One of the hardest things about living in Wales is taking Tom Jones seriously. I can blag my way through the rugby but that’s mostly because I don’t like being intimidated by large men giving me funny looks. On the other hand we have Katherine Jenkins who, in a modern take on the Immaculate Conception, miraculously achieved celebrity status at puberty and is the most famous opera singer in the world never to have sung in an opera. Her I don’t pretend to take seriously.
One great myth is that Wales is buzzing with an upsurge of artisanal food initiatives. True there are some individuals like myself who try to add something to the local food scene but, what can you say about a city the size of Bangor that doesn’t have a single restaurant of note? With the odd honourable exception we have to go another county – or country – to get a decent meal.
We used to have the True Taste Wales awards. I thought I might enter and checked out the categories. Bread didn’t even have its own section – it was lumped in with ice cream and cup cakes – so I didn’t bother. Last time I took any notice of it the overall winner was The Village Bakery which is actually a plant bakery whose main achievement is surviving the competition from the likes of Warburtons. Not exactly what I would use to attract food loving tourists to Wales (Come to Wales for our award-winning sliced bread.)
But yesterday I had a letter from the Welsh Government – Food Division, professionally addressed to Mick & Sue, inviting me to enter the Great Taste Awards 2015. Perhaps things have moved on I thought and checked out the categories again. And, yes! bread has its own section; White, Brown, Savoury ….