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Celebrate St. David’s Day with Monmouthshire

St. David's Day (1st March) is the celebration day for the Patron Saint of Wales. It's a time when Welsh people across the country don their daffodil hats, find their giant fluffy leeks and wonder if they can still squeeze into their traditional Welsh costumes (worn to school every year on St David's Day).

It's also the perfect time to celebrate food & drink in Wales' Food Capital. Welsh food specialist, Nerys Howell, author of 'Welsh Food by Season' tells us about her five favourite Monmouthshire ingredients and the recipes you'll find them in. There's also a video tutorial showing you how to make the most delicious Welsh cakes. Below it you'll find links to some of our award-winning food & drink produced by small-scale artisan producers who are passionate about improving the quality of the food we eat. 

Here's wishing you a very happy St David's Day from the Food Capital of Wales! Dydd Gwyl Dewi!

Nerys Howell's Top 5 Monmouthshire Ingredients

Nerys is a familiar face on S4C’s popular magazine programme Prynhawn Da and at food festivals and events across Wales and further afield.

Her bilingual cookbook  : Bwyd Cymru yn ei Dymor / Welsh Food by Season  promotes both traditional and modern Welsh recipes.

We couldn't think of anyone better qualified to tell us about their five favourite Monmouthshire ingredients.

"Many of the recipes in my book include local produce from Monmouthshire including the fragrant Welsh Rosewater from Petals of the Valley which I use to flavour the cream in the Coconut meringues and raspberry ripple cream. Apple County Cider is used for the glaze in the Gammon steaks with apple and Welsh cider glaze, and honey from the Wye Valley Apiaries makes a delicious Honey, thyme and almond cake. The crisp oat and spelt biscuits complements the mould ripened Angiddy soft cheese from Brooke’s Dairy with a dollop of Figgy Mostardo from The Preservation Society.

Enjoy! Mwynhewch!"

How to make delicious Welsh cakes

Cook up Monmouthshire cuisine

Franco Taruschio’s Lady Llanover Salt Duck

Lady Llanover, wife of Benjamin Hall (of Big Ben fame) lived at Llanover Court in Abergavenny. She was a very influential figure in Welsh cultural life, promoting the Welsh language, literature, costume and eisteddfod. The thing she is most remembered for locally is for closing all the pubs in Llanover, but this recipe is a close second!

For this dish use only the breast of duck left on the bone. Weigh the duck breasts and for every 2.8kg / 6lb of duck meat run in 225g / 8oz of coarse sea salt. The duck should be placed in a deep container, breast-side down. Keep in a cool place.

After 1.5 days turn the breasts over. After 3 days rinse off the salt, place the duck breasts in a deep oven dish and stand it in a baking tray. Cover the duck with cold water and also put water in the baking tray. Place the tray in the centre of the oven set at 160 degrees C / 300 degrees F / gas 2 and cook uncovered for 90 minutes.

Remove the duck breasts from the liquid and leave to cool. Serve the duck breast thinly sliced with the Preservation Society’s new Chuckleberry Jam or Apple & Quince Membrillo.

This recipe is taken from 'Leaves from the Walnut Tree - Recipes of a Lifetime' by Ann & Franco Tasuschio.  Ann & Franco bought The Walnut Tree in 1963 and transformed it from a quiet country pub to a restaurant famed internationally for its unique charm and excellent cuisine. Visitors came from far and wide to eat at the restaurant and this was the catalyst for other high calibre chefs to settle in the area and for Monmouthshire's development as a foodie destination.


Monmouth Pudding


Put the breadcrumbs into a warm basin and pour the boiling milk over using just as much as will lightly soak them but not make them sloppy.

Cover and leave to stand for 15 minutes then flake up with a fork. Stir in the sugar and the melted butter, mixing it very lightly.

Grease a round ovenproof dish with butter.

Whip up the egg whites then fold them into the breadcrumb mixture.

Put a thick layer of jam on the bottom of the dish, then half the
breadcrumb mixture, then another layer of jam and finally the rest of
the crumb mix.

Bake in a slow oven 120C for about 20-30 minutes or
until the crumb mixture is just set.

Serve either hot or lukewarm.

Welsh Dragon