T

TAFFATA TART: taffeta was a word applied to a cream dish, taffeta cream, and to a tart. The two coexist in John Nott’s Cooks Dictionary. Elizabeth David, who compiled the glossary for the 1980 facsimile of that work, suggested the creams were so called because their lustrous surface matched the sheen of taffeta silk. However, she was unable to make the link between a simple egg cream and (in the case of John Nott) a tart of high-flavoured apple purée. The OED connects the word in its culinary sense with the figurative usage, for example Shakespeare’s ‘taffata phrases, silken tearmes precise’, when it means bombastic, florid, highly decorated. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

TAFFATY CREAM: This must have been so-called in reference to the glossy or lustrous appearance, resembling silk taffeta, of the cooked cream custard. Taffaty tarts, TA 2, however, are much more difficult to explain. The receipt is for a yeast-leavened dough fashioned into pie shapes, spread with an apple puree scented with rosewater, and enhanced with quince marmalade and candied orange peel plus a sprinkling of rose or violet essence after baking. This might well be delicious. (John Nott, 1726)

TALMOUSE, 290: an antique French term, which is used by pastrycooks to indicate something close to what would now be called a cheesecake, although sometimes of triangular shape. Joseph Favre (c 1905, reprint 1978) gives etymological, historical, and culinary details deploring the deterioration of the product in the 19th century by comparison with medieval times. May applies the term to the tart-case rather than the whole product. Rabisha (1682) does not use the term talmouse, but does have one, long and detailed, recipe for cheesecake (in a ‘coffin’). (Robert May, 1660/1685)

TAMARA, 114-5: a powder going by that name in Italy, of which nothing else seems to be known. May does explain how it is composed, 115. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

TAMARIS: leaves of the tamarisk tree were used in medicinal decoctions and, in Receipt 128, in ale which was in fact described as ‘medicinal’. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

TAMARISK: Tamarix anglica: introduced in the sixteenth century as a medicinal herb; recommended by Gerard against disease of the spleen. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

TANSY, TANSEY: This ancient dish has many variations. The herb tansy, tanacetum vulgare, has a bittertasting leaf and its use in food can be traced back, it seems, to ancient Jewish passover customs. In English custom, tanseys were eaten mainly at Easter-time as an antidote and blood-cleanser after all the salt fish of Lent. Tansey the dish was a cross between an omelette and a pancake, a batter-mixture of many green leaves and eggs, cooked in a frying pan and strewn with sugar. Apart from tansy leaves— which were eventually left out of the dish to which their name had been given—spinach, violet, strawberry and primrose leaves, green wheat, cowslip leaves and blossoms were among the ingredients which went into tansies. Apple tansey was another favourite. Nott gives tanseys cooked like custards and finished off in the oven or over a chafing dish of coals. A tansey was essentially a green dish prettily strewn with white sugar, as evoked in a couple of lines from a 17th century poem on a great frost in 1654: ‘wherever any grassy turf is view’d/It seems a tansie all with sugar strew’d’. (John Brand, Observations on Popular Antiquities 1777) Almond Tansey, A 40, appears to be a beverage. (John Nott, 1726)

TANSEY. In mediaeval times tansy was a fried mixture of eggs flavoured with the bitter juice of tansy leaves, eaten at Easter in remembrance of the ‘bitter herbs’ of Passover. Anne Wilson (1973) states that early in the 17th century the traditional tansy was thickened with breadcrumbs, cream and spices, and served with sugar scattered over it. Gradually, as more crumbs, Naples biscuit, and sugar were added, it became a sweet pudding, baked or boiled, still including chopped tansy, but now coloured green with spinach juice.(Glasse, 1747)

TANSIE, 174-5, otherwise tansy or tansey: the name of both a herb and a dish. The herb, Tanacetum vulgare, is a bitter one which was extensively used in the past for both medical and culinary purposes. The dish was described by Elizabeth David (1980) as ‘a cross between an omelette and a pancake, a batter-mixture of many green leaves and eggs, cooked in a frying pan and strewn with sugar’. The tansy leaves which gave their name to the dish were later discarded in favour of other ingredients; but they are still present in all May’s tansy recipes. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

TANSY: a flat omelette, sometimes thickened with crumbs, and coloured green with juice of vegetables and herbs (tansy). Variations, like apple, also exist. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

TARNRISE PLOUGH is the turnwrest plough or the Kentish plough where the mould-board is shifted from one side to the other at the end of a furrow (OED). (William Ellis, 1750)

TARRASS is a waterproof mortar made of tarrass, a sort of pumice imported from Germany. (William Ellis, 1750)

