John Gerard. Herball or General Historie of Plantes. 1633
John Gerard (1545-1612) was one of the most respected plant experts of his time, but apparently, he was not the primary author of his famous "The Herball of Generall Historie of Plantes" of 1597. He plagiarized a manuscript by Dr. Robert Priest that was a translation of the Flemish physician and botanist, Rembert Dodoens’ "Stirpium Historia Pemptades Sex."
Gerard was originally supposed to finish the translation after Priest died, instead he added 182 new plants, revised the arrangement, appended his own observations and claimed the entire work as his own. In a rush to publish, Gerard made a great number of errors in his first edition. However, that first edition held the field without a competitor for more than a generation.
Gerard is the best known botanist published in English. His work has remained popular for over 400 years for its amalgamation of horticultural lore, its collection of medical "virtues" of plants, and, not least, its graceful and delightful English prose.
Gerard was born in Cheshire, England and attended a village school in Wisterson. He was apprenticed for a career of a surgeon in 1562 and achieved eminence in his profession, being elected Master of the Company of Barker-Surgeons. He traveled the Baltic coast to "Denmarke, Swevia, Poland, Livinia, and Russia."
Gerard's reputation, however, rests on horticulture. As early as 1577, he superintended several gardens and plant collections of William Cecil (Lord Burghley, the first minister of Queen Elizabeth) including his residence in the Strand and at Theobalds, Hertfordshire. In 1586 he was appointed curator of the College of Physicians physics garden. In addition, Gerard’s own garden at Holborn, between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane included "all the rare samples" and "all manners of strange trees, herbs, roots, plants, flowers and other rare things ..."
Gerard’s list of plants in his Holborn garden published in 1596 was the first garden catalog printed in English and included over 1,000 species including the first English mention of potato. However, Gerard’s most famous work is his Herball or General Historie of Plants, published in 1597.
Swiss traveler Frances Michel visiting the Williamsburg, Virginia area late in 1702, reported, “The inhabitants pay little attention to garden plants except lettuce, although most everything grows here.”
"Amygdalus. Of the Almond Tree.
There is drawne out of sweet Almonds, with liquor added, a white iuice like milke... Almonds taken before meate do stop the belly, and nourish but little; notwithstanding many excellent meates and medicines are therewith made for sundry griefes, yea very delicat and wholsome meates, as Almond butter, creame of Almonds, marchpane, and such like, which dry and stay the belly more than the extracted iuyce or milke; and they are also as good for the chest and lungs."
"Malus Carbonaria. Of the Apple tree.
The tame and graffed Apple trees are planted and set in gardens and orchards made for that purpose... I haue seene in the pastures and hedge-rows about the grounds of a worshipful gentleman... so many trees of all sorts, that the seruants drinke for the most part no other drinke but that which is made of Apples; The quantity is such, that by the report of the Gentleman himselfe, the Parson hath for tithe many hogsheads of Syder...
Rosted apples are alwaies better than the raw, the harm whereof is both mended by the fire, and may also be corrected by adding vnto them seeds or spices."
"Armeniaca malus maior. Of the Aprecocke or Abrecocke tree.
Aprecocks are cold and moist in the second degree, but yet not so moist as Peaches, for which cause they do not so soone or easily putrifie, and they are also more wholesome for the stomacke, and pleasant to the taste; yet do they likewise putrifie, and yeeld but little nourishment, and the same cold, moist, and full of excrements: being taken after meate they corrupt and putrifie in the stomacke; being first eaten before other meate they easily descend, and cause the other meates to passe downe the sooner, like as also the Peaches do."
The nailes, that is, the white and thicke parts which are in the bottome of the outward scales or flakes of the fruit of the Artichoke, and also the middle pulpe whereon the downy seed stands, are eaten both raw with pepper and salt, and commonly boyled with the broth of fat flesh, with pepper added, and are accounted a dainty dish, being pleasant to the taste, and good to procure bodily lust: so likewise the middle ribs of the leaues being made white and tender by good cherishing and looking to, are brought to the table as a great seruice together with other junkets: they are eaten with pepper and salt as be the raw Artichokes... But it is best to eate the Artichoke boyled... Some write, that if the buds of yong Artichokes be first steeped in wine, and eaten, they prouoke vrine, and stir vp the lust of the body."
"Asparagus. Sperage, or Asparagus.
...The first sprouts or naked tender shoots hereof be oftentimes sodden in flesh broth and eaten, or boyled in faire water, and seasoned with oyle, vineger, salt, and pepper, then are serued at mens tables for a sallad; they are pleasant to the taste, easily concocted, and gently loose the belly..."
"Musa fructus. Of Adams Apple tree, or the West-Indian Plantaine.
...Aprill 10. 1633. my much honored friend... gaue me a plant he receiued from the Bermuda's... The fruit which I receiued was not ripe, but greene, each of them was about the bignesse of a large Beane... This stalke with the fruit thereon I hanged vp in my shop, where it became ripe about the beginning of May, and lasted vntil Iune: the pulp or meat was very soft and tender, and it did eate somewhat like a Muske-Melon...
