Since February 2011 Uther Henge has been thrilling visitors to St. Michael’s Tower on top of Glastonbury Tor with his lecture Toast, the Tor, Past Present and Future that leads visitors through the historical artefacts on display – a variety of gas and electrical toasters that have been used since 1912, and includes advice on modern toast-making techniques.
But it appears that mothers are reporting that their children are distressed by the section dealing with mystical foodstuffs.
Jenny from Glastonbury said; “The display is very informative. At last I understand why toast is depicted in the Glastonbury coat of arms. And since I learned the Uther Henge Flip I’ve enjoyed evenly browned toast every day. But while I was enjoying the lecture I hadn’t realised my son was looking at the interactive display that explains the mystical qualities of Welsh Rarebit. He hasn’t slept since, and panics every time I go near the grill.”
Uther Henge has promised to remove the Welsh Rarebit display until it can be made more family friendly, explaining; “Really this display was aimed more at people who want to be students in the mystical food science department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury, so it focuses heavily on kitchen safety. The interactive display shows what can happen if you mistakenly include Mozzarella in your cheese mix – it can give your Welsh Rarebit qualities similar to napalm. We now realise that the scenes showing kitchen staff dousing one of their colleagues with fire extinguishers may not be suitable for all audiences.”
Students have been up in arms following the announcement in February that the food science department at the Mystical University of Glastonbury are to drop Welsh Rarebit from the syllabus.
And rumours are spreading that the explanation given by the university for their decision – that Welsh foods were starting to unfairly dominate the syllabus – may not have been the full story.
First year student Tarquin Bonham-Smythe is currently studying mystical toast-based foods at the university and has strong opinions about the changes that are afoot; “When mummy paid my tuition fees she was expecting me to walk away from university with a degree that would land me a job in one of Somerset’s mystical gastropubs. This is now going to be a lot harder. The landlords at these pubs expect you to be able to whip up a Welsh Rarebit the moment you set foot in the door, but the idea that I could learn all I need to know in my own time is ridiculous. I haven’t even learned how to open the Worcestershire sauce bottle yet.”
But Bonham-Smythe’s revelations suddenly took on a darker tone; “You know, I heard the problem was that the University has invested so much in the new space program that there isn’t enough money left from student fees to pay for new grills in the food science department. I think they’re just changing the food syllabus to include mystical foods that can be prepared on a hob, or in a microwave. I even heard that they are introducing some sandwich-based mystical foods, and really, what good will that be for me? Apart from the Levitating Lettuce Bap, most people have never heard of a mystical sandwich, let alone bought one.”
After an unbroken run of twelve years on the syllabus, lecturers at the food science department of the Mystical University of Glastonbury have decided to stop teaching students about Welsh Rarebit.
Despite its name, Welsh Rarebit is a food that was invented during the reign of King Arthur in Glastonbury, and the Magna Carta has many references to its use as something other than a foodstuff. For example, the Abbot of Glastonbury Monastery is known less for his liturgical achievements than for the fact that he repelled the invading forces of Henry VIII for over three months using only the power of Welsh Rarebit.
Head of food science Andrew Wemblefield explained; “It’s not that the university doubts the mystical properties of rarebit, it’s just that Welsh foodstuffs have started to dominate our syllabus, leading mystical foods from other cultures to take a back seat. We have the need for a more balanced, holistic approach. If we leave students to learn about Welsh Rarebit in their own time it enables us to help them learn about the healing properties of paella, the talisman effect of the bratwurst, and most importantly, the use of low fat Petits Filou in séances.”