TARTAR: tartaric acid. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

TARTS DE MOY: See Moy. (John Nott, 1726)

TEA. There are references to herb, Green, and Bohea (black) tea. Bradley was against the importation of teas because he thought they were unhealthy, but his promised treatise on the subject never materialized. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

TEA, BOHEA, is black tea, fermented before drying. (William Ellis, 1750)

TEA, GREEN, is distinct from black tea in that the leaves are dried immediately after picking and are not fermented (Davidson). (William Ellis, 1750)

TEA SPOONFUL, see MEASURES.(Glasse, 1747)

TENCH: A freshwater fish, today considered too bony and muddy to be of much value. (John Nott, 1726)

TENCH. The phrase ‘slime your tenches’, 86, is arresting. Removing the slime from the skins of these fish may be done with a knife or with salt.(Glasse, 1747)

TENT: A Spanish red wine. A. L. Simon says it is the darkest of all Spanish red wines. (John Nott, 1726)

TERRINE: An excellent definition of this term is given by Nott. See T 25. (John Nott, 1726)

THETCHES are vetches. (William Ellis, 1750)

THISTLE: in Receipt 78[bis] for a thistle salad, Evelyn may be referring to the cardoon, although when this recipe reappeared in Acetaria he changed his introductory description from ‘the great thistle’ to ‘the milky thistle’. In a letter printed in Bray (Wheatley), volume III (p. 359), Evelyn tells the Earl of Sandwich, then ambassador at Madrid, that ‘I think I was the first that ever planted Spanish Cardôns in our country for any culinarie use, as yr Excy: has taught the blanching; but I know not whether they serve themselves in Spaine with the purple beards of the thistle, when it is in flower, for the curdling of milk, which it performes much better than reinet, and is far sweeter in the dairy than that liquor, which is apt to putrifie.’ (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

THREEPENNY LOAF see BREAD.(Glasse, 1747)

THRUM THREAD describes short odds and ends of thread, specifically strong yarn such as was used for the warp: the thrums were the ends of the warp not actually woven, trimmed off after taking from the loom. (William Ellis, 1750)

TIFFANIE, tiffany: fine silk or lawn used as a mesh for sieving and straining, or as cloth to make up a spice bag. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

TIFFANIES, TIFFANY: Silk or fine lawn. Used for sieves and for making little bags to tie spices and small puddings in See also A 78. (John Nott, 1726)

TILLS are lentils. Worlidge (1640) says that Hampshire people thought the word lentils indicated the season of Lent, so they left out the first syllable as ‘not agreeing with the matter’ (OED). (William Ellis, 1750)

TIN BOX. The use of a tin box, made watertight, for cooking spinach, 99, is an ingenious variation on the principle of cooking things within things in cauldrons.(Glasse, 1747)

TIN OVEN. The reference to a tin oven, 91, is to the ‘Dutch oven’ which was in common use and which stood in front of the fire. The food being cooked was exposed to direct heat and also to reflected heat from the polished tin interior. A door in the back could be opened to permit viewing and basting.(Glasse, 1747)

TOMATOES: It will perhaps be noticed that in Nott’s book these are conspicuous by their absence. Although tomatoes are described in Gerard’s Herbal of 1597, tomato sauces did not get into the cookery books until the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. (John Nott, 1726)

TOP DISH, see SERVICE.(Glasse, 1747)

TORCULAR: a press used in making wine. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

TORMENTIL: Potentilla erecta, used against colic and diarrhoea. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

TORT, tart.(Glasse, 1747)

TOURTIERE: a covered pie dish (French). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

TREADLES, TREDDLES, TREDS. Treds, or cock-treadings, are the coloured spots on the yolks of fertilized eggs. A treadle is not the same thing. It is the thread or string holding the yolk in position. In preparing a pale dish one would be especially concerned to remove the beds; in making a smooth-textured dish, the treadles.(Glasse, 1747)

TREADS, treds: see Cock treadings. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

TRENCHER: a piece of stale bread cut from a large oblong loaf (see Karen Hess) used as a plate in the medieval and early modern period. The word derives from the French trancher (to slice, cut or hack) and indicated at root the surface upon which meat or food was sliced or cut. The bread trencher is thus a specialised form and in fact any flat board or plate used for this purpose could be called a trencher. By extension, the term was used for flat boards, for cutting or not. In Receipt 100, Evelyn describes a wooden trencher, held on the thumb like a painter’s palette, used to skim cream off milk. Here, he is recalling a French method of working, but in Receipt 172 he is using the instrument in an English kitchen: ‘a wooden trencher made round and thin’. In Receipt 68, a weighted trencher is placed on top of a joint of potted venison to hold it below the surface of the butter that will preserve it. Again, this would have been a flat wooden or metal platter, not a piece of dry bread. See also Sceming dish. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

