GALANGAL, GALINGAL: Alpinia officinarum, the Lesser Galangal. The roots taste something like ginger. They were imported from Java and much used as a spice in European cookery. (John Nott, 1726)

GALINGALE: Roots of the sedge, chufa nuts. But the word is often used when galangal is meant. (John Nott, 1726)

GALLENDINES, 43, 144, 153: the same word as galantine, but with a meaning different from the modern usage. As May’s recipes show, 17th century galantine in England was a dark-coloured sauce made with vinegar, breadcrumbs, cinnamon and sometimes other spices. Earlier, in medieval times, a galantine had been a jellied dish of fish or fowl or meat; and it was this version, which lingered longer in France and eventually crossed in a somewhat new form to England at the beginning of the 18th century, which evolved into our present galantine. See C Anne Wilson (1980). (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GALLENDINE: galantine, but meaning, as in Robert May, q.v., a deep red sauce, not the more familiar cold, jellied meat confection. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

GALLIMAUFRY: See G I and 2. The receipts are much simpler than one might expect from the name. (John Nott, 1726)

GALLIPOT, a small earthen glazed pot, mostly used by apothecaries for storing drugs and ointments, also by artists for mixing colours. The reference to small, high gallipots shaped ‘like a Sugar-loaf at Top’, 143, suggests that Hannah Glasse meant gallipots with conical ends, the inversion of which would produce the ‘steeple’ shape of Steeple Cream.(Glasse, 1747)

GALLIPOT is a glazed earthenware jar. (William Ellis, 1750)

GALLY-POT, 164: a small pot of glazed earthenware mainly used by apothecaries, but also serving in the kitchen, e g to stew preserves. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GALLY-POT: small earthen-glazed pot, used especially by apothecaries for ointments and medicines. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GALLY POTT: glazed earthenware pots. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

GALLYPOT (gallipot): a small earthen glazed pot. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GAMBON: gammon, a smoked ham. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GARAVANZAS: chick-peas (Spanish). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GARBIDG, 348: garbage, meaning entrails. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GARGET may describe a swelling in an animal’s throat, but Ellis uses it to define a hard swelling in, or inflammation of a cow’s udder. (William Ellis, 1750)

GELLY: jelly. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GENTIAN ROOT: the root of certain plants of the family Gentianaceae. The one most used for its bitter, tonic, and cleansing effects was that of Gentiana futea, which had to be imported. But there were related plants in England which could be put to the same purpose. See Geoffrey Grigson for an account thereof. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GERMANDER can refer to several species of plant. It is most likely that here it is the speedwell or bird’s eye (Veronica chamaedrys) – a rather sinister number, according to Grigson. (William Ellis, 1750)

GIAM, RASPBERRY. Raspberry jam. Jam, as we know it, seems to have evolved around the latter part of the 17th century. Earlier confections of fruit and sugar were boiled until of a glue-like consistency and then dried and stored in boxes. The same applied to early marmalades. During the 17th century marmalades began to be made in a less solid form and were kept in jars. This development was widened in scope to include jams. The first published recipe for a jam of this new kind seems to have been that of Mrs Eales for Apricock-Jam (1718). She had ones for ‘Rasberry Jam’ and Cherry-Jam too. But the distinction between jams and marmalades at that time was obscure. Massialot’s recipe for Apricot Marmalade (1702) was like that of Mrs Eales, but he said that you could either put the product in jars or go on and dry it and store it in the traditional way. The origin of the word jam is itself uncertain, as Dr Johnson (1755) remarked, but some have thought it derived from the French j’aime (I like). The earliest use of the word ‘jam’ seems to be that by Rebecca Price (1681 ms, 1974 edition), where ‘Jam of damsons’ is given.(Glasse, 1747)

GILL or GROUND IVY: a bitter, aromatic herb with bluish purple flowers and kidney- shaped leaves. It was the chief bitter before the general adoption of hops and widely used as a medicine. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GILL or jill is a quarter of a pint. (William Ellis, 1750)

GILLIFLOWERS: Wallflowers. See also clove gilliflowers. In Nott’s receipts the latter are intended. (John Nott, 1726)

GINET-MODS, gennet-mod: see Apples, Ginet-moils. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GINNEY BEANES: presumably this refers to beans from the New World, Phaseolus spp. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

GIRKENS, a spelling of gherkins.(Glasse, 1747)

GLASSES, DOUBLE, 164. These were glass storage vessels, of large capacity. People drank from goblets or cups. If they drank from a glass, they called it a drinking-glass. (Robert May, 1660/1685)


GLEAN: the placenta or after-birth, especially of a cow. The verb denotes the act of shedding the after-birth. (William Ellis, 1750)

GOATSBEARD (goat’s-beard) or TRAGOPOGON: a herb, Tragopogon pratensis, which was also known as ‘Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon’, since it closes up at that time. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GODIVOE, GODIVEAU: Forcemeat of veal, chicken, fish. The receipts come from French sources and are self-explanatory. (John Nott, 1726)

GOODWETS, 162: Godwits, marsh birds of the genus Limosa, not unlike the curlew, but smaller. They had a high reputation as table fare. Sir Thomas Browne, writing about the natural history of Norfolk (1662-8) observed that they ‘were accounted the daintiest dish in England and I think, for the bignesse, of the biggest price’.(Glasse, 1747)

GOOSE POWDERED: Salted goose. (John Nott, 1726)

GOOSEBERRIES TO KEEP: From this receipt it can be seen that almost modern methods of bottling fruit were already practised in Nott’s day. (John Nott, 1726)

GOOSEBERRY. Bradley, in New Improvements of Planting and Gardening (part III, 1718, p. 45), enumerated the most commonly grown gooseberries as: the large White Dutch Gooseberry, which produces an excellent Fruit for eating; the large Amber-Gooseberry, which I think is better for baking while they are Green, than to be kept ‘till they are ripe; the Walnut-Gooseberry, which exceeds all others for the Largeness of its Fruit, which may be gather’d for baking sooner than any other; and the Champain-Gooseberry, which is ripe at least a Fortnight before any of the rest; and besides these, the Black Hairy-Goosberry is pleasant enough. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GOOSEBERRY TANSEY: G 39. Tansey in this case is an error for wine. (John Nott, 1726)

GRAILINGS, GRAYLING: Nott probably intended the freshwater grayling. (John Nott, 1726)

GRAINS OF PARADISE: Melegueta pepper, Guinea grains, Guinea pepper. The seeds of afromomum, a plant related to cardamom, but indigenous to those parts of tropical West Africa once known as the Guinea coast. Grains of Paradise were freely used, or at any rate called for, in early medieval and renaissance cookery. The small black seeds are contained in an oval pod usually discarded before the seeds are used. In Eastern cookery the whole pod is often put into lentil dishes, pillaus and so on to scent and flavour the dish, but is not eaten. (John Nott, 1726)

GRAINS OF PARADISE or Melegueta pepper is the fragrant seed of an African fruit widely used in traditional medicine, or as a stimulant (in its home territories), as an ingredient of hippocras, or as a fraudulent boost to the strength of ales. It has something of the taste of cardamom. (William Ellis, 1750)

GRAPES. The following kinds are mentioned in The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director: Black Cluster, Fronteniac (black, blue, red, white), Lombardy, Muscadella, Muscadine (white), Raisin, St. Peter, Warner. Interestingly, this list bears very little relation to the grapes Bradley advocated growing in New Improvements of Planting and Gardening (part III, 1718, p. 2): ‘The kinds which I find ripen best in England are, the July grapes, the Black Currant Grape, the Early sweet Water Grape, lately brought from the Canaries, the Arbois or French sweet Water Grape, which are all ripe with us by the middle of August, if rightly managed and the season be kind, and after them the Muscadines, Parsley Grapes, Fronteniacs, Claret and Burgundy Grapes: I have seen all these in great perfection with us… See also the entries under VINES/VINEYARDS and WINES. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GRAPES. The varieties named by Hannah Glasse, 165, number three only: Cluster, Muscadine and Cornelian grapes. Otherwise she refers only to categories, such as ‘all the forward Kind of Grapes’ which appear in forcing frames in June; ‘Some . . . Grapes’ appearing in July: and just ‘Grapes’ in September. The three named varieties are ascribed to August. Lawrence (17t5) had written: ‘There are several Sorts of grapes, and most of them in some good Years will ripen in England; but I think the White Muscadine and the Black Cluster-Grape are the only sorts that one may depend upon . . .’ No other mention of the Cornelian grape has been traced.(Glasse, 1747)

GRASS, asparagus.(Glasse, 1747)

GRASS, HONEYSUCKLE, is white clover. (William Ellis, 1750)

GRASS, LADYFINGER, is birds-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). (William Ellis, 1750)

GRASS, RAY, is presumably rye grass. (William Ellis, 1750)

GRASS, TYNE, tyne, or tine, is a wild vetch or tare. Ellis likens it to the cliver as a strangling weed in the wheatfield, yet persists in naming it and ladyfinger grass as his two favourite meadow grasses (Modern Husbandman). (William Ellis, 1750)

GRASS LAMB, see LAMB.(Glasse, 1747)

GRASS-ONIONS: Avena elatior, a species of wild oat, so called from the rounded nodes of the root-stock. (William Ellis, 1750)

GRAVELINS, 216: some kind of waterfowl, says the QED; but their identity is elusive. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GRAVES are a by-product of making tallow, the meat or skin residue after melting animal fat, often used as animal feed. (William Ellis, 1750)

GRAVEY: Randle Holme defines this as ‘the fat as runs from Beef, or other Meat, in roasting’. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GREATTS: groats. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

GREEN FISH: Gadus Virens. Fish of the cod family, eaten fresh. (John Nott, 1726)

GREEN-GEESE: a goose under four months old. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GREEN SAUCE: a green-coloured sauce made from herbs such as sorrel or sour dock and eaten with meat. See the article by Jennifer Stead in Petits Propos Culinaires, number 3, Prospect Books, London, 1979. (Richard Bradley, 1736)


