Today, I went along to the Big Welsh Bite 2017 food festival in Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd, Rhondda, which is taking place both today and tomorrow from 11am – 5pm. Now in its fourteenth year, this Welsh food festival organised by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council features a variety of food and drink producers from throughout the country in addition to cookery demonstrations, fun-fair rides and entertainment for all the family.
The Big Welsh Bite 2017 is being held in the breathtakingly beautiful grounds of Ynysangharad Memorial Park. My mum took me me here when I was younger to play in the park and outdoor swimming pool, and I haven’t been back here since, so it was a rather nostalgic outing for me.
This year’s event is sponsored by Subzero ice cream, a family-run business based in the Rhondda Valleys which has previously been crowned Royal Welsh Show champion and received Gold, Silver and Bronze accolades in the Great Taste Awards.
The Big Welsh Bite 2017 boasts over 50 different food and drink exhibitors and I enjoyed exploring what each and every one had to offer. Highlights included:
Cardiff -based La Ffroga’s pop-up street food stall, ‘C’est Cheese’ tempted festival-goers with freshly made hot Raclette; a traditional Alpine dish consisting of layered melted Raclette cheese and new potatoes (French fries were used as a substitute today), topped with cornichons and pickles, with the option to add meat or vet, finished with balsamic glazed shallots and salad.
After tasting Rhosyn Farm’s Welsh lamb cawl at the January Food Fair at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, I made a beeline for their stall at the Big Welsh Bite. When I got a little closer, I was delighted to discover that they have chosen to include my logo on their official banner because I gave them such a good review previously.
I couldn’t resist the sound of the four cheese stack burger; a meaty steak burger with plenty of bite to it, teamed with halloumi, cheddar and what I think was mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese – whatever it was, it was the best burger I’ve had in a long time and it only cost £4. Cardiff’s burger bars could definitely learn a thing or two from these guys!
Coity Bach Farm
Brecon Beacons-based Coity Bach Farm were selling a range of handmade sausages and steaks, and goat, pork and beef hot dogs and burgers – not to mention their innovative range of scotch eggs; including the likes of goat and red wine and pork, leek and stilton.
Previously voted the best pizzeria in Wales by WalesOnline readers, The Artisan Cook portable wood-fired pizza oven had a few different pizzas on offer, including margerita, pepperoni, meaty, and ham and mushroom. I opted for the latter. Thin strips of cooked ham, juicy sliced mushrooms and melted mozzarella sat atop a pillow-soft pizza base, smeared with tomato sauce; reasonably priced at £6.
I can’t say no to some decent homemade fudge. Taffy’s Treats specialises in making quality fudge infused with different flavours including rocky road, espresso, chocolate orange, peanut butter, cherry bakewell and many more. I succumbed to the Welsh Cake Fudge (£3.50 a bag), which had a subtle hint of cinnamon and contained pieces of raisin.
Good and Proper Brownies
Carmarthenshire-based Good and Proper Brownies certainly lived up to its name, with a tantalising selection of brownies including flavours like Baileys and white chocolate, chocolate fudge, peanut butter and blueberry cheesecake.
I couldn’t face going home without a Ferrero Rocher brownie. These beauties are made using a whole jar of Nutella! I ate this as soon as I got home (I’m surprised it even lasted that long!) with a strong cup of coffee; the perfect pick-me-up after spending the day strolling around the Big Welsh Bite.
I was equally as impressed by the cakes and bakes on the Ridiculously Rich by Alana stall, including the likes of the peanut butter fudge cake, creme brulee brownie, Belgian chocolate rocky road and the salted caramel slice.
Similarly, I was pleased to see Shelly’s Shortbread at the Big Welsh Bite. I tried some of their shortbread in a sundae at Cardiff International Food Festival in Cardiff Bay a few weekends ago, and it was to die for.
Situated in Abercynon, Ooh La La Patisserie crafts colourful flavoured macaroons, brownies and Welsh cakes. It was extremely challenging to walk away without picking some up for myself.
Besides the food and drink stalls, there were a number of entertaining acts taking place throughout the day in the Big Welsh Bite’s Show Arena. I was lucky enough to stroke a racing llama and catch a dare-devil mountain bike stunt show.
I had a great day-out at the Big Welsh Bite 2017 and if you didn’t manage to get there today, I highly recommend going along tomorrow. The festival will be open from from 11am – 5pm, with the added bonus of a Silent World Aquarium. If you’re thinking of going along, be sure to use the hashtag #BigWelshBite when sharing your snaps on social media. I hope you have a great time – finger’s crossed the weather stays dry for you!
This is a collaborative post.