Monday, August 20, 2018

Cheese Toaster for Welsh Rarebit ... or Rabbit

"Cheese Toaster with double bottom for hot water" image from Bishop, 1852. 

A Toasted Cheese or Scotch sandwich, when mustard was added, became a Welsh-rabbit (described in 1827 book). 

'Sandwiches'  1827
Toasted Cheese

Cut the bread very nicely, crust and brown, but do not harden it; cut the cheese rather more than half the thickness of the bread.
Put it into the cheese-toaster, rubbed with butter, with boiling water under; stir the cheese, to prevent its burning.
There are silver and white tin cheese-toasters, filled with small pans, for dividing the cheese.

Another. (Scotch.)

Cut some small but rather thick slices of bread, hollow them out nicely, rather less than the thickness of the cheese; butter the bread all over, and brown it in the oven ; put in the cheese, rub it over with butter, and put it into the cheese-toaster, so that when it melts, it will spread over the edge of the bread: this is a much-admired dish; 

if mustard is liked, spread it in the inside of the crusade, which makes it a Welsh-rabbit.
Domestic Economy, and Cookery: For Rich and Poor.  London: 1827

A WELSH RABBIT. 1849 Leslie
Toast some slices of bread, (having cut off the crust,) butter them, and keep them hot. Grate or shave down with a knife some fine mellow cheese : and, if it is not very rich, mix with it a few small bits of butter. Put it into a cheese-toaster, or into a skillet, and add to it a tea-spoonful of made mustard; a little cayenne pepper : and if you choose, a wine glass of fresh porter or of red wine. Stir the mixture over hot coals, till it is completely dissolved ; and then brown it by holding over it a salamander, or a redhot shovel. Lay the toast in the bottom and round the sides of a deep dish; put the melted cheese upon it, and serve it up as hot as possible, with dry toast in a separate plate; and accompanied by porter or ale.

This preparation of cheese is for a plain supper,

Dry cheese is frequently grated on little plates for the table
Leslie, Eliza.  Directions for Cookery.  Phila: 1849


Double Gloucester is also a cheese in great repute, and if made at a good dairy is in prime order from nine to twelve months. This makes an excellent Welsh rarebit, and is capital for a stew if carefully kept in a cheese-toaster.

Single Gloucester, which, when successfully made, is of a fine delicate flavour, is generally used at the taverns for a Welsh rarebit. It is fit for table in five or six months.

Derby cheese, however, when from the best dairies, being of a delicate flavour and agreeable texture, is preferred to all others by the cognoscenti for toasting. A Welsh rarebit, capitally cooked, of Derbyshire cheese is served with eclat at the best appointed tables.
The Household Encyclop√¶dia.  London: 1858

©2018 Patricia Bixler Reber
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1 comment:

  1. It made me hungry and I just finished a meal. I used to love Welsh rarebit. It is said that it was called Welsh rabbit because the Welsh were so poor they couldn't even afford a meal of rabbit so made do with melted cheese. Others say it is a tasty dish so entitled to be called rarebit. There are probably other explanations of the name. Never saw that rarebit maker-- cheese toaster-- with the water under it before. We have made ours in double boilers -- which is the same thing, or fondue pots. The rarebit made with good cheese and wine is out of this world. Cheddar cheese soup in a can just can't meet it.