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Welsh Tea Edit
Tea is as traditional in Wales as it is in neighboring England. Typically, tea in Wales is served at four in the afternoon. Bara Brith (speckled Welsh bread) is lathered with salty butter and washed down with hot cups of tea. Of course, there are more food stuffs besides speckled bread at a Welsh tea. (The picture at right depicts a Welsh "Nantgarw" tea service from 1844).
More than likely, tea will also include home-made breads; scones; jam; pikelets (crumpets); stacks of Ffroes (pancakes); clotted cream; treacle tart; Welsh cakes (sweet tea biscuits); Teisen Carawe (Caraway Seed Cake); Teisen Sinamon (Cinnamon Cake); Teisen Mel (honey cake); Teisen Lap (Welsh fruit cake); Bara Planc (Bakestone bread); Bara Claddu (fruited bread); and Cacen Gneifio (shearing cake).
Tea is a favorite part of the day for the Welsh. Bread is much-loved in Wales, and one of the more popular treats are savory oatcakes served with butter and cheese. While most cakes are baked, in Wales they are cooked on a griddle.
Welsh Cheese Edit
There is a wealth of different types of cheese in Wales. Perhaps the most famous is the "Caerphilly" which is a traditional Welsh cheese that is white, creamy and crumbly with a sharp flavor.
However, this is only the tip of the iceberg (so to speak), of Welsh cheese. There are traditional cheeses, and gourmet cheeses. I have separated the two categories below, with a brief description of each one.
Traditional Welsh Cheese Edit
- Caerphilly: As described above, this is a white and creamy cheese with a sharp flavor.
- Cawsllyn: This is a medium Welsh cheddar cheese, with a firm texture and a golden yellow color. (If flavored with annatto, the color of the cheese turns a russet red).
- Double Gloucester: This cheese is light orange in color, and has a mellow flavor with a slightly waxy texture.
- Extra Mature Cheddar: This cheese is aged longer, and has a rich creamy flavor with a firm texture and a yellow color.
- Harlech: Harlech (orange wax) is a mixture of mature cheddar, with horseradish and parsley.
- Mature Cheddar: This is a full-flavored cheese with a nutty flavor and a firm texture. The color is a golden yellow.
- Pantysgawn Farm Goat's Cheese: This is a vegetarian cheese, made with pure goat's milk, and has no artificial additives or colors. This cheese has a smooth, fresh taste.
- Red Leicester: This bright orange cheese has a faint lemon taste, and is ideal for melting.
- Smoked Caerphilly: This is a smoked variation of original Caerphilly. The cheese is gently smoked over burning oak chips, and has a distinctive smoked taste and a golden yellow color.
- St. David's Welsh Cheese: This golden yellow cheese is made using cow's milk, and the cheese is gently washed in fresh, cold water (on every other day of the maturing process). The end result is a semi-soft cheese with a buttery texture.
- St. Illtyd: This cheese is named after the parish church in Abergavenny, Wales, and is a combination of fresh herbs and mature cheddar, mixed with white wine and garlic.
- Tintern: Tintern (green wax) is a mature cheddar, combined with chives and shallots. This cheese is often used to make Welsh Rarebit, or a simple cheese soufflé.
- Y-Fenni Cheese: Y-Fenni is a blend of mature cheddar cheese, and the flavors of Welsh mustard and ale. This cheese is firm, and has the taste and texture of whole grain mustard seeds.