Seven Welsh food and drink producers to watch and celebrate on St David’s Day

Make a difference this year by visiting the shops, farms and cafes of the country’s most resourceful and passionate producers, or order their products online.

By Wales Food & Drink
Published 24 Feb 2022, 18:00 GMT
The country’s fertile pastures, forests and vast coastline is the source of the exceptional produce that ...

The country’s fertile pastures, forests and vast coastline is the source of the exceptional produce that can be found across Wales.

Photograph by Getty Images

The Welsh food and drink scene has never been more exciting — and that’s real cause for celebration on St David’s Day. One look at the country’s fertile pastures, forests and vast coastline reveals why: exceptional produce, ingredients sourced with care and an eye for provenance, natural flavours and sustainability. Now producers are putting Wales firmly on the gastro map by foraging and fermenting, farming and fishing, and mixing back-to-the-roots tradition with creative flair. Excelling in everything from single-estate tea to meadow-fed hogget, each of these rising stars has a unique and surprising story to tell. You can order their goods online, but for a true taste of Wales, nothing beats visiting in person. Here are seven businesses to watch.

The Welsh Homestead Smokery smokes and uses UK-grown chillies in its popular smoked-chilli jams.

Photograph by Getty Images

1. Welsh Homestead Smokery, Ceredigion

Where the gentle hills of Ceredigion meet the higher peaks of the Cambrian Mountains, Claire and Chris Jesse deliver ‘smoky food magic’ at their small-batch, sustainably minded artisan smokery in the Welsh sticks. Their cold-smoked bacon, beef and lamb, as well as UK-grown smoked chillies, smoked chilli jams and flavoured smoked salts, are full of intense, natural flavours. Book a workshop on their farmstead or visit to learn how to use smoke and fire to cook and preserve.

Don't miss: The signature smoked lamb bacon: a miniature rasher of cured lamb, flavoured with Pembrokeshire honey and smoked gently over wood.
Try it: The smoked meats are regularly on the menu at Michelin-starred restaurant Sosban & The Old Butchers on Anglesey. You can also buy them online and at local delis and food fairs. 

2. Gwenynfa Penybryn Apiary, Gwynedd

Going strong for almost a century, this apiary has thrived ever since a swarm of bees serendipitously landed on the Edwards family’s plum tree back in the 1930s. The 150 hives in Ganllwyd, North Wales, are heaven for nectar-seeking Welsh black bees, who have rich pickings in the nearby forests of Coed y Brenin, the mountains of Snowdonia and the Mawddach estuary. Today, Carys Edwards is creating a buzz with aromatic honeys infused with heather, honey-laced jams — including plum, rhubarb and ginger — and honey sauces, from mint to cranberry.

Don't miss: Delicate, bittersweet bell heather honey, which captures the floral flavours of summer.
Try it: Stock up on the honeys online or find them in local independent stores.

The Pembrokeshire coastline captured in a jar... Crwst Barti Salted Caramel is infused with a Welsh rum made using Pembrokeshire seaweed.

Photograph by Manon Houston

3. Crwst, Cardigan

In castle-topped Cardigan in west Wales, Osian and Catrin Jones hand-bake and shape artisan breads using traditional methods and pure ingredients: organic Shipton Mill flour, water, salt and organic yeast. Inspired by travels in France, they ditched their day jobs a few years ago to follow their dreams by setting up this micro- bakery and cafe. Brunches make the most of terrific local produce in the likes of creamy truffle mushrooms on sourdough toast with poached egg, Welsh bacon and smashed avocado. But you’ll also want to save room for the cakes and pastries that flake just so.

Don't miss: Christmassy cinnamon swirls and zingy lemon-curd doughnuts that taste like summer.
Try it: Visit the cafe, bistro and deli in Cardigan to taste the signature breads or dishes, or order a bake-at-home kit. 

A soothing cup of Peterston’s green tea — this year there are plans to open the farm for visits and host courses covering growing, picking and processing.

