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Sallets – How to Eat Healthily in the 1600s

Sallets – How to Eat Healthily in the 1600s

By Catie Gill (Lecturer in English), Loughborough University, Jan 2 (The Conversation). When we think about food in the past, images of Henry VIII and a table full of meat dishes are often what come to mind.

Our ancestors knew more than we think about the health benefits of eating cold salads, which are usually thought of as a cold dish of vegetables or herbs.

We can learn a lot from the past about sustainable self-sufficiency. The historical salad dish is inexpensive and has no carbon footprint. It may even be good for our health.

John Evelyn (1620-1706), a writer, gardener, and diarist, pursued his interest for salads in the late-to-late 17th-century. His model not only defined the dish but also showed how you can live on home-grown vegetables all year.

Evelyn believed that a perfect kitchen garden would be one that was easy to grow and had a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Evelyn even published Acetaria: A Discourse on Sallets, 1699, a comprehensive guide to growing and preparing salads. Sallet was first used in English in 1600s from French salade.

Evelyn of Acetaria promotes a low-meat lifestyle and insists on eating roots and herbs to live a long life.

He cites classical philosophy as support for his arguments about Wholeomness of Herby-Diet. Plato and Pythagoras are two examples of great thinkers who have banished flesh from their plates.

Evelyn didn’t want to convert people to vegetarianism, declaring: But, this is not my Buines. More than to hew so many instances and examples, it is possible to live long and happy on wholeome vegetables.

Gardening and growing vegetables has seen a resurgence in the last year as an outdoor, family-friendly pastime that can help alleviate concerns about food shortages.

Even though it is unlikely to become self-sufficient, Evelyns Acetaria shares some tips and advice that green-fingered farmers can use to feed their families.

The gardeners’ year. Evelyns manifesto emphasizes the importance of salads to the diet. Acetaria says: Bread, Wine, and wholome sallets you can buy, but what Nature adds beides?

Although the rhyme is about buying salads, Evelyn points to the fact that such plants are easy-to-grow, require no fuel to prepare, are easily accessible, and are very easy to digest.

Nature is a great help for all things, as Evelyns demonstrates in Directions For the Gardener, a work about his garden at Sayes Court near southeast London.

This book provided helpful tips and hints for growing vegetables for the kitchen table. Evelyn mentions more than the typical salad items, such as lettuce and cucumber.

He also offers daisies, dandelions, and docks as part the bounty. These and many other plants can thrive on waste ground and compost heaps, helping the gardener to be more self-sufficient.

Many weeds need to picked at the best time. Sometimes, the roots and stems of weeds are boiled to remove bitterness. Raw vegetables were considered dangerous by early moderns, who believed that too many could cause a body to be upset.

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The important point is that he has an even wider definition of what could be included in the Salad Family, such as the type of foraged plants making a comeback in high-end restaurants.

Evelyn suggested some new ways of using familiar ingredients. You can pickle the seeds of radish to add to salads. You can also cook the stalks of turnip before it goes to seed and then eat them boiled with butter, just like asparagus.

A salad suitable for a City Feast Evelyn offers us a unique recipe that changes our perception of what a Salad can be.

Ingredients: Sliced blanched almonds, soaked in cold water. Pickled cucumbers.

Method Chop all the ingredients. Add in some roasted maroons, sweet chestnuts, pine-kernels or lots more almonds. Decorate with candied flower and sprinkle with rosewater. Begin with pickled flowers in vinegar.

Evelyns book tells us to use the gifts that nature offers. The medicinal garden (also known as the apothecary, or physic) brought out the benefits of various plants. They believed that they could cure all kinds if complaints.

Evelyn would be proud to see the nation of cooks and gardeners today pursuing the self-sufficiency he saw back in 1600s. As we begin another year, it is something to be thankful for. (The Conversation) CPS CP

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff. It is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.

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