Crusty Swansea, South Wales

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In spite of a century of propoganda and price cuts by the purveyors of sliced white pap, good quality regional breads still survive in little bakeries and eating places around Britain. Bread that tastes of something and actually has to be cut! One such loaf is the Crusty Swansea.
There is nothing magical about the Swansea , and even identifying it by sight is not easy: the loaf can be round, though more often it is an extended oval shape about eight inches in length, maybe five inches high. What it should have to mark it out is at least three slashes on the top, cut into the loaf after it proves to open gradually in the oven, these cuts adding to the crustiness of the loaf's upper surface. Inside the loaf is reasonably dense, though with the occasional small air-pocket leaving a hole to show it is not factory-homogenous. The crust is a crust, generally not crispy, but needing the teeth to tear it so you know you are eating something of substance. A golden-brown colour, though well-fired loaves turn darker, the Swansea is pleasing on the eye and is a great sandwich bread. This is the carrier of choice too for laverbread , that most Welsh of delicacies.
While the loaf is best known as a Swansea, it can be found all over the Gower and in many other parts of Wales , where local pride and rivalry will mean it is called by another name.

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