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Food Timeline> Vegetables

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  • NOTE: Chili peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, okra & squash are botanically classed as fruits. We include them here because most Americans use them today as vegetables. What's the difference between fruits & vegetables?

    Acorn squash
    Acorn squash (aka Des Moines Squash, Table Queen) is a New World winter squash that caught American print in the middle of the 19th century. Cooking tips show up in the 1920s. In the 1920s & 1930s acorn squash is introduced as a "newly marketed" vegetable. Why the popularity? The Acorn Squash is small and lends itself well to baking, stuffing, soup, chips and bread. Minimal fuss; maximum flavor. And? It looks pretty on the plate.

    "Acorn Squash. An American native--and one of the most familiar squashes in North America--the acorn squash (Curcubita pepo) is so called because it is shaped something like and acorn. It is a winter squash with a hard, ridged rind which makes it difficult to peel, but it is easily cut in half for stuffing and is excellent for baking. The acorn squash has a mild, nutty flavor and delivers a good deal of calcium (in view of its orange-colored flesh) surprisingly little beta-carotene."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1714)

    "Best Acorn Squash..." ---"Adams County Agricultural Society Awards," Adams Sentinel [Gettysburg PA], October 16, 1861 (p. 1)

    "Mr. Waller worked to call the attention of the society in a squash, new to him at least. He thought it was the acorn squash. He considered it superior to the Hubbard in quality, flavor, size and productiveness."
    ---"Allen County Agricultural...," Fort Wayne Daily Gazette, May 17, 1869 (p. 4)

    "Acorn Squash. Emil Haby Jr., brought to the Leader office Monday a new vegetable that he raised in his garden. He calls it an acorn squash, and it is shaped exactly like an acorn from an oak tree, only man times larger. It tastes like sweet potato when cooked, and is fine food. The grow to weigh seven or eight pounds, and the vine is very prolific. The vine is supposed to run on the gourd like a squash vine, but Mr. Haby says is vine got started up a mesquite tree in his neighbor's yard, and it is about to cover the tree and the acorns are hanging down from the vine. Housewives are always looking for something new to cook, and this may be found to suit the taste of some. He brought it form Arizona. Lampasas Leader."
    ---San Saba News [San Saba TX], July 8, 1920 (p. 3)

    "A reader inquires if there is any way to keep pieces of squash from baking too hard or even burning on top when they are baked in an oven. Cut the squash in individual pieces and la cut side down on a pie tin. Then if the oven is not too hot, there will not be any hard crust over the piece of squash and, therefore, no waste of material. Acorn squash can be baked whole and thus avoid the crusty surface."
    ---"Baked Squash," Iowa Homestead [Des Moines IA], September 22, 1921 (p.22)

    "A variety of squash which is meeting with much favor wherever it is grown is the Des Moines or the Queen...This vaiety matures a month to six weeks earlier than such varieties as the Hubbard and Sibley and is a smaller squash, making it better adapted for family use."
    ---"Des Moines Squash Popular," Estherville Enterprise [IA], May 5, 1927 (p. 3)

    "Acorn Squash Baked (Des Moines Squash). This useful vegetable is fairly new in our markets. Baked or boiled, it remembles a sweet potato, but retains the squash flavor. Cut into halves and remove the seeds from: Small acorn squash.
    Rub them inside and out with: butter.
    Season each half with about: 1/8 teaspoon salt, A sprinkling of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
    Bake them in moderate oven 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until done. Place a pan containing a little water on the lower grate. Squash may be par-boiled and baked or boiled until tender and seasoned after being boiled. Squash may be boiled and stuffed with squash. In that case treat the squash used for stuffing like mashed potatoes. They may be topped with crumbs and butter or cheese and reheated under a broiler. Acorn squash are good baked or boiled until nearly tender, seasoned, cooled, filled with a souffle mixture and baked in a moderate oven 325 degrees for about 45 minutes. I have served the squash filled with Tomatoes Creole (page 110) with great success...

    "Acorn Squash Baaed Filed with Spinach.
    Prepare the preceding Acorn squash
    Prepare: Creamed Spinach (page 174)
    It is hard to give the amount of spinach as the squash varies so much in size. Fill the hot squash cups with the spinach. Garnish them with: Slices of hard-cooked egg or strips of pimento*
    * This is a gay touch for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinners."
    ---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs-Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1936(p. 195)
    [NOTES: Additional recipes in this book are Acorn Squash Baked Filled with Vegetables (p. 195), Acorn Squash Cases, Acorn Squash Baaked with Sausage Meat or Creamed Ham, Acorn Squash filled with Creamed Food (p. 125-126). (2) There are no acorn squash dishes in the original 1931 edition of Joy.]

