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WTF Is Welsh Rarebit, Anyway?

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Jiel Beaumadier
Jiel Beaumadier

To the unfamiliar ear, Welsh rarebit would instill anything but hunger. But that, we suspect, is the United Kingdom's genius ploy to keep this dish of bread and melted cheese all to themselves.

Never before has a food been given a less appropriate (read, completely unappetizing) name. Because despite its unfortunate title, the Welsh rarebit is one meal your comfort-food-loving stomach has been missing. If you like grilled cheese, have a love for fondue, or can never seem to get enough cheddar in your life, you're going to fall in love with everything about Welsh rarebit.

The poorly-named dish is made up of nothing more than toasted bread that has been topped with a cheddar cheese sauce. In case you missed it: CHEDDAR. CHEESE. SAUCE. There are many variations on the dish, but the sauce is usually made with butter, cream, mustard, beer and cheese. It's like a grilled cheese that has been remastered with sauce. Amazing, right?

The dish originated in the 1700s as a way of highlighting the great wheat bread and cheddar cheese from Wales (and as a brilliant way make a pennies stretch in a meatless meal). Originally called Welsh rabbit -- despite its lack of meat -- the name was altered long ago for unknown reasons. We're not sure which spelling is better (or worse), but despite its ill-fitted name this is one dish we can't wait to dig into.

The Guardian has written over 1,000 words on what makes a perfect Welsh rarebit -- we think that's a great place to start for a recipe.

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Around the Web

Welsh Rarebit Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

Real Welsh Rarebit Recipe - Allrecipes.com

How to cook perfect welsh rarebit | Life and style | The Guardian

Welsh Rarebit : Recipes : Cooking Channel