Welsh Cakes And Cockle Hats

1 Mar

27 tinkers cakes

Today is Saint David’s Day, Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant, in Wales and small girls are dressed in a traditional Welsh costume with a daffodil corsage, small boys are put into Welsh rugby shirts with a leek corsage and copious Welsh Cakes are eaten. For aeons these have been baked on a griddle or bakestone, maen in Welsh. Pice ar y maen translates as cakes on the stone and this method of cooking is shared by all the Celtic nations. There is another version, substituting grated apple for dried fruit and cinammon for mixed spice and these are called Tinker’s Cakes (Teisennau Tincar). I made some a while back and drew them.

little me

Here’s three-year old me, in my Welsh costume, traditional Welsh flannel which was very itchy as I remember. There are two types of hat – the more common stovepipe hat that I’m wearing and the smaller black straw bonnet that we called the Cockle hat, after the cockle women who used to sell seafood from large baskets on street corners, like in this famous portrait by Evan Walters.

Walters, Evan; The Cockle Woman; Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-cockle-woman-177587

Walters, Evan; The Cockle Woman; Carmarthenshire Museums Service Collection

I can just remember one of the cockle women selling on the corner outside the Lower Lamb pub on Swansea’s High Street on a Saturday morning. My dad would pop over to buy some cockles and laverbread (a Welsh seaweed delicacy) and cook us a Welsh breakfast with bacon and eggs, the cockles fried till they popped in the hot bacon fat and the laverbread turned into the cockly bacony grease to warm through.

12 Responses to “Welsh Cakes And Cockle Hats”

  1. martinsdoodles March 2, 2016 at 14:26 #

    Happy St Davids day. I had cockles and laverbread for breakfast yesterday but missed out on Welsh Cakes.

    • Rosie Scribblah March 2, 2016 at 15:02 #

      Now I had the Welsh cakes, but not the cockles and laverbread. Must have some for the weekend I think.

  2. jhv57 March 2, 2016 at 13:21 #

    Love the history and your family story.

    • Rosie Scribblah March 2, 2016 at 15:01 #

      Thank you. It’s a very long tradition now. Best of all is the food 😀

  3. allesistgut March 2, 2016 at 08:51 #

    Hhhmm, sounds really yummy. I’d like to have those Welsh cakes now!!! 😉 Have a happy day! 😀

  4. anna warren portfolio March 2, 2016 at 04:35 #

    That sounds so delicious! Its great that these traditions are kept alive.

    • Rosie Scribblah March 2, 2016 at 04:57 #

      Yes, still clinging in there. One pot and griddle cooking are still very popular, harking back to a byegone age

  5. Leonie Andrews March 2, 2016 at 04:23 #

    Ha, ha, you don’t quite look like a ‘happy camper’ in that photo. Happy St David’s Day to you!

    • Rosie Scribblah March 2, 2016 at 04:24 #

      I still hate dressing up and having my photo taken. It was a double whammy.

  6. Phil Cooper March 1, 2016 at 23:25 #

    Wonderful evocative post, and the food sounds scrummy 😉

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