National Leaverbread Day in Wales Date in the current year: April 14, 2024

National Leaverbread Day in Wales Welsh cuisine might not be as renowned as, for example, French or Italian, but it does have some unique dishes that the Welsh are proud of, such as Welsh rarebit or laverbread. Laverbread even has its own holiday, National Leaverbread Day, which is celebrated annually on April 14.

Laverbread (bara lafwr or bara lawr) is a Welsh food product made from laver (Porphyra umbilicalis), a type of edible red algae that is commonly found around the west coast of Great Britain and east coast of Ireland. Laver has a brownish color when harvested, but acquires a dark green color when cooked. It is a rich source of protein, vitamins A, B2, B9 and C, and dietary minerals, particularly iron and iodine; the latter gives it a distinctive flavor reminiscent of oysters and olives.

Laver is thought to have been eaten in Wales since ancient times, but its first explicit mention is dated 1607; it can be found in the sixth Latin edition of William Camden’s Britannia. To make laverbread, laver is rinsed, boiled for about 8 hours, and then pureed or minced. To speed up the process, laver can be steamed instead of boiled. The resulting product is a thick and smooth green puree, which, frankly speaking, does not look very appealing, but a lot of people think that lavebread with its savory umami flavor tastes much better than it looks.

Affectionately referred to as “Welshman’s caviar”, laverbread can be sold as is or rolled in oatmeal. It can be spread on toast or eaten fried with cockles and bacon as part of full Welsh breakfast. Laverbread can also be used as the main or additional ingredient in a wide range of dishes, including patties, soups, sauces, pies and quiches, salads, omelette, and even bread.

National Leaverbread Day was first celebrated on April 14, 2022. It was launched by the Pembrokshire Beachfood Company, a Welsh manufacturer of seaweed-based products, to raise the profile of this often overlooked Welsh delicacy and encourage people to give it a try.

The date of the holiday was chosen to commemorate the death anniversary of Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker, a British phycologist whose research on red algae led to a breakthrough for commercial cultivation of nori in Japan. The Japanese have nicknamed Drew-Baker the “Mother of the Sea” and celebrate her work every year on April 14.

National Laverbread Day is supported and promoted by multiple Welsh organizations and businesses that organize giveaways, fairs, cooking demonstrations, laverbread eating contests, concerts, banquets, and other events and activities to promote laverbread and Welsh cuisine in general.

Of course, the best way to celebrate National Laverbread Day is to enjoy some laverbread. However, we understand that this product is hard to come by outside of Wales and that not everyone can afford to take a trip to the UK just to try Welsh cuisine. Celebrating the holiday by incorporating any kind of edible seaweed in your may be the next best thing. And don’t forget to spread the word on social media with the hashtags #NationalLaverbreadDay and #LaverbreadDay.

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National Leaverbread Day in Wales, holidays in Wales, food days, food holidays, unofficial holidays, Welsh cuisine