ADDERS-TONGUE is the popular name for the genus of ferns Ophioglossum, as well as many other plants, for example herb robert and some orchids. (William Ellis, 1750)
AEPINAGE: ? an old spelling of spinach. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
AETHIOPS MINERAL is a combination of quicksilver and sulphur ground together to form a black powder, hence its name. (William Ellis, 1750)
AGRESTA. This is the Italian word for the verjuice grape (see also entry for VERJUICE). The corresponding word for the verjuice made from it was agresto. The verjuice grape was cultivated in both Italy and France, and was also used for conserves and jellies. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
AGRIMONY: Agrimonia eupatoria: astringent, with medical uses. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
AGRIMONY: Agrimonia eupatoria, also called Aaron’s rod and liverwort. (William Ellis, 1750)
ALAMODE, 57: the French phrase a la mode, meaning fashionable, was often applied in an anglicized form to dishes. (Robert May, 1660/1685)
ALCALOUS: alkaline. (William Ellis, 1750)
ALE PINT: see Weights and measures. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
ALE YEAST, BARM: The frothy mass of fungi produced during the alcoholic fermentation of ale. Formerly used for the leavening of bread and cakes. Often bitter, and unreliable in its leavening powers, the successful management of ale yeast required care and experience. It was only in the mid-19th century that compressed yeast such as we know it today began to replace ale yeast. (John Nott, 1726)
ALE YEAST, or BARM was the form of yeast used in baking until the middle of the 19th century (when the more convenient and reliable compressed yeast became available). It consisted of the frothy mass produced on top of ale during its fermentation. Yeast is a fungus, but in this form it handles like a liquid and was measured by the spoonful or pint. Karen Hess (1981) states that in her experience 1/2 oz of fresh compressed yeast does the work of a ‘spoonful’ of ale yeast.(Glasse, 1747)
ALEMBICK: the head or cap of a still, an apparatus used in distilling. Its beak conveyed the vaporous products to a receiver, where they condensed. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
ALEXANDER: alexanders,Smyrnium olusatrum.Anciently in use as a pot-herb; recommended by Parkinson. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
ALEXANDER: Smyrnium olusatrum, also known as black lovage, this plant somewhat resembles angelica. The buds were used in salads and were among the numerous aromatic herbs which went into mead and metheglin. (John Nott, 1726)
ALEXANDERS, appearing often, e g as Alexander leaves, 47, and Ellicksander buds, 160: this is Smyrnium olusatrum, the herb known as alexanders, horse-parsley, or black lovage. A native of Macedonia, it was introduced to Britain by the Romans, but now only grows wild. The young shoots and leaf stalks, the parts which were usually eaten, have a flavour like celery, to which the plant is related; and it was the development of improved varieties of celery which caused the cultivation of alexanders to be largely abandoned. (Robert May, 1660/1685)
ALICANT WINE: Rough and probably rather sweet red wines from the Alicante region of south-east Spain. (John Nott, 1726)
ALKANET: A plant of the Anchusa family. Cultivated for its root, the inner part of which was used to give a red colouring to oils and spirits of wine. Gerard reported that ‘the Gentlewomen of France do paint their faces with these roots, it is said’. (John Nott, 1726)
ALLHOLLANTIDE, ALLHOLLANDTIDE: All Hallows’ Day, All Saints’ Day, 1st November. (William Ellis, 1750)
ALLOMD, 419: presumably, ‘treated with alum’, the mineral salt, used for preserving purposes. (Robert May, 1660/1685)
ALLUM, ALUM: called by Evelyn ‘roch-allum’ in Acetaria, is an astringent salt, a double sulphate of aluminium and potassium, used in pickling and bread baking, as well as fabric dying (Hess). (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
ALLUM (alum): a whitish mineral salt with an astringent taste, chemically a double sulphate of aluminium and potassium. Combined with boiling vinegar in pickle recipes, it made unripe fruit and vegetables look greener. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
