The Food of Wales

Find out about the foods traditionally associated with Wales...

There's a reason why Wales is famed for its leeks and cabbages - they're among the few veg able to flourish in the harsh Welsh landscape. Both can crop up in cawl, a rich broth of vegetables, lamb and bacon that has its regional variations. Pork continues to be a mainstay of the diet and lamb, once considered a luxury, is among the country's most famous exports. Shoals of herring and mackerel swim off the west coast, while across the Gower cockles are gathered, by hand, as they have been since Roman times. Laverbread, or bara lawr, a purple seaweed that turns dark green when cooked, is a distinctly Welsh staple, traditionally served alongside Welsh cured bacon, cockles and oatmeal for a man-sized breakfast. Afternoon tea serves up a number of Welsh choices: bara brith (a rich fruit loaf), Welsh cakes (a flat scone cooked on a griddle), teisen carawe (caraway seed cake) and teisen mel (honey cake).

Three great Welsh foods:

  • Braised faggot: Found in various parts of Britain but thought to have Welsh roots, a faggot is pig offal wrapped in caul fat, the stomach lining
  • Glamorgan sausage: Not a tube of meat but a vegetarian effort made with Caerphilly cheese, leeks and breadcrumbs
  • Crempog geirch: One of many pancake variants found in Wales, the geirch is made with oatmeal, milk, salt, eggs and butter
Extract from Speak the Culture Britain, a Thorogood publication, supported by the British Council Speak the Culture series website / Buy online Copyright ® 2009 Thorogood Publishing