Have a snack on Welsh Rarebit Day on September 3rd. What is a rarebit? It is actually a Welsh term for rabbit.
The word rarebit is a corruption of rabbit, “Welsh rabbit” being first recorded in 1725 and the variant “Welsh rarebit” being first recorded in 1785 by Francis Grose. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘Welsh rarebit’ is an “etymologizing alteration.
Famous all over Europe, Welsh Rarebit is a distant cousin to cheese on toast, made with a cheese and ale sauce, and Welsh Rarebit Day celebrates this famous dish.
Nobody’s quite sure of the origin of the name, but it’s generally believed to be a jest at the expense of the early poor of Wales, who may largely have subsisted on rabbit and ale (though how this relates back to cheese on toast, we’re not sure).
Welsh rarebit is a traditional British dish, often associated with Welsh cuisine. Welsh rarebit consists of a savory sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread.
The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Britain. The dish contains no rabbit meat. More often described with suffixes or choice of extras on menus, variants have been named English rabbit, Scotch rabbit, buck rabbit, golden buck, blushing bunny and in some parts of France (Lille and French Flanders) it is known as le/un welsh.