Welsh Cuisine

Cawl, bara brith, leeks and more…


Gwenllian Rees

Welsh cuisine may not be the most well-known in the world; in fact, it may be non-existent to those new to the region. Cardiff, by being the capital, is a fantastic place to experience it; while managing to embrace new cultures through the vast array of cuisines it has to offer, it still remains Welsh at heart.

The most well known dish is “cawl”, which can be described as a stew of vegetables and meat (usually lamb), accompanied by cheese and bread, and traditionally eaten on St David’s Day. The recipe customarily contains leeks, an emblem of the country, making it all the more Welsh. It also contains lamb, something the country certainly doesn’t lack!

Cawl is especially ideal for students in offering a taste of the country’s cuisine in an easy, affordable and nutritious way. Its ingredients consist mainly of vegetables, which are healthy, but – most importantly – really cheap to buy! And for those who aren’t exactly experts at cooking – and even for those who haven’t cooked for themselves before – rest assured, cawl is a very simple meal to make. It is even easier if there is no meat included. There’s nothing better than a dish such as cawl to complement all the alcohol consumption that takes place during Freshers.

As well as main dishes, there are several charming Welsh desserts to try. Welsh cakes are a delectable dessert, and are essentially the tasty amalgamation of a cake and a biscuit. Alternatively, you could indulge in some “bara brith” (speckled bread in English), a delightful creation that fuses bread and cake to form an enjoyable and only mildly unhealthy dessert containing dried fruit and raisins.

Welsh food often reflects upon the country’s beautiful landscape, with many of the ingredients homegrown and bred on the luscious green countryside. The fact that Wales is the smallest country in Great Britain doesn’t mean the cuisine it has to offer is in any way lacking. In fact, Cardiff Castle regularly hosts The Great British Cheese Festival (this year it takes place on the 22nd/23rd of September) with numerous homemade Welsh cheeses available to buy or sample. And although Wales doesn’t exactly have the warmest climate, surprisingly, there are several vineyards in the country where Welsh wine is produced, some even in the Cardiff area.

Although the country’s cuisine is not extremely well known, hopefully living in Wales will give you the opportunity to discover it. Just dare to celebrate its characteristic food on occasions such as St David’s Day and why not, through events such as food festivals!

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