The fruit hereof yeeldeth but little nourishment: it is good for the heate of the breast, lungs, and bladder: it stoppeth the liuer, and hurteth the stomacke if too much of it be eaten, and procureth loosenesse in the belly: whereupon it is requisit for such as are of a cold constitution, in the eating thereof to put vnto it a little Ginger or other spice."
"Hordeum Distichon. Common Barley.
...it serueth for Ptisana, Polenta, Maza, Malt, ale and Beere. The making whereof if any be desirous to learne, let them reade Lobelius Aduersaria, in the chapter of Barley... There be sundry sorts of Confections made of Barley, as Polenta, Ptisana, made of water and husked or hulled barley, and such like. Polenta is the meate made of parched Barley...Maza is made of parched Barley tempered with water... Hesychius doth interpret maza to be Barley meale mixed with water and oyle."
" Caucalis. Bastard Parsley.
Dioscorides saith, that bastard Parsley is a pot-herbe which is eaten either raw or boiled, and prouoketh vrine. Pliny doth reckon it vp also among the pot-herbes; Galen addeth, that it is preserued in pickle for sallades in winter. "
"Carthamus siue Cnicus. Bastard Saffron.
The seed vsed as aforesaid [bruised and strained into honied water or the broth of a chicken -- ed.], and srained into milke, causeth it to curdle and yeeld much cruds..."
"Laurus. Of the Bay or Laurell tree.
The later Physitions doe oftentimes vse to boyle the leaues of Laurell with diuers meats, especially fishes, and by so doing there happeneth no desire of vomiting: but the meat seasoned herewith becommeth more sauory and better for the stomacke."
"Beta alba. White Beets.
...the white Beete is a cold and moist pot-herbe...Being eaten when it is boyled, it quickly descendeth... especially being taken with the broth wherein it is sodden..."
Beta rubra, Beta rubra Romana. Red Beets, Red Roman Beets.
...The great and beautiful Beet last described may be vsed in winter for a salad herbe, with vinegar, oyle, and salt, and is not onely pleasant to the taste, but also delightfull to the eye.
The greater red Beet or Roman Beet, boyled and eaten with oyle, vineger and pepper, is a most excellent and delicate sallad: but what might be made of the red and beautifull root (which is to be preferred before the leaues, as well in beauty as in goodnesse) I refer vnto the curious and cunning cooke, who no doubt when he hath had the view thereof, and is assured that it is both good and wholesome, will make thereof many and diuers dishes, both faire and good."
"Viola Mariana. Bell-Floures or Couentry-Bells.
"The root is cold and somewhat binding, and not vsed in physicke, but only for a sallet root boyled and eaten with oyle, vinegar, and pepper."
...Those of our time do vse the floures in sallads, to exhilerate and make the mind glad... The leaues boyled among other pot-herbes do much preuaile in making the belly soluble..."
...Bread made of the meale of Buck-wheat is of easie digestion, and speedily passeth through the belly, but yeeldeth little nourishment"
"Pimpinella hortensis... Garden Burnet.
...The lesser Burnet is pleasant to be eaten in sallads, in which it is thought to make the heart merry and glad, as also being put into wine, to which it yeeldeth a certaine grace in the drinking."
They stir vp an appetite to meat... They are eaten boiled (the salt first washed off) with oile and vineger, as other sallads be, and sometimes are boiled with meat."
"Carum, siue Carcum.
It consumeth winde, it is delightfull to the stomacke and taste... the root may be sodden, and eaten as the Parsenep or Carrot is.
The seeds confected, or made with sugar into Comfits, are very good for the stomacke..."
"Ceratia siliqua, sive Ceratonia. Of the Carob tree, or Saint Iohns Bread.
...the fruit or long cods... are of a sweet taste, and are eaten of diuers, but not before they be gathered and dried; for being as yet green, though ripe, they are vnpleasant to be eaten by reason of their ill fauoured taste..."
"Pastinaca sativa tenuifolia, Pastinaca satiua atro-rubens.
The root of the yellow Carrot is most commonly boiled with fat flesh and eaten... The red Carrot is of like facultie with the yellow."
"Cerasus vulgaris. Of the Cherrie Tree.
The best and principall Cherries be those that are somewhat sower: those little sweet ones which be wilde and soonest ripe be the worst: they containe bad juice, they very soon putrifie, and do ingender ill bloud... The late ripe Cherries which the French-men keep dried against winter, and are by them called Morelle, and we after the same name call them Morell Cherries, are dry, and do somewhat binde; these being dried are pleasant to the taste, and wholesome for the stomacke, like as Prunes be, and do stop the belly. Generally all the kindes of Cherries are cold and moist of temperature, although some more cold and moist than others: the which being eaten before meat doe soften the belly very gently... Many excellent Tarts and other pleasant meats are made with Cherries, sugar, and other delicat spices, whereof to write were to small purpose."
Cheruill is held to be one of the pot-herbes, it is pleasant to the stomacke and taste... It is vsed very much among the Dutch people in a kinde of Loololly or hotch-pot which they do eate, called Warmus. The leaues of sweet Cheruill are exceeding good, wholesome, and pleasant, among other sallad herbs, giuing the taste of Anise seed vnto the rest... The seeds eaten as a sallad whilest hey are yet greene, with oyle, vineger, and pepper, exceed all other sallads by many degrees, both in pleasantnesse of taste, sweetnesse of smell, and wholsomnesse for the cold and feeble stomacke.
