Traditional Welsh Foods: 6 Mouth-Watering Dishes to Try

welsh cakes on blue chequered background

Home to the largest number of sheep populations in the world, Wales is often referred to as the Land of a Thousand Hills and the Land of Song. These hills are home to some of the most delicious food from this magical country. Welsh cuisine is famous for its hearty and meaty dishes, which makes it an ideal choice if you’re looking for something more than just fresh fruit and vegetables. Traditional Welsh recipes in Wales are usually high in protein, vitamins, minerals and Omega-3 fatty acids that can keep your heart healthy. Here are 5 mouth-watering dishes that will have you craving more of them immediately.

Fish and Chips

fish and chips on white table

If you’re looking to try Welsh cuisine, fish and chips are a must! This classic dish is a favourite in Wales and is considered to be the national dish. It was believed that the meal was invented around the end of the 19th century in Swansea. However, it has been revealed that the popularity of the dish increased after it was brought to Wales by the English and Irish immigrant workers that settled in Wales. If you are visiting Wales, this is an excellent dish to try! This exquisite meal can be served with mushy/garden peas and delicious tarte sauce.

Welsh Shepherd’s Pie

shepherds pie on wooden table

Shepherd’s pie is a traditional Welsh hearty dish that is made with beef and vegetables. The word ‘ Shepherd’s’ in the name of this food comes from the fact that it is traditionally served during a Welsh festival called “Ysbryd Y Groin”. This is known as the summer festival in the North Wales region of Bethseda. The summer festival celebrates the harvest of the Shepherds crops. The pie is made with putting the mashed potatoes into a pie crust with savoury beef and vegetables.

Cawl (a.k.a. Caldereta de Res)

beef stew on black background

Cawl is a traditional Welsh beef stew that has been eaten for many centuries. This hearty stew is served with boiled new potatoes and a selection of fresh vegetables. Cawl is believed to have originated from the early medieval period when the first wave of Welsh immigrants came over to the British Isles. This is the main reason why cawl is one of the most popular Welsh dishes. Cawl is usually made with red meats such as ox, mutton, and beef. Other than being served as a dish, it is also made into a stew as a popular beverage. The a.k.a. Caldereta de Res is the Spanish-welsh version of cawl.

Welsh Rarebit

cheese hearts on toast

Welsh rarebit is a mixture of cheese, Worcestershire sauce and beer that is used to make Welsh rarebit. Welsh rarebit can be served as a snack or even served as a starter. It is often served with bread and Welsh cheese. In the present, this is more commonly known as cheese on toast. This is a dish that is usually made with a variety of cheeses, Worcestershire sauce, beer and mustard. It is believed to have originated in the 19th century. In the 1830s, the dish was served as a starter in Welsh pubs. It is also believed to be a popular dish at Welsh public gatherings and social gatherings.


pasties on a grill

Pasty is a Welsh dish that is usually made with beef, veal, and pork belly. It is usually served with boiled new potatoes and a selection of vegetables. Pasty has been eaten in Wales for centuries. In the early medieval period, the people of Wales ate their meals in a vessel known as a treis. When the Romans invaded Wales, the people adopted the Roman treis to use for their meals. These vessels still exist today and can be found in most Welsh restaurants. A typical Welsh pub is a perfect place to enjoy a hearty and filling pasty. You can also easily find pasties in your local bakery with lots of different flavours such as corn beef, cheese and onion, roast chicken etc.

Bara Brith 

Bara Brith is known as a Welsh tea bread that is one of the many traditional dishes in Welsh food. In English, Bara Brith can be translated as speckled bread and this snack is popular in both North Wales and South Wales. It was originally invented by a Welsh chef who decided to add dried fruit and spices to bread dough. Little did he know that this would become the first version of the famous Welsh tea loaf. To add to the delicious taste of this traditional Welsh food, it can be served with butter and can even be toasted if you decide to have this as a breakfast snack. Typically, this is very popular when serving afternoon tea as well. This is exceptional for those who love savoury foods.   

If you ever find yourself visiting Wales, you won’t find it difficult to find these traditional snacks in local restaurants, cafes, pubs etc.  Snacks like cheese on toast may be difficult to find due to the fact that this is something that is made in the house rather than in a restaurant. However, there are many Fish and Chip takeaways, bakeries for pasties and restaurants that will serve cawl and shepherd’s pie and most hearty dishes that you desire. Here at Tiger Inn, we serve a range of traditional Welsh foods for your enjoyment! 

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