Is it stew or soup?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
a bowl of cawl

a bowl of cawl

As St. David’s Day approaches – it’s this Sunday – there are events across the world to highlight Wales but, more locally, in the south west of the country, cawl is to the fore. That is because it was in this part of Wales that many believe the dish originated.

For the uninitiated cawl is a Welsh dish; it’s not really a soup being thicker and it’s not a stew either but it can be just as filling. It’s just more appetising and you will find restaurants throughout Wales either using cawl as a first course or as a lunch offering. Usually containing – what else – lamb or mutton although I have known vegetarian versions, it has been a staple, inexpensive meal for generations and largely unknown outside Wales.

Carmarthenshire has created a cawl trail that links sixteen different eateries around the county but even the tourist office is not suggesting you try a cawl in each one. Each cawl location featured on the trail offers its own secret ingredient or ‘twist’ on the old favourite. From cawl served with gin-infused laverbread, to ‘deconstructed’ cawl assembled at your table, the trail will give visitors the opportunity to sample the dish in a multitude of delicious guises across the county.

In Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, the annual St David’s Food and Craft Festival and Cawl Cooking Championships of the World and elsewhere take place this weekend. No modesty here then from the organisers but any Martians, Venutians or even Klingon’s are probably welcome to try their hands at creating an out-of-this-word cawl to compete with the locals. Now in its 16th year, the Cawl Cooking Championship of the World and Elsewhere takes place between 11am and 3pm on Saturday, 28th February, when local restaurants compete to find the best dish of Cawl.  Eateries cater for up to 400 people on a first come first served basis, who can then sample the tasty, iconic Welsh dish and cast their vote for the champion, which will be announced on Sunday. The festival will take place between 10am and 6pm on 28th February and from 10am to 5pm on 1st March.  

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