Interesting question. I’m a member of an international editors’ group on Facebook, with members from all round the world (but lots and lots of Canadians and Americans). One of the members posted a link to some traditional Welsh recipes, wishing the Welsh happy St David’s Day, which was nice (although I did have to point out that it’s not until Sunday…)
Anyway, another of the Canadians said she tried out the cawl cennin and enjoyed it. But she wondered, given that there is so much coastline around Wales, why fish didn’t feature more prominently in the traditional recipes. I’ve told her about bara lawr, but thought it would be interesting to follow up her question.
And where else would I come with questions about Welsh history and tradition but here?! Any ideas?
I’ll be interested in seeing what crops up here. There’s certainly a strong fishing tradition in Pen Llyn, but it doesn’t seem front and centre in terms of local recipes. @CatrinLliarJones might have some comments
We made our own bara lawr in our village. One terrible time, I bought some at a WI fete and served some to a visitor and myself. She took one bite and said that she didn’t like it at all. This was a common reaction (that or adoration!) so I didn’t query it. Next day, I fried the next bit in the tub and found it was full of sand!! The poor girl had eaten a mouthful of that!! I had to explain and grovel mightily!! I never found out which WI member hadn’t washed the laver weed!! As for fish, we caught it or got it from the person who caught it and cooked it as simply as possible. We got crabs and lobsters on the ‘crabbart’, but, sadly, although I love lobster, I really hate crab!!.
Might just be my family but maybe they’re not very good at cooking it? I remember having freshly caught mackerel and freshly gathered cockels from the bay inflicted on me in Pembrokeshire as a kid, but they were not yummy in any sense at all. On the other hand, the simple traditional cooking of roast meat with veg out of the kitchen garden, followed by fruit pies etc was a different matter!