The roots are likewise most excellent in a sallad, if they be boyled and after dressed as the cunning Cooke knoweth how better than my selfe: notwithstanding I doe vse to eate them with oile and vineger, being first boyled; which is very good for old people that are dull and without courage; it reioyceth and comforteth the heart, and increaseth their lust and strength."
"Castanea. Of the Chestnut tree.
Our common Chestnuts are very dry and binding, and be nither hot nor cold, but in a mean betweene both: yet haue they in them a certaine windinesse, and by reason of this, vnlesse the shell be firest cut, they skip suddenly with a cracke out of the fire whilest they be rosting... Being boiled or rosted they are not of so hard digestion... Some affirme, that of raw Chestnuts dried, and afterwards turned into meale, there is made a kinde of bread: yet it must needs be, that this should be dry and brittle, hardly concocted, and verie slow in passing thorow the belly..."
"Malus. Of the Citron, Limon, Orange, and Assyrian Apple trees.
[the rind of the Pomecitron] is good to be eaten against a stinking breath, for it maketh the breath sweet; and being so taken it comforteth the cold stomacke exceedingly. The white, sound, and hard pulpe is now and then eaten, but very hardly concocted, and ingendreth a grosse, cold, and phlegmaticke iuyce; but being condite with sugar, it is both pleasant in taste, and easie to be digested, more nourishing, and lesse apt to obstruction and binding or stopping.
Galen reporteth, that the inner iuice of the Pomecitron was not wont to be eaten, but it is now vsed for sauce; and being often vsed, it represseth choler which is in the stomacke, and procures appetite..."
"Caryophyllus. Cloue Gillofloure.
The conserue made of the floures of the Cloue Gillofloure and sugar, is exceeding cordial, and wonderfully aboue measure doth comfort the heart, being eaten now and then."
"Nux Indica arbor. Of the Indian Nut tree.
...next vnto the shell vpon the inside there cleueth a white cornelly substance firme and sollid, of the colour and taste of a blanched Almond: within the cauitie or hollownes thereof is contained a most delectable liquor like vnto milke, an dof a most pleasant taste.
...The distilled liquor is called Sula; and the oile that is made thereof, Copra... The Indians do vse to cut the twigs and tender branches toward the euening, at the ends whereof they haue bottle gourds, hollow canes, and such like things, fit to receiue the water that droppeth from the branches thereof, which pleasant liquor they drinke in stead of wine, from the which is drawne a strong and comfortable Aqua Vitae... Likewise they make of the shell of the Nut, cups to drike in, which we likewise vse in England, garnished with siluer for the same purposes. The kernell serueth them for bread and meat; the milkie iuice doth serue to coole and refresh their wearied spirits: out of the kernel when it is stamped, is pressed a most precious oile, not onely good for meat, but also for medicine..."
Coriander seed prepared and couered with sugar, as comfits, taken after meat closeth vp the mouth of the stomacke, staieth vomiting, and helpeth digestion... The manner how to prepare Coriander, both for meat and medicine. Take the seed well and sufficiently dried, whereupon poure some wine and vinegar, and so leaue them to infuse or steepe foure and twentie houres, then take them forth and drie them, and keepe them for your vse."
The stalkes and leaues of Corne Marigold, as Dioscorides saith, are eaten as other pot-herbes are."
"Sphondylium. Cow Parsnep.
The people of Polonia and Lituania vse to make drinke with the decoction of this herbe, and leuen or some other thing made of meale, which is vsed in stead of beere and other ordinarie drinke."
Cowslips of Jerusalem
"Pulmonaria... Cowslips of Jerusalem.
The leaues are vsed among pot-herbes."
"Nasturtium hortense. Garden Cresses.
...Galen saith that the Cresses may be eaten with bread Velutiobsonium, and so the Antient Spartanes vsually did; and the low-Countrie men many times doe, who commonly vse to feed of Cresses with bread and butter. It is eaten with other sallade hearbes, as Tarragon and Rocket..."
Cucumber (saith my Author) taken in meats, is good for the stomack and other parts troubled with heat... [a cure]The fruit cut in pieces or chopped as herbes to the pot and boiled in a small pipkin with a piece of mutton, being made into potage with Ote-meale, euen as herb potage are made, whereof a messe eaten to break-fast, as much to dinner, and the like to supper; taken in this manner for the space of three weekes... doth perfectly cure all manner of sawce-flegme and copper faces... "
"Palma. Of the Date tree.
...the fruit is ripe in September, and being then gathered they are dried in the Sunne, that they may be the better both transported into other countries far distant, as also preserued from rotting at home... All manner of Dates whatsoeuer are hard of digestion, and cause head-ache: the worser sort be those that be dry and binding, as the Egyptian Dates; but the soft, moist, and sweet ones are lesse hurtfull... The Dates which grow in colder regions, when they cannot come to perfect ripenesse, if they be eaten too plentifully, do fill the body full of raw humors, ingender winde, and oft times cause the leprosie... There is made hereof both by the cunning Confectioners and Cookes, diuers excellent cordiall, comfortable, and nourishing medicines, and that procure lust of the body very mightily."
