Of Cheese Toast and Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit, right from the oven

I really like Mark Bittman, “The Minimalist” food columnist for the New York Times. Today’s column, Overindulge? Snack on This is about Welsh Rarebit, a fancied-up version of cheese toast. He offers a recipe that sounds very good, requiring mustard, cayenne, and dark beer in addition to the cheese. Mmmmmm.

This reminds me of the staple late-evening dish of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, their hallowed “toasted cheese,” ably described and beautifully placed in context by Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas in their Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey-Maturing Novels, a volume that will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the series.

I also recall Dream of a Rarebit Fiend by Winsor McKay. They were cautionary tales warning against overindulgence. Hah.