We’ve heard of some strange traditions around food at Great British Chefs, but this was one of the strangest we’ve come across. Married couples can get a free side of bacon, just by proving they’ve been happily married for a year and a day. This tradition only happens once in every four years, so read on to find out if you qualify ….
The Dunmow Flitch Trials will award a flitch of bacon to married couples from anywhere in the world, if they can satisfy the ‘Judge and Jury of 6 maidens and 6 bachelors’ that in ‘twelvemonth and a day’, they have ‘not wisht themselves unmarried again’. Now a flitch is quite a lot of bacon, it’s actually a side of bacon or half a pig cut lengthways so imagine all of the lovely breakfasts and bacon sandwiches you could make with this.
The Flitch Trials are held every 4 years in Great Dunmow, Essex, England. The town is located north-east of London.
The trials date back to 12th century and The organisers say “We must ensure that this unique local tradition continues for hundreds more years.”
They are run every leap year, not because of historic precedent, “but because such intervals suit the situation nicely and give the organisers time to recover and build up strength to organize the next event!
The modern Trials take the form of a court presided over by a Judge, with Counsel representing the claimants and Opposing Counsel representing the donors of the Flitch of Bacon, together with a Jury of 6 maidens and 6 bachelors, a Clerk of the Court to record the proceedings and an Usher to maintain order.”
On the website you can see a list of married couples who have won the flitch of bacon dating back to their earliest records in 1445. Also two sets of royal couples were given honorary awards Prince Charles & Princess Diana and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson (obviously the awards don’t guarantee a lifelong happy marriage!).
The next trials take place on Saturday 14th July 2012 and in 2008 winning couples came from Essex, Wiltshire, Middlesex and Nashville, Tennessee!
For delicious bacon recipes visit our collection at Great British Chefs
If you can’t make it over to Dunmow to try to make your claim for the bacon, let us know what your culinary secrets are to a happy marriage. Is it a daily cooked breakfast? Regular romantic meals out? Regular romantic meals in? We’d love to know over on Great British Chefs Facebook page.