TREUFFLES: truffles. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

TRIFFEL, 292: trifle. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

TRIPE. Hannah Glasse’s recipes for tripe either call simply for ‘tripe’ or specify ‘double tripe’. But in her list of foodstuffs, 160, she names three kinds. These are:

DOUBLE TRIPE. This term (for which the French equivalent is gras double, although that term may be used with other meanings) usually refers to the first of the four stomachs of a ruminant animal. This is the biggest, and its smoothly seamed exterior and inside lining are clearly distinct. (The inside lining is often called blanket tripe.) Thick-seam tripe is another term used for double tripe.

ROLE TRIPE, a term no longer used, seems likely to mean either blanket tripe (see above) or possibly reed tripe (alternatively leaf or Bible tripe), belonging to the third stomach.

REED-TRIPE, a term still in use, applies to the fourth and smallest stomach. Hannah Glasse seems not to have noticed honeycomb tripe, that of the second stomach, or reticulum; but since this is often attached to the double tripe she may not have thought it necessary to make the distinction. Eighteenth century authors in general had little to say about tripe or what kind to choose. For example, Elisabeth Moxon (c 1755) had but two tripe recipes and for them she simply recommended the whitest, or thickest and whitest, ‘seam tripe’ (double tripe) that was available.(Glasse, 1747)

TRIVET: a tripod for resting a pan on before the fire. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

TROCHES: Pastilles, lozenges, intended for medicinal use. (John Nott, 1726)

TROUT, VIRGINIA: This odd receipt appears in earlier works. The name is a puzzle. (John Nott, 1726)

TRUFFLES: It may be doubted that the quantities of truffles which appear in Nott’s receipts were ever used by him or anyone else in England, unless in some preserved or pickled form. Truffles were not much known about in England until the end of the 17th century. John Chamberlayne, whose translation of the 16th century Italian work called Il Tesoro della Sanita by Castor Durante appeared in 1686 as A Treasure of Health, wrote that he thought it useful to describe truffles ‘because they are but lately known about in England’. John Evelyn, who had eaten truffles in France in 1644 and found them ‘an incomparable meate’ was rather prim about them when some fifty years later he came to write his Acetaria. The supposedly aphrodisiac qualities of these mysterious fungi or tubers caused him to refrain from discussing them or placing them among ‘our innocent sallet furniture’. He does however reveal that truffles were not seldom found in England, particularly ‘in a Park of my Lord Cotton’s at Rushton or Rusberry in Northamptonshire’. Savernake Forest in Wiltshire was another source of English truffles, and they were also to be found in Sussex. (John Nott, 1726)

TRUFFLES. Elizabeth David has kindly drawn my attention to some early references. John Evelyn wrote in his diary for 30 September 1644, when he was at Vienne in the Dauphine, this passage: ‘here we lay, and supp’d; having (amongst other dainties) a dish of Truffles, which is a certaine earth-nut, found out by an hog”, train’d up to it, & for which those creatures, are sold at a grease price: It is in truth an incomparable meate:…’ So truffles were a novelty to an English traveller in 1644. Later in the century (1686) an English translation by John Chamberlayne of Castore Durante da Gualdo’s Il tesoro della sanita was published as A Treasure of Health; and this said of truffles that ‘because they are but lately known in England, it will not be amiss to give a short description thereof…’. And later still (1699) we find in Evelyn’s Acetaria a reference to them as ‘rank and provocative Excrescences’, which were none the less sent for from France ‘and not seldom found in England’. From Bradley’s other writings it is clear that truffles were little known and appreciated in England at the beginning of the 18th century, although the cognoscenti were prepared to pay a guinea for a pound of freshly gathered ones. There was also considerable botanical confusion as to what the truffle was (a plant of something else?) and how many kinds there were. Bradley, who was familiar with what Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and Etienne-François Geoffroy of the Academy of Sciences at Paris had written on the subject, did his best to clear this confusion. He also provided his fellow Britons with invaluable tips (based on his personal experience) on how to track down the great delicacy. (See the Appendix to New Improvements of Planting and Gardening, 1726, and the Dictionarium Botanicum, 1728.) It is worth noting that in the latter work Bradley scorned dried truffles, which then sold at 30 shillings a pound, insisting that only the fresh ones were really ‘worthy of a Prince’s Table’. See also the entries under MORILLLE and MUSHROOMS. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

