Monday, 22 August 2011

Festival Food: Iechyd Da

I remember going to music festivals as a youngster where the only food available was beefburgers, hot dogs and greasy chips. Times have certainly changed for the better, and today’s best festivals offer appetizing cuisine from around the world. Catering operations have vans that specialize in festivals during the summer months – it appears to be a thriving sector of the catering industry.

This is the first of a series of posts on festival food, based in particular on the Green Man Festival, in the Brecon Beacons, from which I have recently returned.

It’s not all tempura, Thai fish curries, paella and Mexican, of course. Local food is always represented at a good festival. At the Green Man, for instance, you can sample a range of Welsh foods.

Swansea-based Iechyd Da is a family-run business that was one of the first to tour traditional Welsh recipes around Britain’s music festivals. At Green Man, Iechyd Da were serving Faggots and Pies, Beef Stew and Dumplings, Cauliflower and Broccoli Bake, Chicken and Leek Casserole, and the usual range of teas, coffees and cakes (including Welsh cakes, of course).

I went along one morning for the Full Welsh Breakfast (served until 2pm). For £5.50 this included free-range bacon; pork and leek sausage; free-range egg; baked beans; laver bread; buttered bread (white or brown) and coffee. The laver bread (seaweed) is optional, but having lived in south Wales for a few years now I am getting a taste for it. A vegetarian breakfast was also available, with homemade Glamorgan sausage and mushrooms.

Iechyd Da’s summer tour 2011 has also included gigs at Wychwood Music Festival, Glastonbury (stage crew and artist catering), Ely Folk Festival, Lamar Tree Festival, and Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

In Cardiff recently, it was revealed that takeaways often score 0 or 1 out of 5 in Food Hygiene Ratings (conducted by the Food Standards Agency). Out in the festival fields, Iechyd Da displays its rating: a perfect 5. In fact, most of the food vans that tour UK music festivals look like they keep to an altogether better standard of hygiene than you would encounter in chippies and kebab houses along the average high street.

Brian Murphy & Rebecca Jones
Iechyd da Catering
8, Sardis close,

Website (includes their recipes for Glamorgan sausage, Welsh cakes and faggots):

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