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A 'whet' is something that stimulates the appetite, an appetizer.

Whets might be drinks, or titbits such as: Farts, Devils on Horseback, Whitstable Angels, Chewitts, Frians, Peascods

Original Receipt in 'The Experienced English Housekeeper' by Elizabeth Raffald (Raffald 1769)

To make a nice Whet before Dinner
CUT some slices of bread half an inch thick fry them in butter but not too hard, then split some anchovies take out the bones and lay half an anchovy on each piece of bread; have ready some Cheshire cheese grated and some chopped parsley mixed together, lay it pretty thick over the bread and anchovy, baste it with butter, and brown it with a salamander, it must be done on the dish in which you send it to table.

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