of tea.
4. Bara Brith
Translated as ‘speckled bread’ in Welsh, Bara Brith is a classic fruit loaf that is made with black tea, dried fruits, and spices. Served in slices with butter, it is traditionally enjoyed on St David’s Day or Christmas Day.
5. Welsh Lamb
Wales has the perfect conditions for sheep farming, plenty of rain, and an abundance of lush pastures which is one of the reasons why it produces some of the world’s finest lamb. Typical lamb dishes include the well-loved lamb cawl, lamb shoulder, lamb rack, and roast.
Welsh Cawl is largely recognised as the national dish of Wales. This traditional hearty stew made from meat (usually lamb), leeks, and seasonal vegetables is served across the country. You can usually find this delicious soup accompanied by some crusty bread and Welsh cheese.
Worn at national sporting events, St David’s Day and adorned on the British £1 coin, the leek is an emblem of Wales. There are many theories as to why the leek became such an important icon to the Welsh, and the most famed one dates back to the sixth century. The story says that St. David asked his soldiers to wear leeks on their helmets to differentiate themselves from their enemies during a battle. Despite the theories, Leeks continue to be a staple ingredient in the Welsh cuisine and feature in many national recipes such as the famous Welsh Cawl.
8. Glamorgan Sausages
Glamorgan sausage is a vegetarian sausage made from Welsh cheese (most commonly Caerphilly), leeks, and breadcrumbs. Served on their own or as a substitute to any meal containing meat sausages, Glamorgan sausages can also be rolled in puff pastry and made into sausage rolls.
Famously coined the ‘Welshman’s caviar’, this traditional Welsh delicacy is made from local edible seaweed. The seaweed is boiled and then mashed into a paste resulting in dark green puree with a salty, sea-like taste. Despite the name, it is not a bread at all and is traditionally fried and served at breakfast with bacon and local cockles.
10. Brains Beer
Wales is home to many breweries that produce a huge variety of beers and ciders, the most prevalent across the country is Brains. The biggest brewery in the country, you will not have to go far in Wales to find this beer on tap.