Welsh Fare

What would you consider to be ‘traditional Welsh food’? Bara brith, cawl and Welsh cakes have established themselves on the menus of Wales’s cafes and restaurants, but what other foods belong to the Welsh tradition?

You can browse this website to discover more about the recipes of our forebears. You will meet characters now long gone, but whose memories have been preserved in the archives at St Fagans. Read more

About Minwel Tibbot

Minwel Tibbott, 1970

Minwel Tibbott on fieldwork in Pentyrch, 1970

When Minwel Tibbott started working for the Museum in 1969, the study of traditional foods was a very new research field. She realised very early on that the information would not be found in books. Travelling the length and breadth of Wales, she interviewed, recorded and filmed the older generation of women, the majority of them in their eighties. Their memories harked back to the end of the 1800s. The staple foods of this period are those that are now referred to as the traditional foods of Wales.

What kind of food was available?

At that time, the choice of raw ingredients was much less than that offered by supermarkets nowadays. There was also a considerable difference between what was available in the countryside compared to the towns. Rural communities still depended quite heavily on what could be produced on their own land. Because Wales is a mountainous, rainy country, wheat was difficult to grow. Oats and barley were the main crops. The meat that was eaten was generally salted, rather than fresh. Most of the family’s meals were cooked on the large, open hearth which had equipment for boiling, baking and roasting.

If the old ways of doing things do not appeal, you can find advice on how to adapt some of the recipes to suit our modern tastes.