TRUFFLES. There is an interesting passage in the Appendix to Richard Bradley’s Dictionarium Botanicum (1728), in which the author says: ‘It is a sort of Underground Mushroom, of great Esteem in Italy and France, from whence we learnt the use of it, and as a Delicacy, pay about thirty Shillings per Pound for the dry’d ones; but in those which we have dried, I own I am not Epicure enough to distinguish any Thing extraordinary; while they are fresh, indeed they make a very agreeable Dish, worthy a Prince’s Table: And for that Reason, I have taken some Pains to search for them in England, and have found them in many Places, in Woods especially, in Surrey, Middlesex, Kent, Essex, in Hertfordshire, and Northamptonshire, and I guess, we have very few old Woods in England without them. The Morille likewise, which is a kind of Companion to the Trufle, I have met with in all the aforesaid Countries; but I suppose they have not been taken Notice of by the People, for want of Knowledge of their Virtues.’ The species of truffle found in England is not the same as either of the two principal edible species found in France and Italy, although still worth eating. Truffles in general were still largely unknown in England in the early 18th century. The fact that Hannah Glasse almost invariably bracketed truffles and morels in her lists of ingredients is explained by Bradley’s remark that they tend to occur together (or possibly because the French authors from whom many of her recipes are ultimately derived so bracket them). She seems to have used truffles more freely than any of her English predecessors in the realm of cookery books. What is not clear is whether she usually meant English truffles, or had in mind the expensive imported, dried ones. Since English truffles were no doubt also dried, her reference on one occasion to green truffles, 53, does not provide evidence on this point, but it does suggest that whatever truffles she used were commonly in dried form. (Green must mean fresh, since no edible truffles are green in colour. Cf the tragic tale of the stewpan containing a dish of ‘green morels’, accidentally thrust into the washing up: Verral, 1759.) A passage in Evelyn (1699) provides evidence that truffles were imported from France ‘at no small charge’, but also refers to their being ‘not seldom found in England’. The matter remains doubtful, as does the question of the season for English truffles and whether it could have overlapped with that of morels, which is the late spring. Florence White (1952) has assembled interesting material which could help further study of these questions; and she does remark that truffles and morels could both be found at Batheaston.(Glasse, 1747)

TRUSS: ‘is the dressing and ordering of the Fowl for the Pot or Spit, by turning up the Legs and Wings’ (Randle Holme). The trussing instructions at the end of Part II of The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director appear to be unique in the history of 17th- and 18th-century English-language cookery books. Bradley first tried out the idea of publishing material about trussing by a professional poulterer in his Weekly Miscellany of 1727. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

TRY’D, TO TRY: See Suet

TUNNING-TUB, 150, the tub in which fermented ale is stored when racked off.(Glasse, 1747)

TURNIPS: See H 2 for an interesting comment on English turnips not being as good as in Holland. It was from Holland that turnips had been imported to England in the previous century. (John Nott, 1726)

TURNOVER TART. Hannah Glasse, 25, gives the instruction to ‘close the two ends of your paper as you do a turnover tart’. Such a tart was what would now be called a pasty in Britain, e.g. Cornish pasty. The term turnover is still in use in North America, and to a limited extent in Britain.(Glasse, 1747)

TURNSOLE, TURNSOLE PURPLE: A violet blue or purple colouring matter obtained from the plant crosophora tinctoria. ‘Obtained by grinding the plants to a pulp in a mill, when they yield about half their weight of a dark green juice which becomes purple by exposure to the air. Acids possess the property of changing the juice of turnsole, or an infusion of it, red’. C.O.D. Turnsole was used as a food and beverage colouring throughout the middle ages, and in all European cookery, and continued in use until well into the 18th century. Such vegetable dyes for food were to be obtained ready prepared from the druggists. The earlier name of turnsole was heliotropium, also Small Tornesol. The plant grows wild in Mediterranean regions and was cultivated in southern France for its root, the main source of the purple colouring agent. (John Nott, 1726)

TURKEY POULT: a name for a young turkey, poult being derived from the French poulet. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

TURKEY-POUTS, see POUTS.(Glasse, 1747)

TURNIP. According to Bradley’s New Improvements of Planting and Gardening (part III, 1718, p. 128), turnips were ‘more generally propagated about London than any other Root’. The yellow French turnips specified in the recipes were a recent import from France. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

TWOPENNY LOAF, see BREAD.(Glasse, 1747)

TYFFANY-BAG: bag of fine silk or gauze. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

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