The restaurant is affectionately named after the prize given at an old folk ritual that dates back to 1104. The Dunmow Flitch of Bacon custom was “that if any pair could, after a twelvemonth of matrimony, come forward, and make oath at Dunmow that, during the whole time, they had never had a quarrel, never regretted their marriage, &, if again open to an engagement, would make exactly that they had made, they should be rewarded with a flitch of Bacon.”
The Vision of William concerning Piers the Plowman
A ‘Flitch’ of Bacon is a salted & cured side of pork & the Dunmow Flitch Trials are held every four years in Great Dunmow, & can be traced as far back as 1104. Fans of Chaucer may recall a mention of the ‘Dunmow Flitch’ in The Wife of Bath’s Tale – a tradition whereby a married couple who could swear to the Judge & Jury of six maidens & six bachelors that they had not argued or regretted their marriage for “twelevemonth & a day” would receive a flitch of bacon as a prize.
Historically having sworn an oath kneeling on two sharp pointed stones in the churchyard, the winning couple would then be carried through the village in the Flitch Chair, which can still be seen today within the Little Dunmow Parish Church.