W is for Wales… not a sovereign state, but a country



Welsh flag

When I started this project a year ago I did some basic research to determine that there were countries that started with most of the letters in the English alphabet. Of course, in this day and age, we all know that the most absolute accurate purveyor of knowledge and authority on all things is Wikipedia (bu- bu- pipe down and go with it!). So, periodically I would look at the Wikipedia “List of sovereign states,” which led me to believe that there is no country that starts with the letter W.

I could’ve panicked, but instead, being the worldly and magnanimous lady I am, I decided I would cook a dish from Wales. So OK Wales is part of the UK, but it’s a place with its own distinct culture and so, it reasoned, it’s own distinct food.

Soon after I made this well-thought out decision I ran in to my friend Paul, a native of Wales, and I couldn’t wait to tell him of my generous gift to the good people of Wales; letting them be their own country for the sake of my blog. And so I excitedly told Paul all about this new project I was starting and then, building excitement as only the finest storyteller can I reached the crescendo and exclaimed, “and since there’s no country in the world that starts with a W, I’ll–”

“I’m sorry, what? There’s no country that starts with W? There is NO country that starts with W?” (You gotta hear that in your head with Paul’s Welsh accent, it makes the story funnier).

“I mean I know that Wales starts with a W,” I explained, “but I mean it’s part of the UK.” At which time Paul reminded me that the UK is made up of four distinct countries; England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You see Wales is in fact a country, but not a sovereign state.

Well there goes my career in diplomacy!

I had invited my friend Anna over for dinner on Friday and since it coincided with the timing of my W recipe, I decided to serve Welsh Rarebit as an appetizer. Despite the name often being pronounced Welsh Rabbit (both are correct from what I hear), this is actually a cheese dish. Basically you make a fondue type sauce, pour it over toast and then throw it under the broiler. Melty, oozey, bubbly cheese and bread; yes please!

Apologies for the lack of photos, I was busy entertaining my guest.


Welsh Rarebit

  • 3 Tablespoons beer (stout or ale)
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard powder (such as Colemans)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Worcestershire sauce; to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 6 oz Welsh cheddar or caerphilly cheese grated
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 slices of bread (can be whatever you like, but I suggest a heartier, crustier variety)

In a small sauce pan mix a bit of the beer with the mustard powder to dissolve. Add butter,  Worcestershire and remaining beer.

Once butter has melted whisk in flour until smooth. Allow to cook for one more minute.

Add cheese, whisking until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly (mixture should still be warm).

Meanwhile toast the bread.

When the mixture has cooled to warm whisk in the eggs until smooth. Pour mixture over the toast and put under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until a bit browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Serves 2



I mean people, do I need to say it again!? It’s melted cheese and bread, could it really not be amazing!?

With some minor tweeks this would definitely be an A+ recipe. Anna and I both agreed that the dish was delish and the texture was pretty fabulous; soft, creamy cheese and nice crunchy crusty bread. I think I need to play with the ratios though as the cheese should’ve been a bit meltier/bubblier. Also because I used a stout and white cheddar, the dish was not the most appealing color brown. I think next time I’d try and get an orange cheddar which wouldn’t effect the taste, but should help the color.


Archwaeth dda!