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Welsh Food Stories

A culinary travelogue across Wales.
In Welsh Food Stories, Carwyn Graves travels across Wales to sample its rich culinary tradition and listen to stories from cooks, chiefs, and producers. Traveling across the country, Graves tastes oysters, cider, salt-marsh lamb, and more while listening to intimate stories from his hosts, including the owners of a Carmarthenshire chip shop who never forget a customer and the couple behind Anglesey’s world-class salt company Halen Môn. For Graves, these stories ultimately shine a light on both the ongoing environmental and social importance of local food making.

272 pages | 4 color plates, 10 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Food and Gastronomy

Geography: Cultural and Historical Geography

History: British and Irish History

View all books from University of Wales Press


"A wonderful account of the history of traditional food in Wales. I couldn’t put it down! Who knew wheat and leeks could be so fascinating? Carwyn Graves has written nine chapters which is a nine course feast!"

Welsh Society of Western New England

"Graves’s new book, Welsh Food Stories... argues that the country has a culinary vernacular as wide and distinctive as France’s or Italy’s."

Bloomberg UK

"It’s a cracking volume but also an important one, shot with Graves’ infectious enthusiasm for a subject as delicious as a slice of Carmarthen ham or hunk of Golden Cenarth cheese."


"Even if you're not Welsh, it's really, really worth reading."

BBC Radio 4

"A book to savor – a valuable resource for anyone who cares about the food we eat and its wider standing in the world."

Buzz Magazine

"There is plenty to enjoy as food historian and linguist Carwyn Graves visits farms and food businesses from saltmarsh lamb on the Gower to sea salt in Anglesey, and from cider orchards in the southeast to cheesemaking in the west. But do note: this is a scholarly book with a serious message."

Food Manifesto

"Until now, there’s not really been a definitive account of Welsh food history . . . and this really fills that gap. As well as giving a backstory to food in Wales, it also goes into greater depth about 9 specific Welsh foods, including bread, butter, cheese, cider and salt. . . . an ideal introduction for anyone interested in Welsh food culture and produce."

Nic Miller | Tales from Topographic Kitches

"Well-researched and engaging, this book is a must-read for every culinary historian."

Culinary Historians of Canada

Table of Contents

Foreword by Patrick Holden


1. Bara / Bread

2. Caws / Cheese

3. Lawr, cocos a wystrys / Laver, cockles and oysters

4. Oen ac Eidion/ Lamb and Beef

5. Halen / Salt

6. Menyn / Butter

7. Seidyr / Cider

8. Sglodion / Chips

9. Cennin / Leeks


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