Marks and Spencer are known for excellent produce but what is less well known is their support for regional produce – Welsh customers will be delighted to taste some of their latest Welsh food ranges which not only taste great, but support the Welsh food industry too.
We wondered if their slogan “it’s not just food, it’s M&S food” could apply to something as simple as a humble meal of bread and cheese, so our team put it to the test with the extra condition that the M&S food had to be Welsh.
We were not disappointed. The Taste at 55 Team were able to sample a Welsh classic of bread and cheese – washed down with a delicious Welsh Golden ale, all from artisan Welsh producers and all reasonably priced and available in South Wales M&S stores. It goes to say, as passionate supporters of Welsh produce, we will probably be shopping there more often. Here’s some simple, affordable, quintessentially Welsh products that belong in every Welsh store cupboard – and our team agreed, you really can taste the difference:
Welsh Batch Loaf from multi-award winning Village Bakery
Soft, light and fluffy, the Welsh Batch loaf, made to perfection in Wrexham is full of flavour and incredibly moreish. Having tried the bread, the Taste at 55 team agree, you can’t stop at one slice! Actually, we took the loaf camping with us and our English friends are hoping that M&S will stock it in their local store – it was a big hit.
Priced at just £1,65, it’s simply perfect paired with Shirgar Welsh Butter and Dragon Mature Welsh Cheddar, both also available at your local M&S store.
Shirgar Butter – Great Taste Award Winner
Shirgar butter is a traditional Welsh Brand that was lost for a while until Gower View Foods successfully brought the brand back to Carmarthenshire – and it’s now available in your local M&S. It won over judges from the Great Taste Awards in 2015, who awarded it three gold stars, saying: “Butter doesn’t get much better than this. The butter’s balance of sweet notes and saltiness was likened to alchemy with judges identifying notes of malt and caramel.”
We don’t think we can top the judges’ crafted words… although on trying it for the first time my husband described it less poetically with his typically Welsh take on things: “that butter’s lush, that is!” We loved it.
Dragon Mature Cheddar
Dragon produce this vegetarian Welsh Cheddar at their creamery on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales. We thought it was delicious, but it seems we aren’t the only ones. This classic Mature Cheddar brought home the Best Block cheddar and a Gold award from the British Cheese Awards last year (one of over 80 awards the company picked up across the year for their outstanding cheese). This definitely isn’t just cheese, and our block didn’t last very long at all! We were quickly back buying more to enjoy the rest of the loaf and it’s become a bit of a favourite.
Gower Gold Beer
According to the producers, Gower Gold is a thirst quenching golden ale with refreshing citrus flavours and the lovely aroma of the cascade hops. Brewed since December 2011, this beer is one of the most popular ales made by Gower Brewery, a craft brewer based in Pen-clawdd in the heart of North Gower. I’m not normally a fan of ale, but this was light and easy to drink and the refreshing citrusy flavours were most welcome as we were enjoying our meal in a heatwave. It proved a perfect match for the bread and cheese and was definitely a welcome change from the can of Coke we’d normally have with lunch, which would not have matched this meal at all.
Seriously, who doesn’t love bread and cheese – it’s a simple, humble classic, elevated to a brand new level with these gourmet Welsh products – we loved it. I guess that means we’ll be heading to M&S this weekend.