Citizens, your supreme Leader and demagogue – I, the unavoidable TFD – have a very soft spot in my heart for one of the most beautiful places on Earth – the ancient and mist-shrouded land of Wales!
The Welsh have a number of delicious recipes for cheese and other local ingredients that have been featured before here on TFD and now I share with you another historical recipe from the depths of antiquity for your enjoyment!
Anglesey eggs come from Anglesey, a large island reaching out into the Irish sea separated from North Wales by the Menai Strait. This delicious dish of potatoes, leeks, eggs and cheese reflects a time when meat was a scarce luxury, similar to other more well-known recipes such as Glamorgan sausages and Welsh rarebit. Anglesey Eggs are very similar to Oeufs a la Bretonne, which is served in Brittany.
As noted on bodnant-welshfood.co.uk:
Leeks, the icon of Wales, were once amongst the only vegetables grown here. Used in place of onions, the hardy leek imparts a sweet subtle flavour and a gloriously silken texture. Make the most of the last of the leek season with this great seasonal mid-week supper dish. Anglesey Eggs makes the most of the natural partnership between leeks, potato and cheese, with added eggs for extra protein and flavour. Although it has long been part of the Welsh tradition there is some question as to the actual origin of the recipe.
Interestingly, an ancient tradition of “clapping for eggs” that had been consigned to the history books has now been revived on Anglesey.
The long-forgotten tradition, dating back centuries, had seen schoolchildren in North Wales clap their hands or wooden clappers and chant a rhyme outside homes and shops to get owners to give them eggs.
Pupils then proudly displayed their eggs at home. But the tradition, which was opposed by schools concerned about pupil attendance, gradually died out across the region and was extinct by the 1960s.
Now a school on Anglesey, where the custom was particularly popular, has put clapping for eggs back on the curriculum.
Pupils from Ysgol Beaumaris paraded through the historic town before stopping at a high street newsagent to clap for eggs.
Citizens, this classic recipe is one that you will greatly enjoy – please do use only the freshest organic eggs and look for genuine Welsh Caerphilly cheese at your local cheese supplier to make this in the most authentic way possible! 🙂
My innovation to this recipe is to use Welsh “Red Dragon” cheese, which is flavored with both mustard seeds and ale – I find it adds a great tang to the dish! You can buy it at many cheese shops or on Amazon here. I also use a touch of nutmeg in the sauce, which many Welsh prefer as well.
Follow my hard-learned tips to make the best hard-boiled eggs:
After much experimentation, I have found the necessary steps steps to turn out a perfect hard-boiled egg – the yolk deep yellow and creamy, not black where it meets the white and the whites with a firm yet tender texture.
These tips make all the difference:
– Placing the securely closed carton of eggs on its side the night before cooking centers the yolks.
– Salt in the water makes leaking white cook fast and seals cracks on any egg that may break.
– Running cold water over the eggs at the end of cooking cools them quickly to help prevent greening of the yolk surface and makes peeling easier.
– As for shelling, eggs about a week to 10 days old peel with the most ease. Start by cracking the wide end of the egg.
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