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Welsh cuisine encompasses the cooking traditions and practices of the country of Wales. Welsh cuisine has influenced and been influenced by other British cuisines. Beef and dairy cattle are raised widely. Sheep farming is extensive in the country and lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking, particularly in dishes such as roast lamb with fresh mint sauce. Welsh cooking often includes seafood, especially close to the coast, where fishing culture is strong and fisheries are common. This is exemplified by the use of cockles and laverbread in Welsh cuisine. The leek, because of its role as the country's national vegetable, is also used frequently in Welsh cuisine.
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Cheese has long been a traditional food of Wales, with Welsh Rarebit being a popular national dish by Tudor times, though known then as caws pobi. The best known Welsh cheese is Caerphilly, though many other types exist, including Y Fenni, Tintern and Pantysgawn. Popular brands include Black Bomber made by the Snowdonia Cheese Company and Collier's Powerful Welsh Cheddar.
Beer is the national drink of Wales. There are a number of Welsh beers and more than 20 vineyards in the country. Most of the vineyards have been started since the 1970s. By contrast, S A Brain and Felinfoel breweries have existed since the late 19th century, based on breweries which were yet older. Bragawd, or Braggot, made by blending mead with ale, or brewing ale using honey is an old tradition in Wales.
References to intoxicating preparations of grain and herbs appear in several works by the 6th century Welsh poet Taliesin, particularly the Hanes Taliesin. This preparation, Gwîn a Bragawd, is said to have brought "science, inspiration and immortality". While King Ine of Wessex, who ruled during the late 7th century, declared that food rent for ten hides of land should include "twelve ambers of Welsh ale" (bragawd). Bragawd, also called braggot, is somewhat between mead and what we today think of as ale.
Wrexham was one of the first places in the UK to brew lager. Homesick German immigrant brothers from Saxony started the process in 1882. Welsh local historian Deiniol ap Dafydd claims Arthur Guinness used a Welsh recipe, from Llanfairfechan, near Bangor for his stout
Unlike Ireland and Scotland, Wales does not have a long tradition of distilling, with only small cottage industries appearing over the last two centuries. Whisky manufacture ceased in Wales in 1910.
In 1998 the Welsh Whisky Company, now known as Penderyn, was formed and whisky production began at Penderyn, Rhondda Cynon Taf in 2000. Penderyn single malt whisky was the first whisky commercially produced in Wales for a century and went on sale in 2004. The company also produces Merlyn Welsh Cream Liqueur.
List of brands of Welsh bottled water (spring and mineral)
- Brecon Carreg — Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire.
- Cerist Natural Mineral Water — Dinas Mawddwy, Powys.
- Llanllyr Source — Lampeter, Ceredigion.
- Princes Gate Spring Water — Narberth, Pembrokeshire.
- 3W — Llandrindod Wells, Powys.
- Tŷ Nant — Llanon, Ceredigion.
- Typhoo produce a tea called Glengettie, which is specifically aimed at the Welsh market. The packaging is printed in both Welsh and English.
- Murroughs Welsh Brew (Paned Gymreig) tea, also sold in bilingual packaging, is packed and blended for Wales by Adwell Foods, of Langland, on the Gower Peninsula.
- Gaiman, in Patagonia, Argentina, is famous for its Welsh tea houses, run by the descendants of Welsh immigrants.
List of Welsh vineyards
- Bryn Celynnog Vineyard — Penarth, South Glamorgan
- Celtic Country Wines — Llandysul, Ceredigion
- Cwm Deri Vineyard — Narberth, Pembrokeshire
- Ffynnon Las Vineyard — Aberaeron, Ceredigion
- Gelynis Vineyard — Morganstown, Cardiff
- Glyndŵr Vineyard — Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan
- Llanerch Vineyard — Pendoylan, Vale of Glamorgan
- Parva Farm Vineyard — Tintern, Monmouthshire
- Sugarloaf Vineyard — Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
- Wernddu Organics — Pen-y-clawdd, Monmouth
- Worthenbury Wines — Worthenbury, Wrexham
Corona was a carbonated soft drink manufacturer set up in 1897 in the Rhondda, and acquired by Britvic in the 1980s. The company has since been dissolved, though one of its more popular range of drinks, Tango, still survives under the Britvic brand. Lurvills Delight was a carbonated soft drink popular in Wales between 1896 and 1910.
Tovali was established in 1937, the name deriving from the Towy Valley in rural West Wales, where the town of Carmarthen is situated. In addition to its own brand of soft drinks and fruit drinks, it also manufactures and bottles 'Own Label' carbonated and dilutable drinks for a number of major national companies.
Welsh food companies
- Davies (2008) p.137
- Davies (2008) p. 57
- Edward Davies (1809). The Mythology and Rites of the British Druids, Ascertained by National Documents. J. Booth. pp. 217–20.
- "that Wulfred should give the land of Sleaford to Meohamsted, and should send each year into the monastery sixty loads of wood, twelve loads of coal, six loads of peat, two tuns full of fine ale, two neats' carcases, six hundred loaves, and ten kilderkins of Welsh ale; one horse also each year, and thirty shillings, and one night's entertainment."
- Arnold James Cooley (1854). A Cyclopaedia of Six Thousand Practical Receipts, and Collateral Information. pp. 44–45.
- Brewers & Boozers Tour on Wrexham County Borough Council's website
- Cook, Jonathan (12 March 2000). "Wales claims Guinness as its invention". The Guardian.
- Davies (2008) pp.947-948
- "Rebirth of Welsh whisky spirit". BBC News Online. 8 May 2008.
- "Murroughs Welsh Brew Tea". Adwell Foods Ltd. 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
- "Taking Tea and Tortes With the Welsh in Distant Patagonia". The New York Times. 3 April 2005.
- Wernddu Organics, wines.
- Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
- Welsh Agricultural Statistics from the Welsh Assembly.
- Welsh Food
- Culture UK Welsh Food
- Article on Welsh food in Spectator Scoff