A TASTE of Wales came to one north Shropshire group last week.

Wem Civic Society enjoyed both an aural and taste experience with a talk on the history of Welsh food by David Smith.

And his presentation was accompanied by some of the tasty treats he was talking about.

The Welsh language featured, with diners discovering that a 'popty ping' is a microwave, while guests were also treated to a number of dishes.

Shelagh Richardson, from Wem Civic Society, said the night was enjoyed by all.

She said: “The food presented included cawl, a clear vegetable broth.


“Often the broth would include meat with vegetables and liquid removed to give a first course and the meat retained for a later course.

“The cawl was accompanied by Welsh Rarebit (or rabbit), whose name is a subject for debate. This was followed by Selsig Morgannwg (Glamorgan Sausages) with a side of leeks.

“These are not sausages but patties made up of Caerphilly cheese, leeks and breadcrumbs.

“They originally contained pork but this was removed in the Second World War and the dish popularised by the Welsh Gas Board.

“Tatws Popty, slow-baked bacon, onion and potato, came next. This was a brilliant meld and its similarity to the Shropshire regional dish, Fitchett Pie, was commented on.

“Next up, stiw endion (beef stew), which unlike the cawl is thickened with barley and oatmeal. Then a move to Cheshire with a plum curd to end that part of the event.”

Shelagh added that a tasting of Welsh Wines and cheeses accompanied by Welsh cakes and Bara Brith rather than the usual biscuits then followed.

Oliver Richardson outlined the background of the grapes, Solaris, Seyval Blanc, Regent, and Rondo, which went into the wines being tasted.

She added: “The two most popular wines were the Seyval Blanc from Pant Du Vineyard, Penygroes, described as crisp and fresh with a citrus finish on the palate, and a red wine, Whitecastle Regent, from near Abergavenny, a light Beaujolais-style wine.

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“The cheeses were thought outstanding – a long-matured Gorwydd Caerphilly; Hafod Cheddar; Black Sheep, a sheep’s cheese from Carmarthenshire; Seiriol Wyn, a goat’s cheese from Ynys Mon, and Caws Teifi, from Llandyssul, that contains seaweed.

“Well – you would expect at least one of the Welsh cheeses to contain seaweed.”

Another event for 2024 will be arranged after the popularity of the evening.