ALLUM, ALUM: an astringent mineral salt (sulphate of aluminium and potassium, used in baking, dyeing, tanning, paper making and medicine). It was extracted from earth or rock, the latter being sometimes defined as ‘rock alum’. (William Ellis, 1750)
ALMOND MILK FOR COLLATIONS: A distinction is made by Nott between ‘almond milk for collations’ and ‘almond milk for meals’. See A 24. There were also various medicinal almond milks. See A 25-7. A 28 is an almond custard. These are all rather more complex that the almond milks of medieval cookery which consisted of pounded almonds steeped in water and wrung through a cloth. The resulting milk was sometimes sweetened with honey, or added to meat broths, with wine and spices. On non-meat days almond milk replaced animal milk and cream. (John Nott, 1726)
ALMONDS OF A GRAY COLOUR: I think that ‘gray colour’ here is an English rendering of the Spanish color gris, dun colour, in other words browned almonds. (John Nott, 1726)
ALMONDS. Sweet, bitter and Jordan almonds are mentioned. Jordan almonds had nothing to do with the country of that name, Jordan being a corruption of jardin, the Spanish word for garden. See Anne Wilson (1973, especially 353 and 355-7) for information on the use of almonds in England from mediaeval times.(Glasse, 1747)
ALOE: a genus of plants containing over a hundred species, distinguished by the bitter juice which they exude. They were cultivated in the West Indies. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
ALTERATIVE is a type of medicine, a treatment which ‘alters processes of nutrition, and reduces them to healthy action’. ‘Alteratives… have a power of changing the constitution, without any sensible increase or decrease of the natural evacuations.’(William Ellis, 1750)
AMBER PLUMS: See P I go. These sound much like the famous candied plums of Elvas in Portugal. (John Nott, 1726)
AMBERGREESE, 137: ambergris, a substance produced in the sperm whale and harvested from the sea or beach in pieces that can weigh up to 200 lb. ‘Greece’ is a natural description of its texture, which is waxy, though the term refers to its greyish colour (‘gris’, grey in French). Evidently it imparted a scent rather than a flavour to the food it was prepared with. May uses it, often in conjunction with musk, for various dishes, including oysters (388), eggs (439), and to make Ambergriese Cakes (274). (Robert May, 1660/1685)
AMBERGRECE, ambergrease, am. greec, ambregreece, ambergrice, amber: ambergris. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, describes it as a ‘biliary concretion in the intestines’ of the sperm whale, found either floating in the sea, or in the abdomens or intestinal tracts of dead whales. It is a ‘solid, fatty, inflammable substance of a dull grey or blackish colour, the shades being variegated like marble, possessing a peculiar sweet, earthy odour.’ It was much used in cookery, but is now restricted to perfumery. The glossary to Joan Cromwell’s cookery book describes the perfume of ambergris as ‘the blending of new-mown hay with the scent of violets.’(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
AMBER-GREECE: ambergris. Perfume fixative, produced by whales. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
AMBERGREECE: ‘Wax-like substance found floating in tropical seas, and in intestines of sperm-whale, odoriferous and used in perfumery, and formerly in cookery’. C.O.D. In Nott’s day the use of ambergreece and musk in food was already rather old-fashioned, but both perfumes appear in a number of his receipts. For the manner in which it was used see A 41-5. (John Nott, 1726)
AMBER-GRIS: a wax-like, ash-coloured substance found floating in tropical seas or extracted from the intestines of the sperm-whale. Nowadays it is used only in perfumery. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
AMBER, AMBERGREASE. These names, the confusing history of which is explained in the OED, refer to two different substances. The first is amber, a fossilized resin familiar as jewellery. The second, ‘ambergrease’, is an intestinal secretion of the sperm-whale, sometimes found in the animal itself but more often floating on the sea or washed up on the beach. It is a waxy solid, in lumps which weigh from a few ounces up to 200 lb (Tressler, 1927). The French saw a resemblance between it and true amber and, since its normal colour is ashy grey, called it ambre grist From this name are derived the English name ambergris and various corruptions thereof such as ambergrease. Amber