According to a recent survey, cheese on toast is the most popular snack among Brits during lockdown - followed by cheese and onion crisps, bacon sandwiches, and cheese and biscuits. Here in Wales we have our own special version of cheese on toast - Welsh Rarebit. Argus columnist Jon Powell looks at the traditional treat.

WELSH rarebit is a much-treasured version of traditional cheese on toast - and many of us have different recipes for making the snack. Among them is the managing director of the multi-award winning Blaenafon Cheddar Company, Susan Fiander-Woodhouse.

She said: "I absolutely love cheese on toast, I could eat cheese at every meal, but this is my favourite!"

Known as caws pobi (toasted cheese) the dish dates back to the 1500s with a further reference to 'Welsh rabbit' in 1725.

According to a 16th century legend, the Welsh were making too much noise in heaven, ao an exasperated God asked St Peter what to do about it. St Peter immediately stepped outside and yelled “Caws pobi!” - causing all the Welsh to rush outside excitedly, only to find the Pearly Gates slammed behind them!


The Blaenafon Cheddar Company, run by Mrs Fiander-Woodhouse, along with her husband and operations manager Gerry Woodhouse, and their daughter and production manager Charlotte Hill, has been crowned Welsh and International Champions.

South Wales Argus:

The team from the Blaenafon Cheddar Company

Mrs Fiander-Woodhouse, called 'Lady Cheddar 'by her work colleagues, recommends their Pwll ddu cheese for the task of crowning the toast.

"It comprises the best medium Cheddar, blended with the famous Rev James ale from Brains in Cardiff, wholegrain Welsh mustard with leeks from Welsh Lady Preserves in Pwllhelli," she said. "If you want something a little spicy then use our Dragons Breath Cheddar, the cheese that we presented to potential investors on BBC TV's Dragon's Den."

A YouGov survey posed the question as to how we like our toast done, from barely browned at all, to near charcoal, and revealed more than half of us opted for golden brown, usually the mid-setting on a toaster, with only one in fifty liking their toast charred to a cinder. Even less popular than this was the first option - barely browned at all.

A Japanese company named Balmuda has been selling a toaster which they claim is the best toast maker available. Known simply as The Toaster, this it costs a hefty £348.09 and claims to be "the ultimate toaster to achieve the best flavour and texture".

It uses a thin layer of steam to envelop the bread, lightly toasting its surface, while keeping its inner moisture and flavour from escaping. All you have to do is put a teaspoon of water into the top of the machine and insert your bread.