In Wales, March 1st is St. David's Day. A day to honor Wales's patron saint, St. David, a Celtic monk who spread the word of Christianity across this region in the 6th century. During this day, the Welsh celebrate with fabulous regional food and drink.
On the day of, the Welsh will wear either a daffodil or a leek, two national emblems of Wales. The leek is associated with St. David, as it is considered healthy, virtuous, and has healing qualities. It also acquired mystic claims that girls who slept with a leek under their pillow on St. David's Day would see their future husband in their dreams. No wonder then that leeks feature heavily in St. David's Day Recipes and Welsh food.
Wales may be the smallest country in the British Isles, but this in no way reflects on the vast array of excellent cuisine to eat and drink. The Welsh are famous on a global scale for their meats and seafood, their cheeses are unique, and they even produce a delicious wine at Llanerch Vineyard near Cardiff.
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The Welsh do love a good pancake for breakfast. These Crempogs—as they are called in Welsh—more resemble an American pancake than a usual British one and as they are so delicious, are far too good just to be eaten in the morning. Serve them just as you would any other pancake, with honey, homemade jam, or a little squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar.
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As is common across Britain, a full breakfast is the expected meal on any special day, and St. David's is no different. Laver Cakes are an essential part of a Welsh breakfast and are cooked as a side dish alongside roast meats. The cakes are a delicious mix of seaweed (fresh or canned), oatmeal, and fat, making them both hearty and tasty fare.
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Leek and potato soup is a world classic, but the Welsh have claimed a version for themselves with the addition of a little Stilton cheese. Warming and hearty, this is a must for St. David's and you will be delighted at how easy it is to make. Plus, make the Welsh Leek and Stilton soup in advance and freeze, to make your cooking on the day so much more relaxed.
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What better choice for a light lunch or snack on St. David's Day than a traditional Welsh Rarebit? It is, understandably, one of the most famous dishes in Wales. Some call it "posh cheese on toast," but that does not do justice to this delicious dish. The rarebit can be served as a little snack, or team it with a fresh green salad for an easy lunch.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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A massive favorite for St. David's is the Welsh version of the Cornish Pasty—the Oggie. It may look like a pasty, but this one is at least twice the size of a regular one and packs a punch with its filling of leeks, lamb, and potatoes.
The Oggie can be eaten warm for lunch or dinner with fresh vegetables and gravy or served cold as a snack on-the-go.
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A lovely dish for your St. David's Day Celebration is a pie, and this Welsh version of chicken, leek, and mushroom is absolutely delicious. Best part is, it contains in abundance the symbolic emblem of Wales: the leek.
The pie is perfect for a warm filling meal in and of itself and needs little else except a few boiled potatoes.
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A classic combination of ingredients can be found here in this soufflé recipe, which makes a perfect dish for the special Welsh day. Though the classic cheese and leek soufflé must be made last minute, do not let that put you off, it is so worth the effort. If you are a little afraid (unnecessarily) of making a soufflé, there is no need. You will see that with a bit of help, it is not so difficult.
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This vegetarian dish comes from the Isle of Anglesey off the Welsh coastline, joined to the mainland by the Menai Bridge.
Anglesey eggs are loved in Wales, but such is its deliciousness, it has become popular throughout the British Isles and not just for this Saint's day.
The egg dish makes a stunning lunch and needs nothing else alongside being filled with great ingredients.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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This pie separates out from the pack with the addition, unusually, of prunes and Caerphilly—a crumbly, strong-flavored cheese from Wales. Can't find it? Then use a crumbly strong Cheshire.
The handful of prunes add an unusual sweetness, which works so well alongside everything else.
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"Cystal yfed o'r cawl â bwyta's cig"—"It is as good to drink the broth as to eat the meat," and in Wales, this is so true, primarily when referring to Cawl, because it is a dish which is both a broth and a stew.
Cawl is considered the national dish of Wales, so any St. David's Day meal would not be complete without it.
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Welsh meat recipes will invariably feature lamb and beef, as Wales is famous for both. In this delicious recipe for roast leg of lamb with honey and cider, the dish contains other local Welsh flavors, such as honey, cider, rosemary, and ginger. Combined together, this meal has been enjoyed in Wales since it was brought back by the Crusaders.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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There cannot be a St. David's Day celebration without a plate of Welsh cakes. They are a lovely tea time treat and were initially cooked on the hot plate of a coal oven, but can just as easily be cooked in a heavy non-stick frying pan or griddle. To taste them at their best, we recommend eating them soon after baking.
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