formerly had a role as an ingredient in food and drink. Hannah Glasse employed it rarely (e.g. added to Steeple Cream, 143), but it appeared more often in earlier books, under the influence of mediaeval Arab traditions. (The Arabs regarded amber as an aphrodisiac and used it for this purpose.) Its use survived in France into the 19th century as an additive for chocolate as a drink, witness a famous passage in Brillat-Savarin (1826). Ambergrease is used once by Hannah Glasse, in the Icing of a Great Cake, 138; but it disappeared from this recipe in later editions. Nott (1726) had it in several recipes, but Elizabeth David, in her glossary to that work (1980), comments that its use was already rather oldfashioned in his time.(Glasse, 1747)
AMLETT: omelette or omelet. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
AMULET: Obsolete word for omelet. (John Nott, 1726)
AMULET, an old spelling of omelette. Hannah Glasse’s Amulet of Beans, 103, uses egg yolks only and is really a sort of rich custard. Many earlier authors had given recipes for what we would recognize as an omelette, but she did not pick up any of these.(Glasse, 1747)
ANA: of each alike. (See Weights and measures.)(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
ANA: of each (Latin). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
ANACKS: a type of bread made from fine oatmeal. Not for the first time, though rarely acknowledged, Ellis is quoting Gervase Markham (d.1637), a further instance of his relying on books written during the previous century rather than current manuals. (William Ellis, 1750)
ANCHOVY. Was an anchovy in Hannah Glasse’s recipes really an anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) or was it a sprat (Sprattus sprattus)? Lamb (1726) says very clearly that anchovies ‘are a small Sea-Fish, that being pickled in Salt, are brought to us in little Barrels.’ This strongly suggests real anchovies imported from the Mediterranean (where the anchovy is abundant, although its range extends as far north as the North Sea). But Hannah Glasse herself explains how to ‘make anchovies’, using sprats, 155. This could be a recipe for making anchovy-substitutes, but the impression left is that what she tells you how to make is what she means when she refers to anchovies in her recipes. In any event, when following her recipes it would be appropriate to use real anchovies, whether salted and rinsed or canned and drained; but to bear in mind that sprats can make a passable substitute (witness, for example, the Norwegians and Swedes who dub canned sprats ‘anchovies’), and that Hannah Glasse was referring to whole anchovies, of which one equals four of the fillets now sold in cans.(Glasse, 1747)
ANDOLIANS, 22: an anglicized version of the French word andouilles, meaning sausages made of chitterlings. (Robert May, 1660/1685)
ANDOLIANS: Corruption of the French andouilles, chitterlings. (John Nott, 1726)
ANGELOTS: round Norman cheeses named after the coin called the angelot (picturing St Michael slaying the dragon) minted in Paris during the English occupation by Henry VI, and later, by King Louis XI of France. The OED cites a definition in Cotgrave’s English-French dictionary of 1611. Patrick Rance (The French Cheese Book) gives examples of cheeses beyond the Norman border that took the name. In fact, the name predates Henry VI, and may have had nothing to do with the coin, but all with the Pays d’Auge, whence originated Camembert. The earliest mention of angelot, Rance confirms, is in the Roman de la Rose in the early 13th century. Compare the recipe here with that in The Compleat Cook. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
ANIMALCULA: a small or tiny animal, a mite. (William Ellis, 1750)
APPLE-MOISE, 300: presumably applemos, a pottage of cooked and sieved apples, a familiar dish of the medieval period (Wilson, 1913). An example of a passing reference to a dish for which no recipe is given; it is evident from the context that May expected his readers to be familiar with it. (Robert May, 1660/1685)
APPLES: there were several apple varieties current, and mention is made of some of them in the text. The most convenient summary of varieties is in the glossary to Hannah Glasse. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
