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21 Things You Have To Taste In Wales

From Michelin-starred fine dining, to must-try street food.

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1. The Welsh lamb shank at Purple Poppadom

purplepoppadom.com

Ask for the Raan Akbari, the chef's signature dish, Welsh lamb roasted and finished in the tandoor oven and served on butternut squash mash. The obligatory mint comes in a sorbet.

2. A pint on the wall at Ty Coch Inn

Flickr: uk_pictures Creative Commons / Via Flickr

Last year, the North Wales pub was named one of the world’s top ten beach bars and it's not hard to see why. Sit on the sea wall and gaze across the ocean, while sipping from a cool pint of Welsh ale.

3. Welsh cakes from Cardiff Market

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Hot off the skillet and sold out in minutes. Purists turn their noses up at anything but sultanas in theirs, but you can get them here with (whisper it) chocolate chips, too. And don't let anyone tell you it makes them less Welsh.

4. Leeks five ways at the Michelin-starred Ynyshir Hall

Via Ynyshir Hall

Thought leeks were just for soup and waving around on St David's Day? You've never tried them like this. This celebrated Mid Wales hotel serves them barbecued and pureed, topped with leek ash, leek oil, and fermented leek juice.

5. The full Welsh breakfast at The Harbourmaster

Huw Jones / Via Facebook/The Harbourmaster Hotel

Reserve a window seat and watch the boats bob as you tuck in to the heartiest of starts to the day in picture-perfect Aberaeron. Richard Burton described laverbread as 'Welshman's caviar' and that's why we eat it in our cooked breakfast.

6. Pulled pork from Hang Fire Smokehouse

Lauri Patterson / Via Facebook/Hang Fire Smokehouse

The duo took a road trip to America three years ago, bringing back their taste of American barbecue to Wales in pop-ups and pub residencies. They fed Dolly Parton this year when her tour stopped in Cardiff, in case you weren't already sold.

7. A Joe's Ice Cream on Mumbles Pier.

Via Facebook

Watch another student try and fail to drink their way down Mumbles Mile as you enjoy some of the finest hyfen ia in the world. This Swansea ice cream parlour is legendary, and queues still snake around the door at the new sister shop in Cardiff.

8. The saddle of Welsh lamb at Tyddyn Llan

Tyddyn Llan

One of the most popular dishes at the Denbighshire restaurant with rooms comes complete with a parsley and pine nut stuffing, baby veg, and another Michelin star, one of five in the country. Yes, lamb's made it on the list twice, this is Wales.

9. A sip of Penderyn Whisky

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Rare, fine, and distilled in the heart of the Welsh Valleys, where staff hand polish every bottle as it comes off the line. Never beaten while drunk on top of Rhigos Mountain - while daydreaming towards the Beacons.

10. Cockles and laverbread from Swansea Market

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The largest indoor market in Wales. Watch workers eat theirs on their lunch break on any bench in the city, or locals grazing with a plastic fork on the beach. The rest take them home, to fry up with bacon for a traditional Welsh delicacy.

11. Soufflé and Champagne at The Checkers

Via The Checkers

This Michelin-starred restaurant loves soufflé so much, they gave it a full menu. Have it double-baked with smoked Cenarth cheese and leeks, and a Grand Marnier and dark chocolate ice cream one for dessert.

12. A bacon buttie from Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar

Simon Regan / Via Facebook/Caerphilly Mountain Snack Bar

It recently had a makeover but this place, perched right on the top of the mountain, has been going for years. It serves everyone from bikers to hikers, anyone who likes their stodge with a view.

13. Halen Mon anywhere and on everything.

Halen Mon / Via halenmon.com

Obama's a fan of this famous sea salt from Anglesey. Famed for their white, crunchy flaked crystals, they also do a range of salted products. Try the salted caramel sauce on porridge and say you haven't gone to salty sweet tooth heaven.

14. A slab of Caerphilly cheese from Madame Fromage

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So popular it even has its own festival, Caerphilly Cheese is the queen of picnic stuffs. You can buy it over the counter here, at this gem of a café in one of the capital's Victorian arcades, where they also do a tidy Welsh Rarebit.

15. A rump of Welsh beef at Felin Fach Griffin

Felin Fach Griffin

A Welsh Sunday's not the same without a roast. This dish, with polenta chips, pea puree, garden peas and spring onions, is best eaten in front of the fire at this romantic, countryside getaway near the equally-romantic Black Mountains.

16. A Clark's Pie, all down your shirt.

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From the market, or on match day at Cardiff City. The exact recipe for the filling is a closely-guarded secret containing beef, vegetables and gravy. All we know is they're delicious.

17. The turnip and Welsh cheese dumplings at Crown at Whitebrook

Crown at Whitebrook

This Michelin-starred restaurant bakes the turnip in salt. The dish is finished with a dumpling made from two Welsh cheeses, a Golden Cenarth from Carmarthenshire and a ewe's milk cheese sourced locally in Whitebrook.

18. A Gower Cottage Brownie in your lunch box.

Via gowercottagebrownies.co.uk

Preferably with walnuts. The definition of a good day at the office, these treats have become one of Wales' most successful food exports. BBC Good Food Magazine called them "the best we've ever tasted".

19. Brecon Reserve Gin cocktails at The Potted Pig

thepottedpig.com

As the name suggests, this popular place where you usually need to reserve a table in advance is known for its pork dishes, but you can also take your pick from shelves of gin. You'll find it in a former bank vault underneath a busy Cardiff street.

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