Saturday, June 21, 2008
Welsh Rarebit - Welsh Rabbit..........
When I was growing up in Toronto, there used to be a very formal tearoom in the downtown Simpson's Department Store. It was the kind of place where the women wore hats and gloves and dined on little sandwiches and drank their tea out of china cups (with their pinky finger extended to show sophistication and good breeding). It wasn't a place that I went with my mother - we just didn't eat out as I was growing up. But when I started to go to school and then work downtown, I took my mother there a few times and it was a perfect place for people-watching. I always ordered Welsh Rarebit - from the ingredients I could just tell it would be delicious. This article in the London Times will tell you all about this treat (and provide you with a recipe).
It is an old-fashioned dish - a creamy mixture of mature cheddar, mustard and beer that is grilled on crusty bread. I always thought it was pronounced rarebit - but this article informs me that it is pronounced "rabbit", probably as an insult to the Welsh. Why? In the 18th century rabbit was a poor man's meat in England, whereas in Wales the poor man's “meat” was cheese. Never mind who insulted who - it is a delicious treat.