CODLINS: small green apples that were suitable for coddling (gently boiling). However, Karen Hess makes clear that the etymology of the two words is different. The apple word derived from a Middle English term meaning ‘hard’; the cookery descriptor came from the Norman French caudeler, to heat gently – the same root, she points out, as the word ‘caudle’, and coddle as in coddled eggs. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
PEARMAINS: a tall five-faceted, dual-purpose apple. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)PIPPINS: sweet apples, that were raised from imported European stock. The skin was usually flecked with gold. Receipt 301 specifies Kentish pippins. Davidson, in the glossary to Hannah Glasse, notes that the Red Kentish Pippin was first mentioned by the botanist John Ray in 1665. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)
PEAR-MAINS/PEERMAINS: an apple of French origin, known since 1200, pear shaped and well-coloured. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
PIPPINS: fruit of any tree grown from seed. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
GOLDEN-PIPPINS: recorded as a variety as early as 1629 by Parkinson in Paradisus in Sole Paradisus Terrestris, as possibly originating from Parham Park near Arundel. The Golden Pippin, used for tarts, jelly and cider, was still being cultivated as late as the mid nineteenth century. George Washington ordered trees of this variety for his estate at Mount Vernon, but they failed to thrive. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
CODLINGS: a hard apple, elongated and tapering in shape, in the seventeenth century it was used generally as the name for an apple of this shape to be cooked unripe. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
RED-STREAKS: a wild apple, possibly identical with the ‘Scudamore Crab’, found in Herefordshire and praised as a cider apple by Evelyn in his Pomona of 1664. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
GINET-MOILS: a cider-apple widely grown in the seventeenth century, producing pleasant and mild cider.The modern name is Genet-moyle. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
JOHN APPLES/APPLE-JOHN: a keeping apple, said to keep until the next year’s early apples were ready, widely grown in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.The name derives from their lasting until about St. John’s Day (August 29). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
APPLES. According to Bradley’s Dictionarium Botanicum (1728) there were fifty-four different types of apples cultivated in England, of which forty-five were good for eating or baking. Only three kinds of apples, however, are specified in the recipes: the codlin, golden pippin, and golden rennet. Bradley was clearly very partial to apples: ‘There is no kind of Fruit better known in England than the Apple, or more generally cultivated. It is of that Use, that I hold it almost impossible for the English to live without it, whether it be employ’d for that excellent Drink we call Cyder, or for the many Dainties which are made of it in the Kitchen: In short, were all other Fruits wanting to us, Apples would make us amends.’ (New Improvements of Planting and Gardening, part III, 1718, p. 21.) (Richard Bradley, 1736)
APPLES. Hannah Glasse refers often to general categories of apples by collective names such as pippins and codlins; and she also lists many particular varieties, I f,4-5. The following commentary, which takes the categories first and the varieties second, must be prefaced by saying that synonymy does not always indicate identity and that relating 18th century named apples to apples growing in the 20th century is not something which can be done with precision. The same applies to other fruits, which are however treated more briefly since a survey of apples is quite enough to establish the point. *Apples under names marked thus are growing at the National Fruit Trials, Brogdale Farm, Faversham, Kent.
CODLIN, a term originally used for any small immature apple. In Elizabethan times it was used for a green, somewhat conical, apple which if parboiled (or coddled) would retain its form and could be served as ‘Codlins and Cream’. The list of apples given in Bradley’s Dictionarium Botanicum (1728), which incorporates the list of a nursery gardener gives but one codlin, that described by Parkinson (1629): ‘The Kentish Codlin is a fair great greenish Apple, very good to cat when it is ripe, but the best to coddle of all the other Apples.’
