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'Welsh Fare' by S. Minwel Tibbott

Published by National Museum of Wales in 1974, Welsh Fare is now out of print. Its contents are published on this website to preserve this important historical collection:

Items in this story

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Minwel Tibbot

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Baking bread in a pot oven

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Cockle–gathering tools

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Boiling a pig's head

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Flummery: straining all liquid from the steeped...

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Flummery: pouring a small quantity into a cast...

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Mixing the dough

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Baking bread on a bakestone

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Loaves drying out

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Gingerbread moulds

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Baking bread in a wall oven

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Preparing a miner's tuck–box

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An ingle–nook fireplace

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A 'flat hearth'

The Recipes

ChapterNo. in each chapter
Savoury39 recipes
Griddle Cakes23 recipes
Cakes26 recipes
Bread16 recipes
Cereal & Milk Dishes17 recipes
Puddings23 recipes
Fish30 recipes
Jams4 recipes
Toffee4 recipes
Drinks15 recipes

 

Foreword

The main task of the Welsh Folk Museum since it opened in 1948 has been to collect and record, to study and reflect the folk life of Wales in all its various forms. The advent of the tape recorder made it possible to record the voice of informants and also facilitated the building of a comprehensive account of the traditional life of our country by the Department of Oral Traditions and Dialects. It is the responsibility of the Welsh Folk Museum, having collected this oral evidence from the oldest inhabitants with their generous cooperation, not only to preserve this historical information for the benefit of future scholars, but to present it, where appropriate, to contemporary readers as part of their inheritance.

This volume, based on the collection of recordings in the Welsh language, made by members of the Department of Oral Traditions and Dialects over the last few years, is a forerunner of a number of similar volumes which it is hoped to publish. It was prepared by Mrs. S. Minwel Tibbott, an Assistant Keeper in that Department, and is based on evidence which she collected from a large number of speakers throughout Wales who readily supplied information concerning traditional dishes. I have pleasure in acknowledging the invaluable assistance of these friends.

November 1975

Trefor M. Owen, Curator.
Welsh Folk Museum

 

Introduction

Food and drink form an important part of a nation’s heritage, and the need to retain information about the dishes that were once synonymous with the Welsh way of life instigated the compiling of this volume.

First and foremost it is a selection of recipe, but the notes accompanying a large number of them will give the reader a brief insight into their historical background. Indeed, the inclusion of any or every one of these dishes in the collection shows that they have played a specific role in the history of food in Wales.

It would be difficult to assign these foods to specific periods. We know that they were prepared extensively at the turn of the twentieth century, a period that is vividly remembered by the majority of the older inhabitants of Wales today. Their knowledge of them, backed by years of practical experience, has provided us with the main information compiled in this volume. This information is now being kept in the archives of the Welsh Folk Museum either in the form of interview recorded on tape, or in manuscript.

A recipe may well be compared with a folk song or folk tale; all three are transferred orally from person to person, from generation to generation, and their preservation depends entirely on the strength or weakness of the human memory. Slight modifications are inevitable over a period of years. A slip of the memory or the wish to improvise may well account for the minor variations discernible when more than one recipe is given for a particular dish. Local customs attached to many of the dishes are evident too.

The general character of a nation’s cuisine is determined to a very great extent by the country’s products which are in turn the result of its physical environment. Oats, the main cereal crop grown in Wales, and bacon, which has been an important part of the staple diet of rural Wales in the past, have prominent places in this collection, augmented by root crops, garden vegetables and dairy products. Salted beef, mutton, fish and poultry are also featured. Governed by these readily-available raw materials most of the traditional dishes may be described as plain, wholesome foods, but the preparing and cooking of them without present-day facilities demanded great skill. Photographs have been included to illustrate the traditional methods of cooking many of them.

