There are many ingredients that go into making a great food holiday, and Carmarthenshire has got it exactly right.
The favourite cheeses and cake of Prince Charles, mapped routed, smoked trout caught in coracles, squirrel and much, much more.
Head down to Carmarthen Market and you will find some of the best laver bread in Wales, cockles fresh from the shore and Y Polyn, the newly crowned best restaurant in Wales.
To help its visitors to discover the real food heroes of the county, a number of food trails have now been launched online. These can all be found at www.discovercarmarthenshire.com/foodtrails, and guide you round the very best food producers in Carmarthenshire, including pie shops, delis, pubs, farm shops, teashops, bars and restaurants.
There are also a wealth of unique experiences to enjoy, such as Big Bill, the bearded fisherman who serves up his weekly catch in his living room.
The three mapped trails make it easy to avoid the big supermarkets and experience the county’s authentic tastes, local producers, and gain an understanding of the agricultural landscape.
Carmarthenshire is packed with well-established heritage producers who have been crafting meats, cheeses and bakery goods for decades. Visit Albert Rees where the son of Albert, Chris, still cures the famous Carmarthen Ham – a recipe handed down through the generations and a family legend claiming the Romans stole it during the invasion of Wales and invented Parma Ham.
Whatever the truth it’s a favourite of Rick Stein’s! A neighbour in Carmarthen Indoor Market is Etta Richardson’s Bakery, now run by her son Richard and his wife – their fruitcake so impressed Prince Charles he promptly ordered eight for Christmas and then served slices at his wedding reception to Camilla. Known as Etta’s Royal Cake the recipe remains a tightly guarded secret!
The new wave of food pioneers includes Scott Davis who after years working in top restaurants in London and New York has returned to his roots to set up cnwd (pronounced cn-ood — it rhymes with food) a smokery producing smoked wild fish and award-winning terrines.
Each food trail profiles a local food hero and sets out a route of culinary highlights for three distinct geographical areas – Carmarthen and West, Newcastle Emlyn and North and Llandeilo and East.
From a Master Chef: The Professionals finalist’s restaurant to a remote artisan brewery next the Dolcothi Gold Mine this is guided food shopping and so much more! And to whet your appetite there are films online for each local producer.