With hundreds of new Welsh food and drink businesses starting each year, the option of eating produce that’s been made in Wales has never been more bountiful, or more convenient. Here, Andy Richardson, Chair of the Wales Food and Drink Wales Industry Board, looks at some of the leading Welsh Food and Drink brands that could be on your shopping list this year
Pant Ysgawn Organic Goats Cheese No feast is complete without cheese. And we are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a Welsh cheese, from crumbly Caerphilly to punchy Red Devil, there’s a plethora to choose from. My pick for this Christmas is Pant Ysgawn Organic Goats Cheese, which is made in Blaenavon by award-winning food maker Tony Craske. It’s a good staple to keep in the fridge as it’s very mild so suitable for most pallets.
Radnor Preserves And of course, the perfect cheese needs the perfect accompaniment. Enter Radnor Preserves. A specialist manufacturer of exquisite preserves with an eclectic offering including the multi award-winning Smoky Campfire Marmalade, which won Double Gold at the World Marmalade Awards in 2015. Radnor Preserves’ chutneys, jellies and marmalades can be bought online via the website. Pick up the Roasted Nectarine Chutney which compliments dolcelatte and cured meats, or the Christmas Chutney which is perfect with cold turkey, nut roasts and cheese.
Cradoc’s Savoury Biscuits The finishing touch to any stellar cheese board is the humble cracker and as suppliers to major retailers, Cradoc’s know a thing or two about baking the perfect cracker. While the product range is small the flavour range is mighty, from Vegetable Crackers with Spinach and Celery Seed to Golden Baked Cocktail Biscuits with Pear & Earl Grey Tea. Their website details Welsh retailers where you can stock up on the whole range.
Neil Powell Master Butchers’ Turkeys. Whether you’re a turkey fan or not, there is no denying that Monmouthshire butcher, Neil Powell Master Butchers, has the monopoly on quality turkeys. Their turkeys are reared by the Davies family in Monmouthshire where they forage naturally in the fields from the age of six weeks old. But if you’re trying something new, the butchers will also be able to sort you out with a quality piece of beef, or you could try duck or goose reared on the Williams’ farm in the Wye Valley. Visit Neil Powell Master Butchers in Abergavenny, Hereford, Monmouth, Ewyas Harold or Chepstow.
Nom Nom Chocolate If you haven’t yet sampled one of the many delicious Nom Nom bars, this is your reminder to do so! The range is spectacular with 23 (and growing) flavours – from peanut butter to salted almonds; cardamom and raspberry to pink pepper and a whole host of other wacky and wonderful flavours. With the huge variety of flavours on offer, a few bars would make a lovely present for someone or just a nice treat to have with a coffee at the end of the night.
Aber Falls Distillery Spirits A well-stocked drinks cabinet is essential if you’re hosting various guests over the holidays. With this in mind it’s definitely worth a trip to Aber Falls Distillery, or just to the website if you can’t make it to Gwynedd, for a tour of the site. Highlights from their catalogue of boozy delights include Rhubarb and Ginger Pink Gin, Orange and Marmalade Gin, Violet Liquor and Salted Toffee Liquor. Aber Falls’ liquor range is inspired by flavours found in the Welsh countryside, while the gin collection takes inspiration from Wales’ botanical landscape.