Photograph by Gabriella Jackson

4. Peterston Tea Estate, Vale of Glamorgan

It takes guts and foresight to look at the Vale of Glamorgan’s drizzly hills and think ‘tea plantation’. But Lucy George did just that in 2013, when she pinned her aspirations on growing from seed the first handcrafted, single-estate tea in Wales. Using an ethical agroforestry approach, Lucy helped those tiny seeds to bloom into richly aromatic teas. Mellow and smooth, the estate’s single-batch black, green and oolong teas have done phenomenally well at the Great Taste Awards.

Don't miss: Pale amber Lloer Moon Oolong tea, with notes of milk chocolate and jammy tropical fruits.
Try it: Fortnum & Mason stocks Peterston teas. This year there are plans to open the farm for visits and host courses covering growing, picking and processing. 

5. Pembrokeshire Lamb

Steve and Kara Lewis hit the ground running when they set up a 100-acre farm in north Pembrokeshire in 2019. Following a slow, conservation-focused ‘fresh is best’ mantra, their meltingly tender Pembrokeshire lamb tastes of the surrounding hills and spring meadows lush with grass, clover and herbs. Sheep are free to graze naturally on their farm, and meat is hung for longer — up to two weeks for hogget and mutton — to develop its full-bodied flavour and texture, then cut by a local award-winning butcher.

Don't miss: Well-aged, deep-flavoured hogget shoulder, awarded the Golden Fork at the 2021 Great Taste Awards.
Try it: At cafes and restaurants such as the Runwayskiln in coast-hugging Marloes, which regularly features hogget on the menu. The farm’s meats can be bought online or at food fairs like the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham. 

6. Jones Trust Your Gut, Monmouthshire

Anna Jones and Malcom Burns elevate fermented foods to new gourmet heights with a slow, sustainable, organic ethos. Drawing inspiration from the Welsh Marches in their one-of-a-kind products and designs, the pair’s apple cider vinegars, superfood slaws (try them with turmeric, spirulina or smoky cucumber) and feisty, spicy oak-barrel-steeped apple cider tonics, are healthy and delicious. New to the range is Welsh kimchi, which has a hit of ginger, garlic, chilli and laverbread. 

Don't miss: The Great Taste Award-winning organic apple cider vinegar, laced with turmeric and Zambian forest honey. 
Try it: The full range of fermented foods is available online.

Do Goodly Dips contain no artificial ingredients or added sugar and use sustainably sourced ingredients.

Photograph by Gabriella Jackson

7. Do Goodly Dips, Carmarthenshire

Friends Richard Abbey and Scott Davies pooled their imaginative culinary skills to develop the Do Goodly range of dips, harnessing the power of plants. The brand’s ultra-green ethos is admirably progressive: natural, sustainably sourced ingredients, packaging made from recycled materials and a long shelf life to reduce food waste. The vegan-friendly, high-fibre dips are as pure as can be, with no artificial ingredients or added sugar. And they’re packed with fresh, punchy flavours, from the Smashed Pea Guacamole to the Beetroot Borani and Tomato & Bean Hummus with a hint of basil.

Don't miss: Superstar Salsa, with herbs, spices and quinoa, which was a resounding success at the Great Taste Awards 2021.
Try it: Buy the dips in Morrisons and Ocado, or order on Facebook.

For more details on great Welsh producers, see gov.wales/foodanddrinkwales

For recipes, see gov.wales/foodanddrink/about-us/recipes

#CaruCymruCaruBlas  #LoveWalesLoveTaste campaign

Read More

You might also like

Travel
Discover fine wines and fiery flavours on Tunisia's Cap Bon peninsula
Travel
Where to eat in Lymington, Hampshire
Travel
From Portugal to Tibet: five of the best new cookbooks for spring
Travel
Deconstructing gumbo, Louisiana's beloved state dish
Travel
A taste of Galway, from oyster ice cream to peaty poitín

Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us

Subscribe

  • Magazines
  • Newsletter
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved