“But never for us the flitch of bacon though, That some may win in Essex at Dunmow.”
-“Prologue to the Wife of Bath’s Tale”
The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
A flitch is a measurement of bacon, now called a slab. Dating back to the early 1100s, a couple who had been married and faithful to one another for at least a year and a day could take home a flitch of bacon on July 19. The couple had to stand mock trial and confess that they still loved one another and had been faithful in their marriage in front of a jury of their peers. After reciting the pledge, they literally could “bring home the bacon”.
Flitch Trails are still held every four years in Great Dunmow, England. Couples must convince a local jury made of six bachelors and six bachelorettes that they do not regret being married. If they are successful, they receive a flitch of bacon and are paraded victoriously through the streets.