It was not intended to include every recognized dish nor to represent every district throughout Wales in this one volume. The aim is to re-introduce a selection of traditional foods to the people of Wales today. The majority of them will most certainly find their way back to present-day menus, but the remaining few – the less palatable ones perhaps – have been included on the merit of their historical significance. Older readers may find obvious gaps in the collection and they are invited to forward any relevant information to the Welsh Folk Museum, St Fagans, Cardiff.

 

Images

A collection of images used in the book

 

S. Minwel Tibbott

About the Author

Original Recordings

A collection of some of the original recordings

 

Weights and measure

Oven Temperatures (rough guide)

  • hot: Electric 425°F (218°C), Gas Mark 7 / G
  • medium: Electric 350°F (177°C), Gas Mark 5 / E
  • slow: Electric 250°F-275°F (130°C-140°C), Gas Mark 1-2 / B

 

Weight: metric conversion

  • ¼ ounce — 7.09g
  • ½ ounce — 14.17g
  • 1 ounce — 28.35g
  • ¼ pound — 113.04g
  • ½ pound — 227.00g
  • 1 pound — 454.00g
  • 2 pound — 907.00g
  • 3 pound — 1361.00g

 

Liquids: metric conversion

  • 1 liquid ounce — 28.4ml
  • ¼ pint — 142.0ml
  • ½ pint — 284.0ml
  • 1 pint — 568.0ml
  • 1 quart — 1137.0ml

 

Glossary

  • ageru — to steam
  • ansawdd — consistency
  • ceulo — to curdle
  • diwrnod ceulo — cheese-making day
  • cimwch, ll. cimychiaid — lobster – s
  • clowsen, ll. clows — clove – s
  • cocyn — pyramid
  • cochi — to smoke
  • colfran — curds
  • corbys — lentils
  • cranc, ll. crancod — crab – s
  • crasu — to bake, toast
  • crimpio — to crisp
  • crwst brau — short pastry
  • curo — to beat
  • cytew — batter
  • cytew llyfn — a smooth batter
  • cytew ysgafn — a light batter
  • ffenigl — fennel
  • ffwrn — oven
  • go-ferwi — to poach
  • gogryn — to sift
  • gradell — bakestone, griddle
  • gwichiad, ll. gwichiaid — periwinkle – s
  • gwyniedyn, ll. gwyniaid — sewin – s
  • gyrru — to roll out
  • hidlo — to strain
  • isgell — stock, broth
  • llaeth — milk
  • llaeth enwyn — buttermilk
  • llechfaen — bakestone, griddle
  • lled-ferwi — to parboil
  • llefrith — milk
  • llwy — spoon
  • llwy bwdin — dessert spoon
  • llwy fwrdd — table spoon
  • llyfn — smooth, without lumps
  • llygaid meheryn/y graig — limpets
  • llymrïaid — sand eels
  • llysiau cymysg — mixed herbs
  • maeddu — to knead
  • maen — bakestone, griddle
  • malu — to crush
  • malwr — mincer
  • malwr bara ceirch — oatcake crusher
  • moldio — to knead lightly
  • mud-ferwi — to simmer
  • mwydo — to soak
  • ‘nionyn, ll. ‘nionod — onion – s
  • olew mintys poethion — oil of peppermint
  • pennog, ll. penwaig — herring – s
  • planc — bakestone, griddle
  • popty — oven
  • potes — broth, stock
  • potsho — to mash
  • powdr codi — baking powder
  • powdr tartar — cream of tartar
  • pwnno — to mash
  • rhidyll bras — colander
  • rhython — cockles
  • siwgr — sugar
  • siwgr coch — brown sugar
  • siwgr llaith — moist sugar
  • siwgr lwmp — lump sugar
  • soda pobi — bi-carbonate of soda
  • sosban ddwbl — double saucepan, steamer
  • sylwedd — essence
  • tawelu — to settle
  • triagl melyn — golden syrup
  • trwyth — infusion
  • tylino — to knead
  • winwnsyn, ll. winwns — onion – s
  • ysgadenyn, ll. ysgadan — herring – s

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