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1st March is St David's Day: the traditional day of the Welsh.   Dewi Sant as Saint David is called in the Welsh language,  was a Celtic monk  who lived in the sixth century. The Black Flag with yellow cross is the flag of St. David.

Although not that much is known about him, some information is gleaned  from a book written by Rhigyfarch  called Buchedd Dewi (the life of David) in the 11th century. He reached the status of archbishop of Wales, and was one of many early saints who helped to spread Christianity among the pagan Celtic tribes of western Britain. Apparently he   lived a frugal life, eating mostly bread and herbs and only ever drank water.  Dewi died on 1st March 589AD and was buried at St David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire which became a place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages.

St David's Day  dates back to 1120, when Dewi was canonised by Pope Callactus II,  at which time March 1st was added in the Church calendar and today St. David's Day is celebrated by Welsh people all over the world and is a time when the wearing of the national emblems of Wales - a leek or a daffodil - is a must. 

The Leek Connection

Although the leek has been recognised as the emblem of Wales since the 16th century, its association with the Welsh can be traced back to 633 AD when, at the battle of Heathfield,  a monk apparently suggested the Welsh soldiers wore leeks in their caps to distinguish them from their Saxon opponents. Not a bad idea all in all - and they won the battle.

It's also suggested that St. David himself included leeks in his meagre diet.  Furthermore, all £1 coins dated 1985 feature the Welsh Leek on the reverse? It was decided that from 1984, British £1 coins would feature different reverse designs representing the four countries of the United Kingdom.

St. David's Day Recipes

Try out our recipes below to add a truly Welsh flavour to your breakfast,  tea or supper. You can find more Welsh recipes on our Wales Cooking by Country Page which also gives historical and Welsh culinary information.

Welsh Breakfast Recipes

Welsh Laver bread Cakes   Veg    HT    ACC    15mins

Traditionally serve at breakfast with fried or grilled bacon



Welsh Starter Recipes

Caerphilly and Tomato Salad         V   C    HD     10mins

A simple starter using this traditional Welsh cheese

Cawl Cennin     Veg    HT    SP   50mins

A wonderful Leek Soup

Leek Mousse   Veg   HT    HD   ACC  Welsh   80mins       

A light hors d'oeurvre using this traditionally welsh ingredient



Welsh Main Course Recipes

Cockle Pie     HT     MC     Welsh     25mins

Cockles were a popular ingredient in Wales, gathered mainly by hand from the Gower Peninsular

Anglesey Eggs Veg HT MC Welsh 45mins

Mam Cymru ('Mother of Wales') - an island situated off the north-west Coast of mainland Wales

Fillet of Lamb with Rosemary   HT  MC  60mins

Cooked with leeks for a unique Welsh flavour

Cawl     HT    MC     Welsh     150mins

This is just one version of this traditional Welsh dish - vary the vegetables according to what's in season



Welsh Accompaniment Recipes

Leek Mousse   Veg   HT    HD   ACC  Welsh   80mins       

An unusual accompaniment using this traditionally welsh ingredient

Welsh Onion Bake     Veg   HT   MC    110mins

The addition of Caerphilly cheese is wonderful



Welsh Teatime Recipes

Slapan (Bakestones)   Veg     HT     CBF     Welsh     20mins   

Named after the traditional method of cooking on a Bakestone - a cast iron griddle

Hot Butter Sponge   Veg  HT  CBF    30mins

A traditional Welsh cake eaten hot or warm



Welsh Desserts and Pudding Recipes

Monmouth Pudding   Veg    HT    DP    Welsh     70mins 

Monmouthshire is an area in Wales: Monmouth being a border market town

Steamed Snowdon Pudding  HT   DP   Welsh   100mins

Mount Snowden is the highest Peak in Wales rising more than 3000 feet above sea level

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