Kill the Wabbit

This isn't about a Wabbit of the Easter variety, nor a real rabbit either.

It's about Welsh Rarebit. Another creature entirely.

Supposedly the name was coined out of the attitude of superiority that the British felt towards the Welsh. Since the dish is essentially melted cheese on bread, and designed for folk that could not afford meat, at least not everyday, the Brits in their charming way declared that it was what the poor Welsh would claim to be rabbit. Thus Welsh Rarebit. So even if you could not afford animal flesh in your pot, you could feel superior to those wretched Welsh. Or something like that. I'm not a history major, y'know?!


In any case, there's a few ingredients in Rarebit other than the aforementioned bread and cheese, cheddar, by the way. For example, there's also beer of the extra stout type. Guinness, actually. And some dry mustard, flour, water and Worcestershire sauce.


Here's a suggestion: avoid English food! The dry toast alone was better than Rarebit. Toast with melted Cheddar on it is way better than Rarebit. That stout is NASTY! And adding mustard only accentuates the problem.


Actually it wasn't nearly as bad tasting as it looks---and it does look pretty nasty---but I was disappointed in it. I guess it has more to do with high expectations than the actual flaws of the dish. Still, the melted cheddar on toast would have tasted better and would have been a lot faster and easier to prepare.


Are there any fans of Welsh Rarebit out there and if so, why do you like it? For me the taste was too "smoky" with a vaguely nasty mouth feel to the sauce. Fortunately I discovered that if you drank enough Smirnoff Ice with the meal it wasn't so bad. By the third one the toast actually was finished and I wasn't all that annoyed with the Guinness Company anymore.


(Disclaimer: the contents here fully reflect the opinions and views of the author)

Comments

Growing up, my mom would just put a slice of american cheese on a slice of bread and then pop it under the broiler for a few minutes - that's what we called Welsh Rabbit (and yes, we said "rabbit"). My son loves it and eerily enough, my daughter just asked for it, even though she is across the room and cannot read...
kenju said…
I make Welsh rarebit according to directions in my old copy of The Joy of Cooking. I use my beer (Natural Light) and medium cheddar, and I make it in a double boiler, which doesn't burn the cheese as it might if you make it in a regular pot. We serve it over toasted English muffins, with a slice of tomato and 2-3 slices of bacon crumbled into it. Try it that way and you might like it. It's very smooth and tasty!

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