    "A large supply of spinach from up-State New York and Pennsylvania has arrived in the wholesale product markets...Vegetables still cheaply quoted include...acorn squash."
    ---"Spinach Scarcity Ended," New York Times, September 25, 1937 (p. 17)

    "...The acorn also known as Des Moines squash and it is caled anchor squash by some authorities. Whatever its name, squash is delicious. Of all of them, Des Moines or acorn squash lends itself most readily to variety. It is so shaped that it may be cut in half and the seed cavity may then be stuffed with ground meat or vegetables. It may be baked with cream and grated cheese. It even makes a good soup...

    Acorn Squash Stuffed with Apples.
    [Serves 6.]
    3 acorn squash
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    2 tablespoons butter
    3 cooking apples
    2 tablespoons sugar
    Wash and split squash lenghthwise, remove seeds. Sprinkle insides with salt and pepper and dot with butter. Peel, core, and cut apples in halves and place a half on hollow of each squash. Sprinkle with sugar and place in baking pan. Bake 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until squash is soft. Serve with link sausages...

    Cream of Squash Soup
    2 cups cooked acorn squash
    2 cups water in which squash was cooked
    1 onion, sliced thin
    1 carrot, grated
    1 bouillion cube
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
    1/2 cup celery, miced
    2 tablespoons flour
    2 cups scalded milk
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Place squash, water, onion, carrot, and bouillion cube in saucepan and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Rub through sieve. Cook celery for 2 minutes in melted butter. Add flour and blend to smoothe paste. Add the strained soup and cook until mixture boiles, stirring constantly. Add scalded milk, salt, and pepper to taste."
    ---"Squash, by any name, provess tasty eating,"
    Chicago Tribune, November 4, 1938 (p. 24)
    [NOTE: Additional recipes incude: Spinach Stuffed Acorn Squash and Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage.]

    "Individual halves of baked acorn squash take on new appeal when stuffed with a mixture of sausage meat and bread crumbs."
    ---"Stuffing for Squash," Los Angeles Times, October 31, 1941 (p. B22)

    "Baked Squash Tropical Style (serves four)
    2 medium-sized acorn squash
    Sections from two small grapefruit
    6 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 tablespoons margarine or butter.
    Cut squash in half, lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place in baking dish, cover bottom of pan with a fourth-inch of water, cover pan and bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F.) thirty minutes. Uncover pan and continue baking fifteen minutes. Remove from oven, fill halves with grapefruit sections, sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with margarine. Return to oven and bake fifteen minutes."
    ---"Vegetable Kingdom," Jane Holt, New York Times, January 30, 1944 (p. SM22)

    "Des Moines Squash. A splendid new vegetable is the small acorn-shaped winter squash that takes its name form the city of Des Moines, whcih boasts the highest percentage of homeowners; so it must also have the most home cooking, too. It's also called Table Queen, Acorn, Diamond, and Nutmeg squash, weighs anywhere from 6 to 16 ounces, and is distinguished by being deeply grooved in a pleasant muskmelony pattern. Pretty to look at and fine to eat.
    Baked Des Moines Squash
    Cut in halves, remove seeds, sprinkle with salt and paprika, put a nugget of butter in each half, and bake tender, the time depending uposn size. Some prefer scraping out the baked pulp, and mixing a couple of tablespoons of finely grated cheese in each half. Others cut off the top, remove seeds, stuff with a mixture of bread crumbs , melted butter, salt, pepper, a little lemon juice and nutmeg. Buttered cracker crumbs go on top and it's baked in a moderate oven until shell is tender. Care should be taken not to cook it so soft as to spoil the decorative shape of this tiny squash. It's also halved, stemaed, the pulp scooped out, mixed with chopped broiled oyster, and returned to shell."
    ---America Cooks: Favorite Recipes from 49 States, The Browns, Cora, Rose and Bob [Garden City Books:Garden City NY] 1949 (p. 222)

    "Stuffed Acron Squash: Prepare and cook 3 halved acorn squash as on p. 284. Sautee 6 tablesp. minced onion in 1/4 cup butter or margarine until tneder but not brown. When squash are done remove from kettle; do not break shells. With spoon, carefully scoop squash from shells. Reserve 4 shells. To squash, add sauteed onion 1 1/2 teasp. salt, 1/4 teasp. pepper 2 tablesp. light cream; beat well with fork. Lightly pile mixture into shells; sprinkle with paprika. Broil 10 min., or until delicate brown. Makes 4 servings."
    ---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh editor [Good Housekeeping:New York] 1955 (p. 272-3)
    [NOTE: Recipe for Baked Acorn Squash follows. Variations include sprinkling centers with sharp cheese and filling each half with hot seasoned peas, onions or Brussels sprouts."]

