Spices, seasoning and herbs are all well used and loved in the regional recipes of Wales, and similar to the rural recipes found throughout much of Europe the 'one-pot' stew, soup or casserole is also a favourite dish of the Welsh. Yet there are few household cooks in other nations who can rival the Welsh at baking and brewing. Breads, cakes and beer (changeable in ingredients throughout the seasons) truly underline this as a nation famed for its hospitality ... and travellers need, "on entering any house, only deliver up their arms." (1188 A.D.)
Ireland is a country full of unusual contrasts and outstanding local recipes; simple foods, cooked with an artisan skill, were once eaten in the provinces by all of society, including the poets and rogues Ireland is famous for. Depth of flavour is always an essential ingredient in Irish cooking - from heart-warming family staples, to the wonderful fresh local seafood, to the delicate puddings and deserts, Irish regional recipes highlight what is best about food cooked from local produce. In fact, unlike other places, Irish cooking has never lost its identity.
Scotland has very different types of regional recipes to the rest of the UK, coming as they do from the very different geographic landscapes and climates which make up this ancient kingdom. The need to preserve foods throughout the long winter have inspired many regional recipes using the ingredients which have been grown, caught and hunted from the rugged coastlines, isolated islands, mountainous highlands, and the populated lowlands, which make it a very exciting and surprising country to discover and cook from.
Two misconceptions still remain about regional English cooking, the first is that the food eaten was sharply divided between the poor and the rich, between "black bread and beans", and "peacocks and cockatrice" as Dorothy Hartley put it. And the other misconception is that it is somehow inferior to many other cultures. English cooks, having stopped flirting (disastrously) with continental imitations, have taken a new look at their own heritage, and have come to understand that their own regional and seasonal recipes are some of the best in the world.