The alternative name for this cheesy British classic, Welsh rabbit, may be the original title, and the ‘rarebit’ name may have been created later to try and make sense of a nonsensical sounding dish. Etymology aside, this is the classic cheddar dish and the ‘Welsh’ appellation suggests an origin close to cheddar’s traditional home in England’s south-western counties. Use a good, crumbly authentic British cheddar for Welsh rarebit, and a good English ale, such as Fuller’s London Pride, then drink the rest of the bottle with this fancy cheese on toast. It’s not essential, but the cheese topping sets better still if you make it in advance and refrigerate it (even overnight) before grilling it. Variations of Welsh rarebit include Yorkshire buck rabbit (or buck rarebit) with a poached egg on top, and blushing bunny with canned tomato soup substituted for the ale giving a pink blush to the topping.
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