A Catechism of Familiar Things; eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about A Catechism of Familiar Things;.

A finer sort of parchment than the former, but prepared in the same manner, except that it is not passed through the lime-pit.  It is made of the skins of very young calves:  there is also a still finer sort made of the skins of sucking lambs, or kids; this is called virgin parchment, and is very thin, fine, and white, and is used for fancy-work, such as ladies’ fans, &c.

CHAPTER VIII.

CAPERS, ALMONDS, ORANGES, LEMONS, CITRONS, LIMES, OLIVES, OILS, MELONS, TAMARINDS, AND DATES.

What are Capers?

The full-grown flower-buds of the Caper Tree, a small shrub, generally found growing out of the fissures of rocks, or among rubbish, on old walls and ruins, giving them a gay appearance with its large white flowers.  It is a native of Italy:  it is also common in the south of France, where it is much cultivated.

How are they prepared, and for what are they used?

They are gathered, and dried in the shade; then infused in vinegar, to which salt is added; after which they are put in barrels, to be used as a pickle, chiefly in sauces.

What are frequently substituted for Capers?

The buds of broom pickled in the same manner, or the berries of the nasturtium, an American annual plant, with pungent fruit.

What are Almonds?

The nut of the Almond Tree, a species of the peach, growing in most of the southern parts of Europe; there are two kinds, the bitter and the sweet.

What are their qualities and use?

The sweet almonds are of a soft, grateful taste, and much used by the confectioner in numerous preparations of sweet-meats, cookery, &c.  Both sorts yield an oil, and are useful in medicine.

Of what country is the Orange a native?

It is a native of China, India, and most tropical countries; but has long been produced in great perfection in the warmer parts of Europe and America.  Oranges are imported in immense quantities every year, from the Azores, Spain, Portugal, Italy, &c.  They are brought over in chests and boxes, packed separately in paper to preserve them.  The oranges in common use with us are the bitter or Seville, the China or sweet orange, and those from Florida.

Where are the Azores situated?

In the Atlantic Ocean, about 800 miles west of Portugal.  These islands are very productive in wine and fruits.

Where is Seville?

In Spain; it is an ancient and considerable city, the capital of the province of Andalusia.  The flowers of the Seville orange are highly odoriferous, and justly esteemed one of the finest perfumes.  Its fruit is larger than the China orange, and rather bitter; the yellow rind or peel is warm and aromatic.  The juice of oranges is a grateful and wholesome acid.

     Odoriferous, sweet-scented, fragrant; having a brisk,
     agreeable smell which may be perceived at a distance.

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A Catechism of Familiar Things; from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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