Traditional Welsh fare takes advantage of the abundant natural resources and pastoral landscape. Near the coastlines, fresh seafood proliferates and common dishes include cockles, mussels, whelks and laverbread (a dish made from seaweed, oats and seasonings). In central Wales, sea trout (sewin) and salmon are common.
Abundant fresh food markets afford a wonderful opportunity to sample local cuisine. Wales is also known for its hearty homemade food. Savory stews like Cawl which are rich with ingredients like lamb, beef, cheeses and ale and Welsh Rarebit (pieces of toasted cheese blended with butter, ale and mustard and served on whole grain bread) are typical restaurant and pub offerings.
Beverages are of the sort to sip in front of a warm fire after a hard day trekking through the misty Welsh countryside. Drinks like mead, mulled wine, stout ales or spirits infused with a mélange of cognac, honey and/or port are customary.
Another product of Wales’ pastoral landscape is Welsh lamb, known worldwide for it’s rich and delicate flavor. It is prepared in a variety of ways – roasted, baked and in casseroles and is the focus of a common Sunday occurrence in Welsh eateries – the Sunday lamb roast. Recently, Wales has begun developing an international reputation as a purveyor of fine cheeses. The most popular are Caerphilly (a staple of the miners), Cheddar, Merlin and Pencarreg (similar to a creamy and spreadable Brie).
Wales also borrows from neighboring England to serve up familiar British pub fare such as scones, pasties and chicken and mushroom pie.