V

VEAL GLUE or CAKE SOUP: an early name and form of the stock or bouillon cube. See The Receipt Book of Mrs Ann Blencowe, A.D. 1694 (Guy Chapman, London, 1925, p. 23) for an earlier description of making this convenience food. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

VEGETABLES. Those mentioned in The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director include the artichoke, asparagus, bean, beet-card or beat-chard, beetroot, borecole, broccoli, cabbage, cabbage lettuce, cardoon, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chicory, colerape, cucumber, endive, eringo root, fennel, garlic, goat’sbeard or tragopogon, horse- radish, kidney-bean, morel, mushroom, nasturtium flower, lupine, onion, parsnip, pea, potato, rocambole, salsify, scorzonera, shallot, skirret, sorrel, spinach, truffle, and turnip. See also the entry under HERBS. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

VELDIFER, 215: a dialect version of fieldfare, the bird. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

VELLICATE, TO, means to irritate. Usually, as here, deployed to describe the action of an astringent medication. (William Ellis, 1750)

VENICE TREACLE, 158. An interesting term, explained by Anne Wilson (1973, 304-5). ‘The name “treacle” originated in the ancient world, for it came from the Greek theriaca antidotos (i.e. antidote for the bite of wild beasts). The Romans applied the term to a medical electuary . . . which comprised a huge number of drugs and spices reduced and combined in a honey emulsion. It was considered a powerful specific for all poisons, and continued in use throughout the Middle Ages under the name theriaca or triacle. For a long time Venice was the main centre of production, supplying most of western Europe.’ Sugar syrup or molasses came to be used as the base; and when the supply of the latter outstripped ‘medical’ needs it was sold as a cheap sweetener. It was called molasses in North America, but in Britain the theriac tradition resulted in its being called first ‘common treacle’ and then just ‘treacle’.(Glasse, 1747)

VENICE TREACLE was an electuary on a honey (later, molasses) base, especially good against venom, but with many other properties. First developed in Italy, then exported throughout Europe from Venice, hence its name. (William Ellis, 1750)

VENICE TURPENTINE: common turpentine consisted of oleo-resins that exude from many types of conifers (the French cluster-pine in the Landes district the most important). Venice turpentine was the particular product of larch trees in the Tirol. (William Ellis, 1750)

VENISON, 433: a term which could formerly have a much wider meaning than now; it could refer to all game animals as a group. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

VENISON-POT: This turns out to be one of those receipts in which one kind of animal meat was supposedly made to taste like something grander, in this case hare being treated to resemble venison. Venison was the preserve of the privileged, so much effort was put into producing imitations. (John Nott, 1726)

VENISON SEMEY: Semey in this case appears to mean subtle or seemly. A rarely used term. (John Nott, 1726)

VERJUICE, verdjuice: sour juice from unripe grapes or crab apples. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

VERJUICE: An important condiment made from the fermented juice of the acid green or verjuice grape, or from other unripe green grapes. In England, when vine cultivation declined, verjuice was made from crab apples instead of grapes. See V 52. For a use of the debris of crab apples left after the making of verjuice see W 7, ‘to keep walnuts all the year’. (John Nott, 1726)

VERJUICE: the acid juice of green or unripe grapes, crab apples, or other sour fruit. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

VERJUICE is the fermented juice (in England) of crabs or sour apples; elsewhere it was made of acid green or unripe grapes. (William Ellis, 1750)

VERJUYCE, passim: sour juice from unripe grapes or crab-apples. (Robert May, 1660/1685)

VERJUYCE: vinegar-like condiment, made from the juice of unripe grapes. (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

VERMESELLA, VERMICELLA, 63/9: vermicelli. This was introduced into England after the Restoration (1660) as an article of food for the gentry, for whom it was added to the thinner meat soups which were now becoming fashionable. It is interesting that Hannah Glasse gives directions, 69, for making this form of pasta at home and declares the result superior to the imported product; a foretaste of views now being voiced.(Glasse, 1747)

VINEGAR, in the 18th century as now, could be of various kinds. Hannah Glasse refers to five. Beer- vinegar was the most common. Rap vinegar was produced form the refuse of grapes after wine-making. Vinegars were also made from wine itself; and of these white wine vinegar was a superior kind. Distilled vinegar was freed of impurities by distillation, the result being a colourless dilution of acetic acid. Hannah Glasse also explains sugar- vinegar ‘of your own making’, 135.(Glasse, 1747)

VINES/VINEYARDS: Bradley had a life-long enthusiasm for viticulture and spent a great deal of energy trying to persuade farmers and land-owners living in the south of England that it was worth planting vines and making wine from the resulting grapes. He did not have much success in this project. However, his works are worth consulting for the light they shed on the limited viticulture of the period. See part III of New Improvements in Planting and Gardening (1718) and volume II of General Treatise of Husbandry and Gardening (1726). The latter book contains a heart-breaking account of the way Bradley tried and failed to transport French vines to England, where he planned to plant vineyards on barren land. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

VIOLETS, SYRRUP OF. Nott (1726) is among those who give a recipe for this.(Glasse, 1747)

VIPER SOUP: this was thought to be nourishing and invigorating. Its main vogue was in the early 18th century. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

VIRGINIA POTATO, 158: a term which reflects the misconception that the potato, which reached England and Ireland from the New World at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th, came not from Peru (its true home) but from the colony of Virginia in North America. A majestic and comprehensive account of this mistaken idea, for which the chief blame attaches to Gerard (1597), is contained in Salaman (1949). (Robert May, 1660/1685)

VIRGINIA SNAKE-ROOT: the root of Polygala senega or Aristolochia serpentaria. It was supposed to possess properties antidotal to snake-poison. Pierre Pomet said it was ‘also very proper against all epidemical Diseases’ such as measles, smallpox, spotted fever, the plague, and burning fevers. ‘We commonly give it in Powder from six Grains to a Scruple; in an Infusion as strong as Wine, Brandy, or Water, will extract, from a spoonful to four’, he added (volume I, p. 26). (Richard Bradley, 1736)

VISNEY: a liqueur like cherry brandy. (Richard Bradley, 1736)

VITRIOL: spirit of vitriol is the distilled essence of vitriol – sulphuric acid (OED). This authority also quotes the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1771, which states, ‘if the vitriolic acid contain much water’, it is spirit of vitriol. Its taste was both acid and salty. Receipt 217 uses it by the drop. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

VITRIOL is a sulphate of metal, i.e. metal acted upon by acid. Unqualified, it usually refers to sulphate of iron (copperas) – green vitriol. Spirit of vitriol is a distilled essence of sulphuric acid. (William Ellis, 1750)

VOCVAIN, probably vervain, Verbena officinalis, a herb thought to have curative powers for many complaints.(Glasse, 1747)

VOLAILLE: poultry (French). (Sir Kenelm Digby, 1669)

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