" Ferula. Herbe Ferula, or Fennell Gyant.
...It is reported to be eaten in Apulia rosted in the embers, first wrapped in leaues or in old clouts, with pepper and salt; which, as they say, is a pleasant sweet food, that stirreth vp lust, as they report."
"Ficus. Of the Fig tree.
The dry Figs do nourish better than the greene or new Figs; notwithstanding they ingender not very good bloud, for such people as do feed much thereon doe become lowsie... Dioscorides saith, that the white liquor of the Fig tree, and the iuice of the leaues, do curdle milke as rennet doth, and dissolve the milke that is cluttered in the stomacke, as doth vinegar."
"Nux Auellana, sive Corylus. Of the Hasell tree.
...this kernell is sweet and pleasant vnto the taste... Hasell Nuts newly gathered, and not as yet dry, containe in them a certaine superfluous moisture, by reason whereof they are windie: not onely the new gathered Nuts, but the dry also, be very hard of digestion; for they are of an earthy and cold essence, and of an hard and sound substance, for which cause also they very slowly passe thorow the belly, therefore they are troublesome and clogging to the stomacke, cause head-ache, especially when they be eaten in too great a quantitie. The kernells of Nuts made into milke like Almonds do mightily bind the belly, and are good for the laske and the bloudy flix."
"Linum sativum. Garden Flaxe.
...Galen in his first booke of the faculties of nourishments saith, that diuers vse the seed hereof parched as a sustenacne [sic] with Garum, no otherwise than made salt. They also vse it mixed with hony, some likewise put it among bread but it is hurtfull to the stomacke, and hard of digestion... at Middleborough in Zeland, where for want of graine and other corne, most of the Citizens were faine to eate bread and cakes made hereof with hony and oile, who were in short time after swolne in the belly below the short ribs, faces, & other parts of their bodies in such sort, that a great number were brought to their graues thereby..."
"Zingiberis. Of Ginger.
Ginger, as Dioscorides reporteth, is right good with meate in sauces, or otherwise in conditures: for it is of an heating and digesting qualitie canded, greene or condited Ginger is hot and moist in qualitie, prouoking Venerie: and being dried, it heateth or drieth in the third degree."
"Vua Crispa. Of Goose-berrie, or Fea-berry Bush.
The fruit is vsed in diuers sauces for meate, as those that are skilfull in cookerie can better tel than my selfe. They are vsed in broths in stead of Veriuice, chich maketh the broth not onely pleasant to the taste, but greatly profitable to such as are troubled with a hot burning ague...The young and tender leaues eaten raw in a sallad, prouoke vrine, and driue forth the stone and grauell."
The Gourds are cherished in the gardens of these cold regions rather for pleasure than for profit: in the hot coutries where they cope to ripenesse there are sometimes eaten, but with small delight; especially they are kept for the rindes, wherein they put Turpentine, Oyle, Hony, and also serue them for pales to fetch water in, and many other like vses...
The pulpe also is eaten sodden... But being baked in an ouen or fried in a pan it loseth the most part of his naturall moisture..."
"Guayava arboris ramus. Of the Guayaua, or Orange-Bay.
The fruit is vsually eaten, the rinde being first taken off; it is pleasing to the palate, wholesome and easie of concoction... if rosted, it is good both for the sound and sicke; for so handled it is wholsommer, and of a more pleasing taste..."
The seed of Hempe, as Galen writeth in his bookes of the faculties of simple medicines, is hard of digestion, hurtfull to the stomacke and head, and containeth in it an ill iuyce: notwithstanding some do vse to eate the same parched, cum alijs tragematis, with other junkets... Matthiolus saith, that the seed giuen to hens causeth them to lay egges more plentifully."
"Lupus salictarius. Hops.
The buds or first sprouts which come forth in the Spring are vsed to be eaten in sallads... The floures are vsed to season Beere or Ale with, and too many do cause bitternesse thereof... The floures make bread light, and the lumpe to be sooner and easilier leauened, if the meale be tempered with liquor wherein they haue been boyled."
"Raphanus rusticanus. Horse Radish.
...Horse Radish stamped with a little vineger put thereto, is commonly vsed among the Germanes for sauce to eate fish with, and such like meates, as we doe mustard; but this kinde of sauce doth heate the stomacke better, and causeth better digestion than mustard."
"Sedum minus. Lesser Houseleekes or Prickmadams.
...is vsed in many places in sallads, in which it hath a fine relish, and a pleasant taste..."
"Flos Solis Pyramidalis. Jerusalem Artichoke.
These rootes are dressed in diuers waies; some boile them in water, and after stew them with sacke and butter, adding a little Ginger: others bake them in pies, putting Marrow, Dates, Ginger, Raisons of the Sun, Sacke, &c. Others some other way, as they are led by their skill in Cookerie. But in my iudgement, which way soeuer they be drest and eaten they stirre and cause a filthie loathsome stinking winde within the bodie, thereby causing the belly to bee pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine, than men..."
"Phaseolus [and] Smilax. Of Kidney Beane.
