Wigg Bread was often served at funerals in the past – which with the best will in the world doesn’t sound particularly festive. However as well as being served at wakes it was also served as a festive treat.
Wigg comes from the Norse word which means chunk or wedge giving an indication that the bread was originally a round loaf meant to be divided into wedges. By the eighteenth century it would be served as a bun.
The bread seems to have survived most effectively in Cumbria and Yorkshire but I also stumbled across a Dorset wigg during my perambulations of the net.
So what is it exactly? It’s a spiced yeast bread. The yeast came form ale. And the spice is caraway. I should add that a wigg loaf makes a very fine bacon sandwich…which I obviously only ate in the interests of research.
Caraway originally arrived in England with the Romans. Apparently the seeds are good for indigestion.