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Rabbit 2

The correct turn for what has been incorrectly gentrified rarebit - so melted cheese with a variety of flavourings. As Jane Grigson says the name is probably a play on words in the same style as Aubergine caviar; Bombay duck; Northumbrian duck; and Scotch woodcock.

The term was first recorded in print by Hannah Glasse in 1747 (60 years before the term 'rarebit' came into being). Indeed she mentions four 'rabbits' - 'Scotch-Rabbit', lightly-buttered toasted bread, covered with toasted cheese. 'Welsh-Rabbit', this included mustard. Of the two English versions, one called for red wine to be soaked into the toast before the cheese was put on, and the other required red and white wine and the use of a chafing dish.

It's thought that the word 'rarebit' came about to artificially gentrify the dish for the middle classes.

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