The fruit and cods of Kidney Beanes boiled together before they be ripe, and buttered, and so eaten with their cods, are exceeding delicate meat, and do not ingender winde as the other Pulses doe. They doe also gently loose the belly, prouoke vrine, and ingender good bloud reasonably well; but if you eat them when they be ripe, they are neither toothsome nor wholsome. Therefore they are to be taken whilest they are yet greene and tender, which are first boiled vntill they be tender; then is the tib or sinew that doth run alongst the cod to be taken away; then must they be put into a stone pipkin, r some other vessell with butter, and set to the fire againe to stew, or boile gently: which meat is very wholsome, nourishing, and of a pleasant taste."
...Lettuce maketh a pleasant sallad, being eaten raw with vineger, oyle, and a little salt: but if it be boyled it is sooner digested, and nourisheth more. It is serued in these dayes, and in these countries in the beginning of supper, and eaten first before any other meate: which also Martiall testifieth to be done in his time, maruelling why some did vse it for a seruice at the end of supper, in these verses...
Tell me why Lettuce, which our Grandsires last did eate,
Is now of late become, to be the first of meate?
Notwithstanding it may now and then be eaten at both those times to the health of the body: for being taken before meat it doth many times stir vp appetite: and eaten after supper it keepeth away drunkennesse which commeth by the wine; and that is by reason that it stayeth the vapors from rising vp into the head."
"Glycyrrhiza vulgaris. Of Liquorice.
...with the juice of Licorice, Ginger, and other spices, there is made a certaine bread or cakes, called Ginger-bread, which is very good against the cough, and all the infirmities of the lungs and brest: which is cast into moulds, some of one fashion, and some of another...
These things concerning Liquorice hath also Theophrastus: viz. that with this and with cheese made of Mares milke the Scythians were reported to be able to liue eleuen or twelue dayes."
Mad Apples [eggplant?]
"Mala insana. Madde or raging Apples.
...The people of Tolledo do eat them with great deuotion being boiled with fat flesh, putting thereto some scraped cheese, which they do keepe in vineger, honie, or salt pickell all Winter to procure lust. Petrus Bellonius, and Hermolaus Barbarus, report that in Egypt and Barbary they vse to eat the fruit of Mala insana boiled or rosted vnder ashes, with oile, vineger, & pepper, as people vse to eat Mushroms. But I rather wish English men to content themselues with the meat and sauce of our owne Countrey, than with fruit and sauce eaten with such perill: for doubtlesse these apples haue a mischievuous qualitie, the vse whereof is vtterly to be forsaken..."
The yellow leaues of the floures are dried and kept throughout Dutchland against Winter, to put into broths, in physicall potions, and for diuers other purposes, in such quantity, that in some Grocers or Spice-sellers houses are to be found barrels filled with them, and retailed by the penny more or lesse, insomuch that no broths are well made without dried Marigolds."
" Mariorana. Marierome.
The leaues are excellent good to be put into all odoriferous ointments, waters, pouders, broths, and meates."
Melons or Pompions
" Pepo... Melons, or Pompions.
The pulpe of the Pompion is neuer eaten raw, but boiled... The fruit boiled in milke and buttered, is not onely a good wholesome meat for mans body, but being so prepare, is also a most physicall medicine for such as haue an hot stomacke... The flesh or pulpe of the same sliced and fried in a pan with butter, is also a good and wholesome meat: but baked with apples in an ouen, it doth fil the body with flatuous or windie belchings, and is food vtterly vnwholesome for such as liue idlely; but vnto robustious and rustick people nothing hurteth that filleth the belly."
Garden Mint taken in meat or drinke warmeth and strengtheneth the stomacke... and causeth good digestion."
"Morus. Of the Mulberrie tree.
These Mulberries taken in meat, and also before meat, do very speedily passe through the belly, by reason of the moisture and slipperinesse of their substance, and make a passage for other meats, as Galen saith. They are good to quench thirst, they stir vp and appetite to meat, they are not hurtfull to the stomacke, but they nourish the body very little, being taken in the second place, or after meat..."
"Sinapi sativum. Garden Mustard.
...The seed of Mustard pound with vinger, is an excellent sauce, good to be eaten with any grosse meates either fish or flesh, because it doth helpe digestion, warmeth the stomacke, and prouoketh appetite."
"Avena Vesca. Common Otes.
...is vsed in many countries to make sundry sorts of bread; as in Lancashire, where it is their chiefest bread corne for Iannocks, Hauer cakes, Tharffe cakes, and those which are called generally Oten cakes; and for the most part they call the graine Hauer, whereof they do likewise make drink for want of Barley."
"Olea sativa. Of the Oliue Tree.
The Oliues which be so ripe as that either they fall off themselues, or be ready to fall... be moderately hot and moist, yet being eaten they yeeld to the body little nourishment. The vnripe oliues are dry and binding. Tose that are preserued in pickle, called Colymbades, do dry vp the ouermuch moisture of the stomacke, they remoue the loathing of meate, stirre vp an appetite; but there is no nourishment at all that is to be looked for in them, much lesse good nourishment."
...The Onion being eaten, yea though it be boyled, causeth head-ache, hurteth the eyes, and maketh a man dimme sighted, dulleth the sences, ingendreth windinesse, and prouoketh ouermuch sleepe, especially being eaten raw. ...There is also another small kinde of Onion, called... Scallions... It is vsed to be eaten in sallads."
