Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 132 pages of information about Acetaria.
_&c._ together with several Stalks, Roots, and Fruits; Ordinary Pot-herbs, Anis, Cistus Hortorum, Horminum, Pulegium, Satureia, Thyme; the intire Family of Pulse and Legumena; or other Sauces, Pies, Tarts, Omlets, Tansie, Farces, &c. Condites and Preserves with Sugar by the Hand of Ladies; tho’ they are all of them the genuine Production of the Garden, and mention’d in our Kalendar, together with their Culture; whilst we confine our selves to such Plants and Esculenta as we find at hand; delight our selves to gather, and are easily prepar’d for an Extemporary Collation, or to Usher in, and Accompany other (more Solid, tho’ haply not more Agreeable) Dishes, as the Custom is.

But there now starts up a Question, Whether it were better, or more proper, to Begin with Sallets, or End and Conclude with them?  Some think the harder Meats should first be eaten for better Concoction; others, those of easiest Digestion, to make way, and prevent Obstruction; and this makes for our Sallets, Horarii, and Fugaces Fructus (as they call ’em) to be eaten first of all, as agreeable to the general Opinion of the great Hippocrates, and Galen, and of Celsus before him.  And therefore the French do well, to begin with their Herbaceous Pottage, and for the Cruder, a Reason is given: 

  [60]_Prima tibi dabitur Ventri_ Lactuca movendo
  Utilis, & Poris fila refecta suis.

And tho’ this Custom came in about Domitian’s time[61], [Greek:  ho m arkaioi], they anciently did quite the contrary,

  [62]_Grataque nobilium Lactuca ciborum_.

But of later Times, they were constant at the Ante-coenia, eating plentifully of Sallet, especially of Lettuce, and more refrigerating Herbs.  Nor without Cause:  For drinking liberally they were found to expell, and allay the Fumes and Vapors of the genial Compotation, the spirituous Liquor gently conciliating Sleep:  Besides, that being of a crude nature, more dispos’d, and apt to fluctuate, corrupt, and disturb a surcharg’d Stomach; they thought convenient to begin with Sallets, and innovate the ancient Usage.

  [63]——­Nam Lactuca innatat acri
  Post Vinum Stomacho——­

  For if on drinking Wine you Lettuce eat,
  It floats upon the Stomach——­

The Spaniards, notwithstanding, eat but sparingly of Herbs at Dinner, especially Lettuce, beginning with Fruit, even before the Olio and Hot-Meats come to the Table; drinking their Wine pure, and eating the best Bread in the World; so as it seems the Question still remains undecided with them,

  [64]_Claudere quae coenas_ Lactuca solebat avorum
  Dic mihi cur nostras inchoat illa dapes?

Project Gutenberg
Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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