Ever seen Welsh Rarebit on a menu and avoided it because you’re not quite sure what it is? Well, you’re not alone! It’s Welsh Rarebit Day, so let’s end the confusion and discuss this British Classic!
What is Welsh Rarebit?
Welsh Rarebit is like a gloriously indulgent cheese on toast and it’s incredibly simple to make yourself. Make a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and pour it over slices of crispy, toasted bread.
The Toast: You can’t go wrong with a chunky slice of wholemeal bread!
Cheese sauce: The recipe traditionally calls for cheddar or other hard cheeses such as double Gloucester, Cheshire and Lancashire cheeses (Simon Hopkinson & Lindsay Bareham: The Prawn Cocktail Years). Stout or ale, milk, butter, egg yolks and cream are common ingredients in the cheese sauce which distinguish it from a bog-standard cheese on toast.
What’s in a name?
According to legend, the name Welsh Rarebit originated in England in the 18th Century as an insult to the Welsh. Rabbit was a popular protein for poor families as the meat was cheap and abundant; for even poorer families, cheese was the alternative. In general, Welsh communities were poor and agricultural so they relied on cheese and bread dishes. Little did the English know, the glorified cheese on toast dish would become one of the most popular dishes to come out of the UK!
Making a Welsh Welsh Rarebit
For a truly Welsh Rarebit, take a look at Calon Wen Cheddar. Their cheddar cheese ranges from mellow extra mature which makes for a great flavour profile in the Rarebit’s cheese sauce. Add a chunk of Caws Cenarth Caerphilly, made on a farm in the lovely and lush valley of the river Cych to enhance the sauce!
If you want to bring a bit of spice and colour to your dish, take a look at Snowdonia Red Devil. It is a classic, rich Red Leicester made with Welsh milk in Snowdonia with the addition of spicy chilli.
Quality, goodness and flavour are at the heart of everything Village Bakery does. Based in North Wales, the specialist bakers believe that good food takes its time. Their slow dough method allows the dough to rise naturally for a full flavour, perfect for the base of the dish. For those following a free-from diet, Village Bakery has recently invested £12m in a gluten-free factory to produce a wider range of appropriate foods.
For those luxurious final touches, the Heart of Wales Brewery is a microbrewery based in Powys producing a range of ales and stouts, Castle Dairies produce organic British butter made with 100% British cream and Ruthin-based Pathwork Foods have a range of irresistible chutneys.
Share your best Welsh Rarebit recipes with us on Social Media @OfficialYouk!