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23-May-2015 19:49

Vegetables, beyond cabbages and leeks, were historically rare and the leek became a significant component of many dishes.

It has been a national symbol of Wales for at least 400 years and Shakespeare refers to the Welsh custom of wearing a leek in Henry V.

Beef and dairy cattle are also raised widely, and there is a strong fishing culture.

Fisheries and commercial fishing are common and seafood features widely in Welsh cuisine.

Some variation in dishes exists across the country, with notable differences existing in the Gower Peninsula; an historically isolated rural area which developed self-sufficiency in food production. While some culinary practices and dishes have been imported from its British neighbors, uniquely Welsh cuisine grew principally from the lives of Welsh working people, largely as a result of their isolation from outside culinary influences and the need to produce food based on the limited ingredients they could produce or afford.

Welsh Celts and their more recent Welsh descendants originally practiced transhumance, moving their cattle to higher elevations in the summer and back to their home base in the winter.

Since the 1970s, the number of restaurants and gastropubs in Wales has increased significantly "the effects of a self-denying Puritanical religion and much past hardship understandably colour Welsh attitudes to their native cookery.

Once they settled to homesteads, a family would have generally eaten meat from a pig primarily, keeping a cow for dairy products.

Welsh cuisine encompasses the cooking traditions and practices associated with the country of Wales and the Welsh people.

Whilst there are a large number of dishes that can be considered Welsh due to their ingredients and/or history, dishes such as cawl, Welsh rarebit, laverbread, Welsh cakes, bara brith and the Glamorgan sausage have all been regarded as symbols of Welsh food.