2nd
Mar
2015

Posted in Kafevend Blog

Yesterday was the first day of March, which means it was also St. David's Day. What better opportunity to explore some traditional Welsh food and drinks!

   -The Welsh are as into a good cup of tea as the rest of the UK, so it's only right that Wales should have some great tea companies of its own. Just as Yorkshire Tea have created a blend to suit the hard water in their area, so Welsh Brew have come up with a blend to suit the soft, clear water on tap in Wales. The company, which began trading in 1993, is located not too far from Swansea, on the Gower Peninsula. They've built on their success by branching out into coffee and hot chocolate too. 

   -Wales also does a good trade in bottled water; all that rain falling on the mountains and filtered down through the rock is naturally pure and rich in mineral content. Brecon Carreg and Ty Nant are perhaps the most widely recognised brands, but certainly not the only ones.

There are probably a number of foods that we all associate with Wales, so let's take a look at a selection of those next:

   -Cawl is a favourite in the colder weather. It translates as soup, but is more akin to a stew,  featuring root vegetables, as well as two ingredients that have very strong Welsh associations: lamb and leeks.
  
   -If meat's not your thing, Wales has a great vegetarian alternative – Glamorgan Sausages (Selsig Morgannwg)  are made with Caerphilly cheese, leeks and covered in breadcrumbs.

   -Leeks have already been mentioned twice in quick succession, which is no surprise really given their status as a centuries old Welsh national emblem. The origin of the practice of wearing a leek on St. David's Day is steeped in ancient legend. During the seventh century, King Cadwaladr is supposed to have ordered his troops to wear leeks as a means of identification during a battle with the Saxons. This may, or may not be the case, but suffice to say the leek has a far longer pedigree as an emblem than the daffodil, which didn't become the more sweet smelling alternative until the nineteenth century.

   -Bara Brith means speckled bread. It's a spiced tea loaf that requires the dried fruit to be soaked in tea overnight.

   -Cheese on toast is a well loved comfort food, but Welsh Rarebit is definitely a cut above and there's a wide range of Welsh cheeses to make it with. Perhaps the best known is Caerphilly, but it's just the tip of the iceberg!

   -If you've never encountered Lavabread (Bara Lawr), you might be surprised to learn that it's not a bread at all, but a dish made from seaweed! Lava is an edible seaweed. Simmered for several hours to produce a purée, it's most often eaten as part of a fried breakfast or stirred into scrambled eggs.

   -Another iconic Welsh food is the Welsh Cake. Similar to the Scottish drop scone, but with spice and dried fruit added in, it's made on a griddle.

If you celebrated St. David's Day yesterday, we hope you had a great time, and we hope we've whetted the appetite of those who didn't to try some traditional Welsh fare!

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