One of the many good things about running my Loving Welsh Food tours, is seeing the wonderful reactions we get from guests when they taste our fabulous Welsh food and drink. All guests have their favourite tastings and Welsh cheeses are always among the highlights.
What makes Welsh cheeses so good?
A country’s cuisine depends on a variety of factors, geography being the most important. We have a very moderate climate, which provides us with lush green grass, ideal for our cheeses, as well as our other dairy products, Welsh lamb and beef.
Wales is surrounded by sea on three sides, with a mass of mountains dissected by rivers inland. The often inhospitable uplands are better suited to grazing herds than growing crops, and this has led to a prominence of dairy and meat in the Welsh diet.
If you’re planning on visiting Wales, it’s definitely worth trying some of our fabulous cheeses – we have over 100 different kinds so there’s plenty of choice.
Top Welsh cheeses chosen by Loving Welsh Food guests
Black Bomber – Snowdonia Cheese Company
Black Bomber was the first cheese made by Snowdonia Cheese Company when the company started in 2001. It’s an extra mature cheese that packs a real punch, perfect for a cheese board, in sandwiches or as an appetiser with your aperitifs. It is also a great cheese to use in our traditional recipe, Welsh Rarebit. This smooth and moist textured cheese is extremely popular and has won many awards including 2010 Silver Medal at the Nantwich International Cheese Show and 2007 World Cheese Award Bronze winner. The company is set in North Wales amid the rugged beauty of Eryri (Snowdonia) and uses only the finest milk and additional ingredients to produce a distinctive range of cheeses.
Perl Wen – Caws Cenarth
The lush valley of the river Cych is home to Caws Cenarth, one of Wales’ most renowned cheesemakers. Set up by Gwynfor and Thelma Adams in 1987, the business draws on a six-generation family tradition of cheesemaking.
Perl Wen, meaning White Pearl in English, is one of Wales’ best loved soft cheeses and is a unique cross between a traditional Brie and a Caerffili. Caws Cenarth use their farmhouse Caerffili recipe as a starting point for Perl Wen which gives its soft centre a fresh citrus flavour with a hint of sea salt.
As the Perl Wen ripens the cheese beneath the white rind becomes creamy and buttery in texture. If you prefer your soft cheeses runny, rather than with a young chalky texture, eat your Perl Wen close to its Best Before Date.
Ideal in a sandwich, on a cracker and perfect with a little of your favourite chutney. Very moreish on a cheese board.
Perl Las - Caws Cenarth
This blue cheese, sister to Perl Wen, (Perl Las means Blue Pearl) is a superb blue cheese, golden in colour, with a creamy, gently salty taste that grows stronger with maturity. This blue veined cheese differs from most bold British blues. First a rich creaminess followed by a short saltiness then the blue tones with a delicate lingering flavour.
Served at room temperature Perl Las is a must for any cheese board. Great melted onto a steak, or in a sauce. Add to a salad also – take some green leaves, tomato, walnuts and Perl Las – and serve with a refreshing salad dressing.
Places to enjoy Welsh cheese in Cardiff
Wally’s Delicatessen – Royal Arcade. 38-42 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE
Wallys’ Delicatessen is a well-known institution in Cardiff and is run by the third generation of the Salamon family. It’s an amazing shop, rather like an Aladdin’s cave, full of food from all over the world including, of course, a wide selection of Welsh food and drink. The cheese section is particularly impressive with over 32 different kinds of Welsh cheeses on offer.
Tŷ Caws, at Riverside Market, Taff Embankment
Tŷ Caws, (House of Cheese) at Riverside Market is a great place to sample some Welsh cheeses. Riverside Market, open every Sunday 10am – 2pm, is a showcase for some of the best food producers in Wales and follows the bank of the River Taff, opposite the Principality Stadium, a perfect location for a true local food market.
Owner and founder of Tŷ Caws, Owen, has an extremely impressive cheese background:
'I love selling really good cheese directly to my lovely customers. I've been fortunate to judge cheeses at the British Cheese Awards; Artisan Cheese Awards; several other cheese competitions; I'm a team leader at the World Cheese Awards and an associate member of the Academy of Cheese.'
Culley’s Kitchen & Bar, The Coal Exchange Hotel
Culley’s Kitchen & Bar at the Coal Exchange Hotel is one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Cardiff, and Culley’s still bears many of the Coal Exchange’s original features. The menu showcases Welsh food and drink and includes a variety of Welsh recipes.
All cheese lovers need to try the Cheese board – it's absolutely delicious and a great way to sample a variety of Welsh cheeses.
The Welsh Cheese Company shop, Taff's Well
The Welsh Cheese Company was founded in 2017, initially selling to customers exclusively through their website and then also to wholesale customers. The opening of the company's first 'bricks and mortar' shop is an exciting development, situated just a few minutes away from the M4/ A470 junction to north of Cardiff, within easy reach of most of South Wales.
With over 70 varieties in stock, produced by independent cheesemakers all over Wales, the shop aims to showcase all of your favourite Welsh cheeses and also introduce you to the most exciting new cheeses that the country has to offer.
Places to enjoy Welsh cheese in West, South and North Wales
Caws Teifi, Ceredigion
In 1981, co-founders of Caws Teifi, John, Patrice and Paula, came to Wales from their native Holland with dreams of setting up a centre for learning organic farming and self-sufficiency. They bought Glynhynod Farm (Remarkable Valley) and set to work realising their vision by making wonderful raw milk cheese. You can visit the farm shop to try and buy their cheeses alongside other lovingly made, locally sourced produce.
Caerfai Farm Organic Cheese, Pembrokeshire
Caerfai Farm is an easy stroll away from St David’s, the smallest city in the UK and the farm’s organic cheeses are well known throughout the locality for their exceptional quality and taste.
You can buy the cheese at the Caerfai Farm shop during the summer. If Linda, who makes the cheese, is around you’re welcome to pop in and have a look around the tiny cheese-making area and have a chat.
Rhyd y Delyn Cheese, Anglesey
Caws Rhyd y Delyn on the beautiful isle of Anglesey makes award-winning artisan cheese using creamy milk from the farm’s pedigree Holstein Friesian. Their milk travels just 30 metres to the farm’s small modern dairy where the cheese is created.
Rhyd y Delyn's cheese can be bought from the family's Canna Deli in Cardiff.
Loving Welsh Food tours
Visit the Loving Welsh Food website for more information about our Loving Welsh Food tours and events.