Dioscorides writeth, That the garden Orach is both moist and cold, and that it is eaten boyled as other sallad herbes are...."
"Apium hortense. Garden Parsley.
The leaues are pleasant in sauces and broth, in which besides that they giue a pleasant taste, they be also singular good to take away stoppings, and to prouoke vrine: which thing the roots likewise do notable performe if they be boiled in broth: they be also delightfull to the taste, and agreeable to the stomacke."
"Pastinaca latifolia sativa. Garden Parsneps.
The Parsneps nourish more than doe the Turneps or the Carrots... There is a good and pleasant food or bread made of the roots of Parsneps, as my friend Mr. Plat hath set forth in his booke of experiments, which I haue made no triall of, nor meane to do."
"Persica alba. Of the Peach tree.
Peaches be cold and moist, and that in the second degree; they haue a juice and also a substance that doth easily putrifie, which yeeldeth no nourishment, but bringeth hurt, especially if they be eaten after other meates; for then they cause the other meates to putrifie. But they are lesse hurtfull if they be taken first; for by reason that they are moist and slippery, they easily and quickly descend; and by making the belly slippery, they cause other meates to slip downe the sooner."
"Pyra. Of the Peare tree.
To write of Pears and Apples in particular, would require a particular volume: the stocke or kindred of Pears are not to be numbred: euery country hath his peculiar fruit... Wine made of the iuice of peares called in English, Perry, is soluble, purgeth those that are not accustomed to drinke thereof, especially when it is new; notwithstanding it is as wholsome a drink being taken in small qunatitie as wine; it comforteth and warmeth the stomacke, and causeth good digestion."
"Pisum maius. Of Peason.
Galen writeth, that Peason are in their whole substance like vnto Beanes, and be eaten after the same manner that Beans are..."
"Capsicum. Ginnie or Indian Pepper.
...Ginnie pepper hath the taste of pepper, but not the power or vertue, notwithstanding in Spaine and sundrie parts of the Indies they do vse to dresse their meate therewith, as we doe with Calecute pepper: but (saith my Authour) it hath in it a malicious qualitie, whereby it is an enemy to the liuer and other of the entrails... It is said to die or colour like Saffron; and being receiued in such sort as Saffron is vsually taken, it warmeth the stomacke, and helpeth greatly the digestion of meates."
"Prunus Domestica. Of the Plum tree.
Plummes that be ripe and new gathered from the tree, what sort soeuer they are of, do moisten and coole, and yeeld vnto the body very little nourishment, and the same nothing good at all: for as Plummes do very quickly rot, so is also the iuice of them apt to putrifie in the body, and likewise to cause the meat to putrifie which is taken with them... Dried Plums, commonly called Prunes, are wholsomer, and more pleasant to the stomack, they teeld more nonrishment, and better, and such as cannot easily putrifie..."
"Pinus sativa, sive domestica. Of the Pine Tree.
The kernels of these nuts...[?] yeeldeth a thicke and good iuice, and nourisheth much, yet it is not altogether easie of digestion, and therefore it is mixed with preserues, or boyled with sugar."
"Caryophyllus. Pinks or wilde Gillofloures.
The conserue made of the floures of the Cloue Gillofloure and sugar, is exceeding cordial, and wonderfully aboue measure doth comfort the heart, being eaten now and then."
"Pistacia. Of Fisticke Nuts.
The kernels of the Fisticke Nuts are oftentimes eaten as be those of the Pine Apples; they be of temperature hot and moist; they are not so easily concocted, but much easier than common nuts... The kernels of Fisticke nuts condited, or made into comfits, with sugar, and eaten, doe procure bodily lust, vnstop the lungs and the brest, are good against the shortnesse of breath, and are an excellent preseruatiue medicine being ministred in wine against the bitings of all manner of wilde beasts."
"Malus Granata, siue Punica. Of the Pomegranat tree.
As there be sundry sorts of Apples, Peares, Plums, and such like fruits, so there are two sorts of Pomegranates, the garden and the wilde... the fruit of the garden Pomegranat is of three sorts; one hauing a soure iuyce or liquor; another hauing a very sweet and pleasant liquor, and the third the taste of wine... The iuicie grains of the Pomegranate are good to be eaten, hauing in them a meetly good iuice: they are wholesome for the stomacke..."
"Papauer. Garden Poppies.
...This seed, as Galen saith in his booke of the Faculties of nourishments, is good to season bread with; but the white is better than the black. He also addeth, that the same is cold and causeth sleepe, and yeeldeth no commendable nourishment to the body; it is often vsed in comfits, serued at the table with other iunketting dishes. The oile which is pressed out of it is pleasant and delightfull to be eaten, and is taken with bread or any other waies in meat, without any sence of cooling."
"Battata Virginiana, siue Virginianorum, & Pappus. Virginian Potatoes.
The temperature and vertues be referred vnto the common [sweet] Potatoes, being likewise a food, as also a meate for pleasure, equall in goodnesse and wholesomenesse vnto the same, being either rosted in the embers, or boyled and eaten with oyle, vinegar, and pepper, or dressed any other way by the hand of some cunning in cookerie."
"Malus Cotonea. Of the Quince Tree.
