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Welsh pub achieves unique protected status for its laverbread

19 Jun 2024 4 minute read
The Old Point House, Angle, Pembrokeshire

A pub in west Wales has achieved what is believed to be a UK first.

The Old Point House on Angle, Pembrokeshire, has been awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status for its Welsh Laverbread.

Owner Jonathan Williams started gathering laverbread locally when he launched Café Môr, his award-winning street food outlet housed in an old fishing boat on wheels.

The boat toured festivals in the UK and for many years sold its sought-after beef and laverbread burgers and crab rolls with seaweed butter from its permanent pitch at spectacular Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire.

Welsh laverbread

Then, a couple of years ago, Jonathan decided to take on The Old Point House – a unique, closed-down pub and former pirates’ haunt – reached via a tidal causeway on Angle, Pembrokeshire.

It opened in 2022 after an extensive refurbishment and is now home to Café Môr, which serves food in its garden, and The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company, which makes a range of seaweed delicacies, from Welsh Caviar (dried seaweed) to seaweed ketchup.

Jonathan kept MasterChef winner Wynne Evans supplied with laverbread during his time on the programme.

“It was most incredible,” said Wynne. “I would call the guys late at night asking for laverbread to be sent to the studios the next day and it would arrive just in time for me to cook for Greg and John. Laverbread is a fantastically versatile ingredient and now I make it a part of my everyday cooking.”

Wynne Evans at The Old Point House

Wynne Evans has since hosted a charity laverbread banquet at the pub, to celebrate its achievement of PDO status. The event raised over £1000 for Angle Lifeboat station.

“I was thrilled with Jonathan and the gang at the Old Point House invited me down to host the laverbread banquet simply because of the amount of support they’ve shown me throughout the MasterChef process,” he said.

PDO – Protected Designation of Origin, is a mark of excellence given to products that are characteristic of the region in which they are produced and are made using specific, recognised processes.

Now Jonathan is curious to find out if any other pubs produce PDO products.

“As far as I know we’re the only pub to achieve this – but I’m keen to know if there are any others out there. Depending on the products produced, maybe we could collaborate!” he said.

In gaining PDO status for his seaweed, Jonathan is helping to revive a long tradition of harvesting laver seaweed in the Angle area.

“Laverbread is integral to the food history of Pembrokeshire and we are really excited that we have managed to achieve this status,” he said. “Angle itself has very strong links to this mysterious ingredient, with many families from Angle being involved in the collecting of the laver seaweed at nearby Freshwater West.

“The seaweed hut which inspired me to start Cafe Mor was a remnant of a thriving cottage industry where up to 20 seaweed huts stood overlooking Freshwater West in the early 20th century. These huts were locally known as ‘Little Angle.’”

Jonathan Williams gathering laverbread locally

Jonathan remains passionate about seaweed and still gathers it himself.

“The PDO status ensures that our laverbread is 100% Pembrokeshire/Welsh and cooked to the highest of standards,” he said. “At the moment the Old Point House uses the laverbread in its seaweed butter, Lobster Welsh Rarebit and even in its Welsh cakes.

“To have Wynne Evans come down and celebrate this at the Old Point House is fantastic. He has been a great ambassador for laverbread this year and it really showcases how rich our food culture is in Wales.”

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