LEATHERCOATS, an Elizabethan term denoting russet apples. There is some doubt whether it was a collective term or a specific variety (possibly resembling Lawson’s Royal Russet*, or an apple now extinct). Parkinson (1629) distinguished it clearly enough from a number of russets in his list and described it thus: ‘The Leather coate apple is a good winter apple, of no great bignesse, but of a very good and sharp taste.’
PEARMAIN, a name which appears in a document of 124, came to describe a tall five- sided apple splashed with red, a dual purpose apple, keeping until April. Parkinson (1629) merely distinguished between the Great Pearmain and the Summer Pearmain. Bradley’s nursery gardener (1728) had the Royal Pearmain, Winter Pearmain* and Loans Pearmain*. By the latter part of the 19th century scores of named varieties of Pearmain were being listed.
PIPPINS, a name originally referring to apples which could bc raised from seed (as opposed to grafting), tended also to be applied to the dessert apples of which stock were introduced from the Continent early in the 1 6th century. Five pippins were listed by Parkinson (1629), of which Switzer (1724) named but one: ‘The Golden Pippin is well known, and indeed the French own it, to be of English Extraction; is of a longish Form, yellow as Gold, the Juice thereof is very sweet, the Skin (especially where expos’d to the Sun) is often freckled with Yellow Spots; ‘tis certainly the most ancient as well as most excellent Apple that is.’
RENNETING (REINETTE).This is the typical dessert apple, of moderate size, usually squat, with a mixture of red and russet, aromatic and well flavoured. By the time of Hogg (1869) the number of listed varieties was 150, compared with only four ‘Rhenets’ listed by Bradley’s nursery gardener (1728), and a single one (the Golden Rennet) recommended by Switzer (1724). The Golden Reinette* remains the best known of the group historically, although not the best in flavour nowadays.
RUSSETINGS, RUSSETS. John Lyly (1602) was the first to use this apple term in English. Russet apples came to England from France, and are named for their colour. [Other collective terms for apples such as Costard, Quoining, etc, have not been considered here as they do not appear in The Art of Cookery.]
DEUXANS. Parkinson (1629) had equated the name Deuxann with Apple John (cf John Apple), and Switzer (1724) lists ‘John Apple or Deux-Ans’; but Mrs Glasse distinguishes them. Hambledon deux Ans* was recognized about 1750 in the Hampshire village of that name as an excellent cooking apple which would keep until the next apple season began.
GILLYFLOWER*. This is mentioned by Parkinson (1629), Evelyn (1699), Switzer (1724) and others. Some would identify it with the Cornish Gillyflower*, which was ‘rediscovered’ in 181, but this is apparently wrong.
GOLDEN-DORSET (January) and GOLDEN DUCKET DAUSET (March). Perhaps the Golden Doucet praised by Switzer (1724) is meant in both instances.
HARVEY APPLE, or more usually Doctor Harvey*; a high quality Norfolk cooking apple mentioned by Parkinson (1629). According to Ray (1665), it was named after Gabriel Harvey, the Cambridge poet. Doctor Harvey is ripe from October to January (Mrs Glasse gives January).
JOHN APPLE* (or APPLE-JOHN). Also known more recently as Ironstone Pippin, Winter Greening and French Crab*. A cooking and cider apple known from Elizabethan times for its good quality and excellent keeping properties.
JUNEATING (JOANNETTING, JENNETTING), a dessert apple known from the 17th century and variously described as ripening at the end of June or July: the name was used of several varieties, as indicated below.
WHITE JUNEATING* (Primiting; Early Juneating; Early May). A dessert apple known before 1600), the earliest to ripen, by tradition on the Feast of St John the Baptist, 24 June.
RED JOANETTING* (whose numerous synonyms include Lammas, Margaret and Maudling or Magdalene Apple). A 17th century dessert apple, ripening about the end of July (St Margaret’s Day, 20 July; St Magdalene’s Day, 22 July; or Lammas Day, 1 August).
