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St David's Day: St David's Day Recipes

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March 1st is St Davids Day in Wales, a day to celebrate Wales with St David's Day recipes. St David's Day is a day in honor of their patron saint, a Celtic monk who spread the word of Christianity across Wales in the 6th century.

On the day, people wear either a daffodil or leek, two national emblems of Wales. The leek is associated with St. David as it was seen as healthy, virtuous, with healing qualities. It also acquired mystic virtues with claims that girls who slept with a leek under their pillow on St Davids Day would see their future husband in their dreams!

No wonder then that leeks feature heavily in St David's Day Recipes and Welsh food.

1. Welsh Food

Welsh Flag
Photo © istock.com

Wales may be the smallest country in the British Isles but this in no way reflects on the vast array of fine produce to eat and drink, it stands high on a global scale. The Welsh are famous for their meats, fish and seafood, their cheeses are unique and they even produce wine at Llanerch Vineyard near Cardiff. Welsh foods reflect the magnificent landscape of Wales from the shoreline to the peaks of the mountains, the rivers and the fields.

2. Breakfast

Welsh Pancake Recipe - Crempog Recipe
Photo © getty images

Start St David's Day with a hearty breakfast. A full Welsh breakfast is not complete without Laver Cakes. Though Laver Cakes are an essential part of a Welsh breakfast they can also be served as a side dishes with roast meats. This quick and simple Laver Cake recipe is adapted from a recipe by Gilli Davies recipe in her book A Taste of Wales.

Don't want something as heavy as a full breakfast then a plate of Crempog, Welsh pancakes makes a perfect breakfast.

3. A Light Lunch

Welsh Rarebit Recipe
Photo courtesy of British Leeks

Welsh Rarebit is one of the most famous dishes in Wales. Some call it "posh cheese on toast" but that does not do justice to this delicious dish.

Traditionally a Welsh Rarebit is made using a Welsh Cheddar cheese. But, as you can see from this Welsh Rarebit Recipe for Goats' Cheese and Leek Rarebit the dish lends itself beautifully to other cheeses. Welsh goats cheese comes in a variety of guises. Choose a mild, creamy one without a crust so it will easily melt into the sauce. Alternatively use Y Fenni cheese which contains mustard seed and ale.

A great dish for a light lunch or for dinner is a pie. Here are 2 recipes for perfect pies for St David's Day, both containing leeks, the emblem of Wales.

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie

Chicken, Leek, Cheese and Prune Pie

4. Leeks - 10 Top Leek Recipes

Chicken, Leek, Prune and Caerphilly Cheese Pie
Photo © British Leeks

The leek is one of the national emblems of Wales and so features heavily in Welsh food, especially on St David's Day. Here are 10 of my favourite recipes using leeks.

10 Top Leek Recipes

5. Welsh Lamb and Beef

Photo © Photolibrary Group
Welsh recipes for main course dishes cannot ignore Welsh lamb. In this delicious recipe for Roast Leg of Lamb with Honey and Cider from Gilli Davies, the honey, cider and rosemary are local Welsh flavors, while ginger has been enjoyed in Wales since it was brought back by the Crusaders.

Another recipe to make the most of early spring, Welsh lamb is Stuffed Leg of Lamb. What better way to serve it than slow roasted with pungent garlic and a good sauce. Delicious served hot but this recipe also makes a lovely cold-cut for sandwiches and light lunches.

Wales national dish of Cawl Cennin is traditionally made with neck of lamb, bacon or as in this Cawl recipe, with beef and bacon.

6. Something Sweet

Welsh cakes - Welsh Cake Recipe
Photo © True Taste of Wales
There can't be a St David's Day celebration without a plate of Welsh Cakes. Welsh cakes are a lovely tea time treat. They were originally cooked on the hot plate of a coal oven but can easily be cooked in a heavy non-stick frying pan or griddle. Eat them with lashings of butter while they are still hot, but equally they are great cold.

7. Welsh Wine

Sparkling Welsh Wine
Welsh wine is taking on the world as its reputation continues to grow and what better way to celebrate St David's Day with a glass or two.

8. Where to Celebrate St David's Day

Daffodil
Photo © stockXpert.com

Celebrations abound on St David's Day around the world. Ferne Arfin, About's Guide to UK Travel has put together this useful list on where to celebrate in the UK.

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