It's almost St David's Day, so what better time to take another look at one of my favourite Welsh specialities?
One of Wales's most famous specialities is bara brith, or 'speckled bread'. The speckles are dried fruit; the bread is a sweet tea bread. It supposedly originated when dried fruit was mixed into the last of the bread dough for a treat.
There are endless variations on the recipe, with each region having its own. One major difference is the use of either yeast (mainly in the north) or baking powder (in the south). Some versions call for mixed dried fruit, others sultanas, and the spices also vary. My family's recipe contains no butter and has the fruit soaking overnight in black tea, but others disagree. There's even controversy on how to eat it: although tradition apparently dictates otherwise, many people enjoy it spread with butter.
The teabread has a South American connection too. Welsh immigrants to Argentina brought the recipe with them, and it is still made there today although it has gained a Spanish name, torta negra.