Today on the tray: French rarebit and an American rabbit

September 3 is National Welsh Rarebit Day.

Welsh rarebitWelsh rarebit is also known as Welsh rabbit, though, in fact, it contains no rabbit. I was unaware of this fact, since I have never been near any Welsh rarebit. It’s actually some kind of cheese and toast glop. A Huffington Post article titled “WTF is Welsh Rarebit, Anyway?” opines “Never before has a food been given a less appropriate (read, completely unappetizing) name.” Per Wikipedia:

Welsh rarebit (spelling based on folk etymology) or Welsh rabbit (original spelling) is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread, or the hot cheese sauce may be served in a chafing dish like a fondue, accompanied by sliced, toasted bread. The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Britain.

I was pretty sure there must have been Welsh rabbit in some Bugs Bunny episode, and I was almost right: There is a Bugs Bunny short called “French Rarebit” (which most reviewers believe to be a takeoff on Welsh rarebit). And Cardiff is only about 500 miles from Paris, so geographically it’s not that far off.

In “French Rarebit,” Bugs is in Paris, where two French chefs, Louis and François, both want to capture and cook him. Bugs cleverly tricks them into fighting with each other and somehow they wind up being the ones in the oven. The whole thing ends with a dynamite explosion, and then, per Wikipedia’s detailed synopsis, “…the two goofy chefs, having survived the blast, jauntily sing ‘Alouette’ … To this, Bugs remarks as the cartoon closes, ‘Poi-sonally, I prefer hamboigah.’”

No synopsis can do it justice, so why not watch the whole short here:

Bugs Bunny in “French Rarebit” (1951)

Enjoy your Welsh rabbit/rarebit that contains no rabbit, and have a happy National Welsh Rarebit Day!

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