Quinces be cold and dry in the second degree, and also very much binding, especially when they be raw: they haue likewise in them a certaine superfluous and excrementall moisture, which will not suffer them to lie long without rotting. they are seldom eaten rawe: being rosted or baked they be more pleasant... Simeon Sethi writeth, that the woman with childe, which eateth many Quinces during the time of her breeding, shall bring forth wise children, and of good vnderstanding.
The Marmalade, or Cotininate, made of Quinces and sugar, is good and profitable for the strengthening of the stomacke, that it may retaine and keepe the meat therein vntill it be perfectly digested... which Cotiniate is made in this manner: Take faire Quinces, pare them, cut them in pieces, and cast away the core, then put vnto euery pound of Quinces a pound of sugar, and to euery pound of sugar a pinte of water: these must bee boiled together ouer a still fire till they be very soft, then let it be strained or rather rubbed through a strainer, or an hairy sieue, which is better, and then set it ouer the fire to boile againe, vntill it be stiffe, and so box it vp, and as it cooleth put thereto a little Rose water, and a few graines of Muske, well mingled together, which will giue a goodly taste vnto the Cotiniat. This is the way to make Marmalade:
Take whole Quinces and boile them in water vntill they be as soft as a scalded codling or apple, then pill off the skin, and cut off the flesh, and stampe it in a stone mortar; then straine it as you did the Cotiniate; afterward put it into a pan to drie, but not to seeth at all: and vnto euery pound of the flesh of Quinces, put three quarters of a pound of sugar, and in the cooling you may put in rose water and a little Muske, as was said before... Many other excellent, dainty and wholesome confections are to be made of Quinces, as ielly of Quinces, and such odde conceits, which for breuitie sake I do now let passe."
"Raphanus sativus. Radish.
...Radish are eaten raw with bread in stead of other food... for the most part, they are vsed in sauce with meates to procure appetite, and in that sort they ingender blood lesse faulty, than eaten alone or with bread onely..."
"Caulorapum rotundum. Of Rape-Cole.
There is nothing set downe of the faculties of these plants, but are accounted for daintie meate, contending with the Cabbage Cole in goodnesse and pleasant taste."
...In England we vse to make with milke and Rice a certaine food or pottage, which doth both meanly binde the belly, and also nourish. Many other good kindes of food is made with this graine, as those that are skilfull in cookerie can tell."
"Rosa. Of Roses.
The distilled water of roses... being put into iunketting dishes, cakes, sauces, and many other pleasant things, giueth a fine and delectable taste...
The conserue of Roses... is thus made: Take the leaues [petals] of Roses, the nails cut off, one pound, put them into a clean pan; then put thereto a pinte and a halfe of scalding water, stirring them together with a woodden slice, so let them stand to mascerate, close couered some two or three houres; then set them to the fire slowly to boyle, adding thereto three pounds of sugar in powder, letting them to samper together according to discretion, some houre or more; then keepe it for your vse.
The same made another way, but better by many degrees: take Roses at your pleasure, put them to boyle in faire water, hauing regard to the quantity; for if you haue many roses, you may take the more water; if fewer, the lesse water will serue: the which you shall boyle at the least three or foure houres, euen as you would boyle a piece of meat, vntill in the eating they be very tender, at which time the roses will lose their colour, that you would thinke your labour lost, and the thing spoyled. But proceed, for though the Roses haue lost their colour, the water hath gotten the tincture thereof; then shall you adde vnto one pound of Roses, foure pound of fine sugar in pure powder, and so according to the rest of the roses. Thus shall you let them boyle gently after the Sugar is put therto, continually stirring it with a woodden Spatula vntill it be cold, whereof one pound weight is worth six pound of the crude or raw conserue, as well for the vertues and goodnesse in taste, as also for the beautifull colour.
The making of the crude or raw conserue is very well knowne, as also Sugar roset, and diuers other pretty things made of roses and sugar, which are impertent vnto our historie, because I intend neither to make thereof an Apothecaries shop, nor a Sugar bakers storehouse, leauing the rest for our cunning confectioners."
"Rosmarinum Coronarium. Of Rosemarie.
Tragus writeth, that Rosemarie is spice in the Germane Kitchins, and other cold countries... The floures made vp into plates with sugar after the manner of Sugar Roset and eaten, comfort the heart, and make it merry, quicken the spirits, and make them more liuely."
...The chiues steeped in water, serue to illumine or (as we say) limne pictures and imagerie, as also to colour sundry meats and confections. It is with good successe giuen to procure bodily lust. The confections called Crocomagna, Oxycroceum, and Diacurcuma, with diuers other emplaisters and electuaries cannot be made without this Saffron."
No man needs to doubt of the wholesomnesse of Sage Ale, being brewed as it should be with Sage, Scabious, Betony, Spikenard, Squinanth, and Fennel seeds.."
"Sesamum, siue Sisamum. Of the oylie Pulse called Sesamum.
...Men do not greedily feed of it alone, but make cakes thereof with honey, ... it is also mixed with bread..."
