Famous all over Europe, Welsh Rarebit is a distant cousin to cheese on toast, made with a cheese and ale sauce. National Welsh Rarebit Day is here to show appreciation for and celebrate this famous dish that is so simple and yet also spectacular!
History of National Welsh Rarebit Day
Nobody is quite sure of the origin of the name of Welsh Rarebit, but it’s generally believed to be a jest at the expense of the early poor people who resided in Wales, right next door to England, who may largely have subsisted on rabbit and ale (though how this relates back to cheese on toast, no one is exactly sure). But, of course, there is no rabbit on the actual list of ingredients. The basics are really just thickly sliced bread for toast, and a version of cheese or cheese sauce.
It seems that most food historians offer a timeline that puts the invention of Welsh Rarebit at least as far back as the 1700s, when a recipe for the dish appears in the book called The Art of Cookery. It’s obvious that this dish had probably evolved over time because even in the 18th century, the author of the cookbook gave a variety of versions for Welsh Rarebit based on the British areas where it is eaten.
No matter the origins of this practical and tasty dish, National Welsh Rarebit Day offers a delightful glimpse at the simpler things in life that can be appreciated in life today.
How to Celebrate National Welsh Rarebit Day
Celebrate the simplicity and satisfaction that comes from this delightful dish with some ideas and activities for Welsh Rarebit Day:
Enjoy Eating Welsh Rarebit
As with all days that celebrate a particular food, the first order of business on National Welsh Rarebit Day is to scare some up and eat it. Whether eaten as a little after school snack with the kids or as a light lunch, this is the perfect day to spread some cheese on top of toast and get to melting it. Traditionally, Welsh Rarebit may have been served as the last course of a very formal meal, but since most people no longer eat in courses, it’s okay to just make it the center of attention on this day.
Get Creative with Welsh Rarebit
Welsh Rarebit is a fun historical dish to bring to light in modern times because it has evolved into a variety of expressions based on different regions. In celebration of National Rarebit Day, perhaps try out several different recipes for the dish to see which one is most popular with family members or a friend group.
For instance, in Scotland, this dish is made by starting with buttered and toasted bread, then placing slices of cheese on top to melt them in the broiler. The English variety may have shown people basting their toasted bread in wine and then covering it with cheese before broiling. And the Welsh would make their dish in a similar way, but they might also add mustard to the toast to add some spice and flavor.
Of course, other ingredients can create all sorts of interesting contrast. Add an egg to produce a Golden Buck. Pop some tomatoes on after broiling to create a Blushing Bunny. Or get creative with other additives such as caramelized onions or even pickled beet juice. There’s loads of fun and creativity to be had on National Welsh Rarebit Day!