MARIGOLD. Parkinson (1629) wrote: ‘The Marrigo is the same, that is called the Marigold Apple; it is a middle-siz’d apple, very yellow on the outside, shadowed over as it were with red, and more red on one side; a reasonable well relished fruit.’ It appears as the Marygold Apple in the list of Bradley’s nursery gardener (1728). it is possible that Mrs Glasse’s Marigold was identical with the Orange Pippin* (Isle of Wight Pippin*, which had Marigold as a synonym), a first class dessert apple ripening from September to January.
MARGARET APPLE, see under Red Joanetting above.(Glasse, 1747)
PIPPINS, see under collective apple names, above, and the following six entries on varieties of pippins.
DUTCH PIPPIN. Not recorded elsewhere under this name. The Holland Pippin* could be what is meant, an old apple recommended by Switzer (1724). A first rate cooker, in season from November to March (Mrs Glasse’s Dutch Pippin was in season in January).
FRENCH PIPPIN. Another variety which also figures in the list of Bradley’s nursery gardener (1728) and was mentioned by Batty Langley (1729), but is difficult to identify.
GOLDEN PIPPIN*. See under PIPPIN, above. One of the greatest of English dessert apples, praised by writers from Parkinson (1629) onwards. It came into season about Christmas time (Mrs Glasse says January to February). The variety survives.
KENTISH PIPPIN. There are several apples of this name, of which the best known is a dessert or dual purpose apple ripening from October to January (Mrs Glasse’s kept until January) and also known as the Red Kentish Pippin. It was first mentioned by Ray (1665).
KIRTON PIPPIN, or KERTON PlPPIN as Switzer (1724) has it, is mentioned by Ray (1665) as identical with the Broad-Eye Pippin*, a large and excellent cooking apple in use from September to January.
RUSSET PIPPIN. Referred to by Parkinson (1629), who said it was ‘as good an Apple as most of the other sorts of Pippin’, and cited by Bradley (1728). Otherwise there seems to be no evidence of an apple of this name.
PEARMAIN, see under collective apple names, above, and the two following individual varieties.
LOVE’S PEARMAIN. No apple of this name has been traced, but Loan’s Pearmain is an old 17th century dessert apple in season from November to March. (Mrs Glasse gives the season of Love’s Pearmain as January to March.)
WINTER PEARMAIN*. This is probably the oldest English apple, recorded as being grown in Norfolk in 1200. It was primarily a cooking apple, in season from December to April, but was also used for dessert and cider. A tree believed to be typical was planted by the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley in 1928.
POMEWATER, a cooking apple described in Gerard’s Herbal (1633) and according to Hogg (1869) still to be found in Lancashire and Cheshire in the latter part of the 19th century.
WESTBURY. No apple of this name has been traced.(Glasse, 1747)
APPLES (William Ellis, 1750)
FRENCH PIPPIN: it is unclear which variety is meant by this description. Pippins were generically French in origin, in English eyes, and described as ‘fine-flavoured, late-keeping’. Mawe & Abercrombie (1805) include French Pippin in their list of varieties. (William Ellis, 1750)GOLD-RENNET, or Golden Reinette, an English variety – similar to Blenheim Orange – associated particularly with Hertfordshire. (William Ellis, 1750)
GOLDEN PIPPIN is first recorded by Parkinson in 1629, widely sold in the 18th century and used in tarts, cider and jelly. (William Ellis, 1750)
green: it is not clear which variety is meant by this description. (William Ellis, 1750)
HOLLAND PIPPIN is noted by Morgan & Richards as being first recorded in Lincolnshire in 1729. (William Ellis, 1750)
JOHN-APPLE is described by Morgan & Richards as a 16th- and 17th-century variety that was said to ‘last until apples come again’, i.e. until St John’s Day (August 29). (William Ellis, 1750)
KENTISH is the Kentish Pippin, or the Colonel Vaughan, an early type, much used for tarts and cider and for sale in the London markets. (William Ellis, 1750)
