Spread toasts were a popular Elizabethan dish. The spread was originally served directly on to trenchers, which were made of rather coarse bread and were sometimes eaten and sometimes treated only as plates. In great houses, fine white manchet bread was toasted for the spread and the whole placed on a trencher or a platter.
The earliest spreads were made of chopped veal kidney or sweetbreads mixed with egg yolks, spices, sugar and rosewater. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, savoury toasts were preferred and scrambled or poached eggs, ham, bacon and anchovies were all served, as were various forms of cheese toasts. This one is peculiar to Lancashire.
Work the onion, bacon and pepper into the cheese with the blade of a knife, until they have blended into a paste. If Cheddar cheese is used,
©1980 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton