Flying the flag for Wales
We were all packed up and in the van, ferry bound.
There was just one last mission to complete before leaving Wales – to secure some creamy blue Perl Lâs cheese. We swooped with singular focus on several of the better supermarkets en route – Morrison’s in Caenarfon, Waitrose in Menai Bridge, even a supermarket in that town with the impossibly lengthy name – but Welsh artisan cheeses of any description were thin on the ground. In the end, I had to board my ferry cheeseless and (not for the first time) found myself pondering the harsh realities of modern food retailing, which mean that truly local food can often be one of the hardest things to find in your local shop.
The hills of North Wales: it could be Ireland, y'know...
Welsh natives: the sheep do outnumber the humans here by quite some measure
Today finds me still in Wales, land of castles, sheep, occasionally dodgy internet connections (hence the spud-sunday-on-a-monday-again, oops!) and of long and hard-to-pronounce place names, like this one:
This translates as (deep breath now):
'the church of Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the fierce whirlpool and the church of Tysilio by the red cave'
...or words to that effect
The Welsh word for potato – tatw (pronounced ta-tu) – is, luckily for me, much less of a mouthful. I learned that and a lot more whilst eating my way around picturesque North Wales these past few days and attending their True Taste national food awards. However, as I’m still (literally) digesting it all, I shall have to return at a later date to fill you in proper-like.
I have never been a fan of early morning airport starts (well, who is?), but as I coaxed myself out of bed at an unreasonable hour this very chilly a.m., there were two things that helped:
1. some honest-to-goodness porridge, breakfast of champions – I have Flahavan’s to thank for what seems to be a never-ending supply of same
Flahavan's latest: their multi-seed porridge with pumpkin and hemp seeds, among others
2. a destination promising significantly more than porridge – with the reward for my early rise being a visit to Wales and a place at the table for their True Taste national food awards
Naturally, I will report back in due course – I don’t doubt but that it will turn out to be one of those things that was well worth getting out of bed for.