LEMON PIPPIN: Morgan & Richards identify its first naming in William Ellis though it was probably known earlier. Used for drying, for eating and in tarts. It may be of Norman origin. (William Ellis, 1750)
NON-PAREIL is an eating apple of high repute in the 18th century. First recorded in 1696, it was possibly imported from France in Tudor times. (William Ellis, 1750)
PARSNIP: Ellis’ most favoured variety is not listed in any of the standard authorities. (William Ellis, 1750)
RUSSETTINGS is a generic description of russet apples. (William Ellis, 1750)
APRICOT. Mrs Glasse’s Masculine apricot may be the same be the same as Red Masculine, a very old and well known variety. Switzer (1724) wrote: ‘The Masculine or early Apricock is a pretty little Fruit of a good Sugar’d Juice; but being small, is not so much esteem’d as the large Dutch, Orange, Turkey, Roman or Common.’ These other apricots do not appear in Mrs Glasse’s list.(Glasse, 1747)
ARBUTERS, a way of spelling arbutus, the strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo. This evergreen shrub bears edible, but not very interesting, red berries in the winter. Bradley (1728) commented that it grew wild in Ireland but was cultivated in England.(Glasse, 1747)
ARCHANGEL usually describes either dead-nettle or black stinking horehound. (William Ellis, 1750)
AROMATICK ROSAT: I think this means rose sugar. q.v. (John Nott, 1726)
ARRACK: a name applied to any eastern alcoholic drink of native manufacture. It is often made from the fermented sap of the coco-palm, or from rice and sugar, fermented with coconut juice. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
ARSMART or arsesmart: water pepper (Polygonum hydropiper). It was so called as it would be laid in bed linen to repel fleas and would sting or make smart any bare flesh that came in contact with it. (William Ellis, 1750)
ARTICHOCKS, 448-9; VIRGINIA ARTICHOCKS, 211, 426. By 1660, the Artichock (globe artichoke, Cynara scolymos) had been grown and eaten in England for one hundred years; the unrelated but somewhat similar tasting ‘Virginia’ artichock (Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus), for perhaps only forty years. May does not always say which he means, but the context usually makes this clear, if ‘bottoms’ are taken as applicable to the globe and ‘roots’ to the Jerusalem.
The name ‘Virginia’ for the Jerusalem artichoke was due to its American origin. The accepted name Jerusalem, also dating from this period, has proved more popular. It has no connection with the city Jerusalem, but probably owes its origin to the Italian word girasole, which refers to the closely related sunflower. (Robert May, 1660/1685)
ASHEN KEYS: Wing-like seed chambers of the common ash tree. Pickled ash keys were used like capers, in winter salads. (John Nott, 1726)
ASPARAGUS: the Dutch blanched their asparagus buds by covering them with straw or litter. See Bradley’s Dictionarium Botanicum, 1728. (Richard Bradley, 1736)
ASTERTION BUDS, an odd way of spelling NASTURTIUM BUDS.(Glasse, 1747)
AUME, aam, awm: a liquid measure used for wine and oil. A Dutch aume of wine equalled about 41 English gallons. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
AVE MARIA WHILE: time measure (about 12 seconds). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
AVENS, avence: herb bennet, wood avens, Geum urbanum. Grown as a pot herb in the sixteenth century. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)
AVENS: Geum urbanum Herb Bennet. (John Nott, 1726) from Herba Benedicta, or Blessed Herb, so called because the root was worn as an amulet to ward off evil spirits Also used medicinally, and to flavour ale, tonic wines, and anti-plague waters. (John Nott, 1726)
AVENS: herb bennet or wood avens (Geum urbanum). It was used in brewing to impart the flavour of cloves. (William Ellis, 1750)
ASHENKEY: ash key, the seed of the ash, usually pickled, as in Receipt 131. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)