GRENADE: A mixture made up to look like a pomegranate. See G 57. (John Nott, 1726)

GRENADINE: A more elaborate version of a grenade. See G 58. (John Nott, 1726)

GRID-IRON: a framework of parallel metal bars, used for grilling flesh or fish over a fire. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GRIDIRON. A framework of parallel metal bars, used to support meat or fish being grilled over a fire. This could be more or less elaborate. The example in the drawing is a very elegant one.(Glasse, 1747)

GRISKINS. The lean parts of the loin of a bacon pig.(Glasse, 1747)

GRISLES, Gristle.(Glasse, 1747)

GROAT: a coin, last issued for circulation in 1662, valued at four pence. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GROMWELL, 159: Lithospermum officinale, referred to as gromel by Culpeper (1653), who drew attention to the hard, stony seeds which gave the plant a reputation for curing ‘the stone’. Grigson (1955) suggests that Gromwell was the lithospermum, or ‘stone seed’, of Dioscorides.(Glasse, 1747)

GROSS PEPPER, 306: coarse pepper. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GROSS, GROSSE, PEPPER: coarsely ground or cracked peppercorns. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

GROUND-IVY: Glechoma hederacea, bitter medicinal herb. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GROUND-PINE is the plant Ajuga Chamæpytis, so called from its resinous smell. (William Ellis, 1750)

GRUMELSEEDS: gromwell, Lithospermum officinale; the seeds were much used in the seventeenth century for kidney-stones and urinary troubles. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

GRUNDS, 149, in the phrase ‘clenged from the grunds’, applied to oysters. From the context one might suppose that this meant ‘cleaned from their shells’, but the word ‘grunds’ itself is mysterious, unless perhaps it means ‘oyster grounds’ and the thought is that the oysters would be taken from these grounds and immediately cleaned. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GRUTS. Groats: hulled, or hulled and crushed, grain, usually oats but sometimes wheat, barley or maize.(Glasse, 1747)

GUBBINGS, 126: small pieces, fragments – see the NSOED on gubbin. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GUM-ARABACK and GUM DRAGON, 286 and 177. Gum arabic and gum tragacanth were two similar substances used in cookery and medicine for their ability to stabilize, thicken and emulsify. The former is a secretion exuded by certain shrubs of the genus Acacia. The latter is obtained from shrubs of the genus Astralagus, and is inferior except for laundry work.

In his recipe for a boiled pudding, 177, May uses only gum tragacanth. The Piramedis Cream recipe, 286, in which he uses both, was taken from The Queen’s Closet Opened (1655), Part 1, and may not have represented his personal practice. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

GUM ARABIC: A gummy substance obtained from trees of the acacia family. When dissolved in cold water Arabic gums form a stiff mucilage. (John Nott, 1726)

GUM-ARABIC: a viscid secretion exuded by certain species of the genus Acacia. It hardens in drying but is soluble in water. According to Ephraim Chambers’s Cyclopaedia (London 1741): ‘It is very transparent, glutinous upon the tongue, almost insipid to the taste, and twisted somewhat in manner to a worm.’ (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GUM-ARABICK, 143. A viscid secretion exuded by certain species of the genus Acacia. It dries hard, but is soluble in water and has for long been used in making confectionery. It is the best of the natural gums for stabilizing, thickening and emulsifying, and was a standard ingredient in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was also regarded as having intrinsic value as a food, and there were legends about its ability to provide complete nourishment. A certain Hasselquist, who wrote about his journeys in the Levant, stated that ‘the Abyssinian caravan of 174’ ran out of provisions and that a thousand people then subsisted for two months on a diet of nothing but gum arable.(Glasse, 1747)

GUM DRAGON, gum dragon water: gum tragacanth, obtained from the shrub Astralagus and used to stabilize, thicken and emulsify. Thought inferior to gum arabic, and used for laundry work. (Glossary to Robert May)(John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

GUM-DRAGON: Gum tragacanth. A stabiliser or stiffener. Obtained from partially soluble gums exuded by various species of Astragalus, low spiny bushes growing in Crete, Turkey, Greece, Persia and commonly known as goat thorn. (John Nott, 1726)

GUM-DRAGON (tragacanth): a ‘gum’ or mucilaginous substance obtained from several species of the genus Astralagus in the form of whitish strings or flakes. It is only partially soluble in water. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

GUM DRAGON, 143. An alternative name for gum tragacanth, a mucilaginous substance obtained from shrubs of the genus Astralagus. Used like gum arable, but inferior to it except in laundry work.(Glasse, 1747)

GUM GUAIACUM is the resin obtained from the American tree Guaiacum officinale, often called lignum vitae. (William Ellis, 1750)

GUM-WATER, 138, a solution of gum arabic in water or orange-flower water.(Glasse, 1747)

GUTTS: puddings, for instance the liver pudding described in Receipt 41, were often boiled in intestines or guts rather than pudding bags. Robert May suggests that marrow puddings, when done in this way, should be toasted before the fire after boiling. John Nott explains how to fill the guts using a funnel. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

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