Sorrell doth vndoutedly coole and mightily dry; but because it is soure it likewise cutteth tough humors. The iuyce hereof in Sommer time is a profitable sauce in many meates, and pleasant to the taste... The leaues of Sorrell taken in good quantitie, stamped and strained into some Ale, and a posset made thereof, cooleth the sicke bodie, quencheth the thirst, and allayeth the heat of such as are troubled with a pestilent feuer, hot ague, or any great inflammation within. The leaues sodden, and eaten in manner of a Spinach tart, or eaten as meate, softneth and loosneth the belly, and doth attemper and coole the bloud exceedingly."
It is eaten boiled, but yeeldeth little or no nourishment at all: it is something windie, and easily causeth a desire to vomit: it is vsed in sallades when it is young and tender. This herbe of all other pot-herbes and sallade herbes maketh the greatest diuersitie of meates and sallades."
"Arundo Saccharina. Sugar Cane.
...Of the iuyce of this Reed is made the most pleasant and profitable sweet, called Sugar; whereof is made infinite confectures, syrups, and such like, as also preseruing and conseruing of sundry fruits, herbes, and flowers, as Roses, Violets, Rosemary flowers, and such like, which still retaine with them the name of Sugar, as Sugar Roset, Sugar violet, &c. The which to write of would require a peculiar volume... it is not my purpose to make of my booke a Confectionarie, a Sugar Bakers furnace, a Gentlewomans preseruing pan..." [followed by a short description of sugar refining]
"Flos Solis maior. the floure of the Sun, or the Marigold of Peru.
...the buds before they be floured, boiled and eaten with butter, vineger, and pepper, after the manner of Artichokes, are exceeding pleasant meat, surpassing the Artichoke far in procuring bodily lust. The same buds with the stalks neere vnto the top (the hairinesse being taken away) broiled vpon a gridiron, and afterward eaten with oile, vineger, and pepper, haue the like property..."
"Sisarum Peruvianum, siue Batata Hispanorum. Potato's.
The Potato roots are among the Spaniards, Italians, Indians, and many other nations common and ordinarie meate; which no doubt are of mighty and nourishing parts... being tosted in the embers they lose much of their windinesse, especially being eaten sopped in wine.
Of these roots may be made conserues no lesse toothsome, wholesome, and dainty than of the flesh of Quinces: and likewise those comfortable and delicate meats called in shops Morselli, Placentulae, and diuers other such like.
These Roots may serue as a ground or foundation whereon the cunning Confectioner or Sugar-Baker may worke and frame many comfortable delicate Conserues, and restoratiue sweete meates.
They are vsed to be eaten rosted in the ashes. Some when they be so rosted infuse them and sop them in Wine; and others to giue them the greater grace in eating, do boyle them with prunes, and so eate them. And likewise others dresse them (being first rosted) with Oyle, Vineger, and salt, euerie man according to his owne taste and liking. Notwithstanding howsoeuer they bee dressed, they comfort, nourish, and strengthen the body, procuring bodily lust, and that with greedinesse."
"Draco herba. Tarragon.
...Tarragon is hot and drie in the third degree, and not to be eaten alone in sallades, but ioyned with other herbes, as Lettuce, Purslain, and such like..."
"Poma Amoris. Apples of Loue.
...In Spaine and those hot Regions they vse to eat the Apples prepared and boiled with pepper, salt, and oile: but they yeeld very little nourishment to the bodie, and the same nought and corrupt. Likewise they doe eat the Apples with oile, vineger and pepper mixed together for sauce to their meate, euen as we in these cold Countries doe Mustard."
"Tulipa. Tulipa, or the Dalmatian Cap.
...The roots preserued with sugar, or otherwise dressed, may be eaten, and are no vnpleasant nor any way offensiue meat, but rather good and nourishing."
"Rapum majus. Turnep.
...The bulbous or knobbed root, which is properly called Rapum or Turnep... is many times eaten raw, especially of the poore people in Wales, but most commonly boiled... It auaileth not a little after what manner it is prepared; for being boyled in water, or in a certaine broth, it is more moist, and sooner descendeth, and maketh the body more soluble; but being rosted or baked it drieth, and ingendreth lesse winde, and yet it is not altogether without winde... The young and tender shootes or springs of Turneps at their first comming forth of the ground, boiled and eaten as a sallade, prouoke vrine."
"There is likewise made of Violes and sugar certain plates called Sugar Violet, or Violet tables, or Plate, which is most pleasant and wholesome..."
"Nux Iuglans. Of the Wall-nut tree.
The fresh kernels of the nuts newly gathered are pleasant to the taste... The dry nuts are hot and dry, and those more which become oily and ranke... The greene and tender Nuts boiled in Sugar and eaten as Suckad, are a most pleasant and delectable meate, comfort the stomacke, and expell poyson... Milke made of the kernels, as Almond milke is made, cooleth and pleaseth the appetite of the languishing sicke body."
"Intybum satiua. Garden Endiue.
...Endiue being sowen in the spring quickly commeth vp to floure, which seedeth in haruest, and afterward dieth. But being sowen in Iuly it remaineth till winter, at which time it is taken vp by the roots, and laid in the sunne or aire for the space of two houres; then will the leaues be tough, and easily endure to be wrapped vpon an heape, and buried in the earth with the roots vpward, where no earth can get within it (which if it did, would cause rottennesse) the which so couered may be taken vp at times conuenient, and vsed in sallades all the winter..."
See Cindy Renfrow's Culinary Gleanings