Did you know that I’m Welsh? I’ve mentioned it a few times on here but if you are a new reader ( hello ) then you may have missed that. I am proud of the country that I was born and have always lived in and I doubt I will ever leave it – other than for holidays of course as I do need some sun. I though that today in this miserable rainy and cold January that it would cheer me up and hopefully you guys too to read my 16 Awesome Foodie Things About Wales – there are many, many more but to discover them you have to come visit. Seriously I should be on the Welsh Tourist Board…
1.Cheese on toast is an art form. Seriously. Grilled Cheese? Pah. Welsh Rarebit is where its at. Look out for my recipe coming up.
2.Bara Brith. Fruit cake which slathered in butter with a perfectly made cup of tea = Bliss. The best ones are mad bey Baked By Mel.
3. Welsh Cakes – from the traditional fruit cakes to the not so traditional choc chip or even the awesome cheese ones I tasted at a food festival last month. I am hoping to share my dads recipe for his on here – they are seriously good. One tip – eat them when just cooked, when it goes cold or even slightly stale its just not the same.
4.Street Food – South Wales was later than most in cottoning onto this trend but is now home to some of the best street food vendors I’ve had the pleasure of sampling ( I have tried a lot because .. you know..research ) from Dusty Knuckles incredible handmade wood fired pizza to the best indian food ever from Babitas Spice Deli and delicious hot dogs from The Drunken Sailor. We aren’t slacking on the dessert front either – A Lot Of Waffle sell incredible waffles with awesome toppings, Gwynnes make indulgent artisan ice cream, the best cracking’ cookies and homemade sauces..oh and the mango sorbet isn’t bad either!
5.Food Festivals – some of the top food festivals in the UK are held in Wales. From the humongous Abergavenny Food Fest which hosts celeb chefs each year to the smaller yet excellent festivals such as Narberth.
6. Merlyn Welsh Liqueur is a Welsh version of Irish Cream and is such a high quality drink which needs to be savoured. It leaves the smoothest aftertaste in your mouth.
7.Cawl is a Welsh stew and if your mam didn’t make this at least once a month they obviously didn’t have Welsh blood running through their veins. My mum would make huge pans of this with dumplings. I still love hers more than any other.
8.Welsh Lamb is THE best lamb in the world especially salt marsh lamb which luckily for us is produced just down the road at our friends farm. Try it.
9. The Cheese. Perl Las Blue Goats Cheese or Black Bomber are favourites of mine along with a strong cheddar flavoured with wine and leeks!
10.The Leek. A national emblem and the veg which sneaks itself into more dishes than you can imagine from the cawl to our sausages.
11.Laverbread and Cockles – whilst I am not the biggest fan of these two famous Welsh staples (I don’t like a lot of seafood) they are incredibly popular and a must try if you are in Wales just for the experience of trying. Deep fried cockles even sway the non believers like me.
12.Our restaurants. Wales has some absolutely incredible restaurants. From the well known such as Terry M’s at The Celtic Manor and Y Polyn to Sosban ( just a short drive from us ) and the fantastic Fairy Hill in Gower. These restaurants are famed for their top quality dishes and local ingredients. For a more casual yet outstanding meal you could try Got Beef in Cardiff or Hangfire Smokehouse opening soon in Barry.
13.Halen Mon. The famous salt producers have a wide range of flavoured salts as well as their traditional and truly pure and good plain sea salt. The smoked is so full of flavour and good on pretty much everything whilst the vanilla is great sprinkled over chocolate ice cream or to top rich chocolate desserts. It even has a protected status. They also sell these really cute teeny tins which say pinch me on the front and are ideal to take on self catering holidays/camping etc.
14. Faggots – if you have never tried these they look like a giant meatball and contain off cuts and offal yet are suprisingly tasty and super popular. Normally served with mash, mushy peas and gravy.
15. Welsh Black Beef – as with the Lamb you can’t beat Welsh Beef, I had the most intensely perfect fillet of Welsh beef at Fairyhill, Gower last year and I can still taste it now.
16. Food Bloggers – Wales has a lot to offer in terms of the blogging world. Aside from mine of course, other Welsh (although not all based in Wales ) foodie blogs I recommend include Lovely Appetite, The Plate Licked Clean, What Kate Baked, Allotment2Kitchen, Let Her Eat Clean,Natural Kitchen Adventures , Amuse Your Bouche and Love To Dine along with loads more!
To find out lots more about Wales you could check out some of my hotel and restaurant reviews in my Wonders Of Wales series and keep an eye out for THREE Welsh recipes from myself coming up soon along with some of my favourites from fellow bloggers.
* I was not asked or compensated in any way to include any of the above brands mentioned.