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Cymru ar Blât/Wales on a Plate

  • £8.50

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  • Cymru ar Blât/Wales on a Plate
  • ISBN: 9781845272340
  • Nerys Howell
  • Dyddiad Cyhoeddi: Mehefin 2011
  • Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 1x1 mm, 96 tudalen
  • Iaith: Dwyieithog (Cymraeg a Saesneg)

Llyfr o ryseitiau Cymreig. Ceir yma ddeuddeg adran yn cyflwyno'r traddodiadol a'r cyfoes, ond y cyfan yn tarddu o gynnyrch tir a dyfroedd Cymru; gyda chyflwyniad byr i bob adran yn ymhyfrydu yn ein diwylliant bwyd cynhenid. Cynhwysir lluniau lliw ynghyd â hen luniau. Argraffiad newydd 2011; cyhoeddwyd gyntaf yn 2009.

A book of Welsh recipes. It consists of twelve sections, presenting traditional and contemporary dishes, with all produce deriving from Welsh land and waters. It also has a short introduction to each section, extolling our food culture. Includes colour photographs and archive material. 2011 reprint; first published in 2009.

Cyhoeddwyd y gyfrol hon gyntaf yn 2009 ac yr oedd ar restr fer Gwobrau Gourmand Llyfrau Coginio’r Byd yn 2010. Y mae rhyw ychydig o fân newidiadau yn yr argraffiad newydd, ond go brin eu bod yn arwyddocaol iawn. Collwyd y cyfle i gywiro ambell frycheuyn (megis 180 gradd F yn lle 180 gradd C ar dudalen 52), ond prin iawn yw llithriadau o’r fath, ac mae’r Gymraeg a’r Saesneg yn raenus iawn yn gyffredinol.

Erbyn hyn mae llyfrau coginio da yn fwy na chasgliadau o ryseitiau. Mae gweithiau Simon Hopkinson, Nigel Slater a Nigella Lawson yn darllen bron fel nofelau (yn wir, ceir ‘and other stories’ ar ddiwedd ambell deitl). Braf yw cael llyfr dwyieithog fel eiddo Nerys Howell sy’n cynnwys cyflwyniad personol i bob adran (megis ‘O’r Felin i’r Gegin’, ‘Te Bach Cymreig’, ‘Cig Oen’, ac yn y blaen). Trwy’r rhain dysgwn am bob mathau o bethau diddorol sy’n rhoi cnawd am esgyrn y ryseitiau eu hunain, ac mae’r cyffyrddiadau sy’n codi o gefndir teuluol yr awdures ei hun yn gosod bwyd yn ei gyd-destun priodol.

Mae’n chwith ar ôl pobl fel Minwel Tibbot a Bobby Freeman, oherwydd rhai fel hwy a arloesodd gyda llyfrau ac erthyglau ar fwydydd Cymreig traddodiadol. I’r rhan fwyaf ohonom, bwyd y werin oedd bwydydd o’r fath, a pherthyn i’n plentyndod y mae atgofion am siot a phen mochyn, a go brin bod llawer ohonom am gael caws ar dôst neu selsig Morgannwg ar fwydlenni ein tai bwyta, er nad oes affliw o ddim o’i le arnynt mewn gwirionedd. Bu Nerys Howell yn ddigon doeth i gynnwys yn ei chyfrol hi ryseitiau traddodiadol a chyfoes, fel nad canolbwyntio ar hen ddulliau coginio yn unig a wneir. Yn wir, ceir rhai ryseitiau digon soffistigedig yma, ochr yn ochr â ryseitiau lobsgows neu fara brith. Mae’r cydbwysedd rhwng y traddodiadol a’r cyfoes yn deg iawn, a’r egwyddor sylfaenol yw fod y cynnyrch bob tro yn Gymreig.

Mi wyddom yn dda am Nerys Howell fel un o’n harbenigwyr pennaf ar fwyd erbyn hyn, ac mae’i phrofiad yng Nghymru, Llundain ac ymhell y tu hwnt yn peri y gellir rhoi ffydd yn ei ryseitiau. Nid oes angen i bob rysáit fod yn llythrennol fanwl (ceir ambell un lle na nodir yn union fanwl faint sydd ei angen o bob cynhwysyn – megis wrth wneud cawl cennin, er enghraifft, neu am ba hyd y mae angen coginio tatws pum munud – yn sicr nid am bum munud yn unig). Mae llawer o le i synnwyr y fawd wrth goginio.

Croeso i’r llyfr deniadol a chyfoethog hwn. Er ei fod yn ddwyieithog, mae’n hawdd dilyn y Gymraeg yn unig heb droi at y Saesneg (fel sy’n angenrheidiol gydag ambell fwydlen ddwyieithog), gan fod yr iaith a’r arddull mor rhugl a dealladwy. Dylai fod ar silff unrhyw un sy’n caru bwyd (a phwy nad yw?), yn ogystal ag ar silff pob cogydd Cymreig o ruddin.

John Rowlands

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The increasing number of cookery books by Welsh writers is indicative of the renaissance in Welsh food we have seen recently. Eminent Welsh chefs such as Bryan Webb, Simon Wright and Bryn Williams have published excellent cookery books, which are all the more interesting as they include personal touches as well as recipes. The trend of Simon Hopkinson’s Roast Chicken and Other Stories seems to be followed, though not slavishly. (We should remember that Simon’s first restaurant was The Shed in Pembrokeshire, although he prefers to be a home cook and cookery writer as well as tv demonstrator these days.) Colin Pressdee is another food writer who has made a vast contribution to the renaissance of Welsh food. He ran very successful restaurants in Swansea for a period, and is now a food consultant working from London, but with Wales close to his heart.

Thinking more of traditional peasant cookery, one remembers the contribution made by Minwel Tibbot (mainly in Welsh). Bobby Freeman (who ran her own restaurant in Fishguard for some years) widened the contribution to the history of Welsh cookery with her First Catch Your Peacock. There have been many ‘touristy’ recipe books such as Gilli Davies’s The Very Best Flavours of Wales and Annette Yates’s A Taste of Wales (amongst many others) since then.

Nerys Howell steers her own course between the paths we have already glimpsed. Her book is based on sound research into traditional Welsh food, but it also adds a contemporary touch with quite sophisticated recipes which are all – of course! – based on Welsh produce. It is a book brimming with useful recipes, printed on glossy paper, with plenty of colour illustrations to catch the eye. Yet it is also more than a recipe book as she prefaces each section (such as ‘From Mill to Kitchen’, ‘The Vegetable Garden’ or ‘The Welsh Pantry’) with an introduction to what follows, giving an useful background, often coloured by personal memories of her farm upbringing in south Wales. These correspond in part to Hopkinson’s ‘other stories’, and make the volume a good bedside read as well as a food-stained book to be near at hand in the kitchen.

We think of Nerys today as a food consultant who gives cookery demonstrations throughout Wales and further afield, but it has to be remembered that she has had a sound training in catering management as well as in cookery per se, has worked as a chef far beyond Wales, and has managed restaurants. Yet it is her upbringing in Wales which underpins her approach to food, and these days her knowledge of food is much sought-after. The fact that she is fluent in both Welsh and English makes this bilingual volume such an useful one. It is no surprise that the first edition of the book was shortlisted for the Gourmand International World Cookbook Awards 2010. The second edition is similar to the first, but has some new recipes, and a few minor amendments. It should be on the shelves of all food lovers in Wales.

John Rowlands