    "Winter squash keeps for days or even weeks if shell is undamaged...Acorn squash, also called Table Queen or Des Moines, is small. A half squash is the usual serving. Green shell of this squash changes to dull orange with green streaks in storage. It is shaped somewhat acorn-shaped with deep ridges."
    ---"Squash--Summer or Winter--A Plentiful Treat the Year 'Round," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, October 5, 1961 (p. A1)

    "Although acorn squash is available the year around, it reaches peak popularity in the fall. Named because of its resemblance to an acorn, this squash is 5 to 8 inches long and has a ribbed, hard rind that is deep ark green to dull orange. It is also called table queen or Des Moines squash. The large seed cavity makes a perfect shell for stuffing. Savory ground beef with Russian dressing makes a tasty stuffing for a main dish in a squash shell...
    Fruit and Sausage Stuffed Squash
    1-lb 1-oz can fruit cocktail
    3 med. acorn squash
    1 lb. pork sausage meat
    1 tbsp. instant minced onion
    1 cup water
    1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/4 cup catsup
    1/4 tsp. dry mustard
    Drain fruit cocktail, saving 1/2 cup syrup. Cut squash lenghthwise inot halves and scoop out seeds. Combine sausage and onion. Add fruuit cocktail syrup, mixing well. Spoon into squash halves Arrange in large baking pan and pour water around squash. Cover pan and bake at 350 deg., 1 hr., or until squash is almost done. Uncover and pour off water. Combine cocktail, brown sugar, catsup and mustard. Spoon over sausage. Return to oven and bake 20 to 25 min. longer, or until fruit topping is hot and lightly browned.. Makes 6 servings."
    ---"Acorn Squash Reaches Popularity in Fall," Los Angeles Times, November 30, 1964 (p. C17)
    [NOTE: This article also includes recipes for Acorn Squash with Meat Filling & Acorn Squash with Onions (filling).]

    "Acorn Elegante. Halve and seed 3 acorn squash; bake at 350 dregrees for 35 minutes. Cook 2 cups chopped onion in 3 tablespoons butter. Add one 6-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained, and 2 tablespons snipped parley. Season and stuff squash. Bake 20 minutes. Top with 1 cup shredded process cheese and 1 tablespoon buttered cornflake crumbs; bake till cheese melts. Serves 6.

    "Squash Chips
    Potato chips never tasted this good--
    Acorn squash
    Peel and seed squash. Slice tissue paper thin as for potato chips. Soak in ice water for 1 hour. Drain and pat dry. Fry in deep hot fat (360 degrees) until brown. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt and ginger.

    "Glazed Squash with Onions and Walnuts<
    Cut 3 acorn squash in half lenghthwise; remove seeds. Bake cut side down in shalow pan at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or till almost tender. Turn cut side up; season. Fill cavities with 2 cups drained cooked or canned small onions and 1/2 cup broken walnuts. Melt 1/3 cup butter or margarine; add 1/3 cup light molasses, 1/4 teaspoon salt, ad 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; spoon over squash and filling. Continue baking 15 to 20 minutes or till squash is tender, brushing occasionally with sauche to glaze. Serves 6."
    ---Better Homes & Gardens Vegetable Cook Book, [Meredith Press:New York & Des Moines IN] 1965 (p. 99-101)
    [NOTE: Other acorn squash recipes in this book are: Squash Delight (stuffed with ham, green peppers, olives & celery), Herb Stuffed Squash (herb seasoned stuffing mix), Glazed Squash Rings (sliced, spiced & cooked) & Fruit-Filled Squash (apple & orange).]

    "Acorn cabbage bake
    2 large acorn squash
    1/2 pound sausage meat
    2 tablespoons butter or margarine
    1 medium onion chopped
    1 small apple, pared, chopped
    2 cups shredded green cabbage
    2 tablespoons slivered almonds
    3/4 teasoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
    1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried leaf sage
    Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds and fibers. Place in baking pan, cut side down; add 1/2-inch water. Bake in preheated 400 degree F. oven 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook sausage meat in skillet until browned. Drain off excess fat; add butter to pan. Add onion, apple, cabbge and almonds; cook until vegetables are tender. Add seasonings; mix well. Turn squash halves cut-side-up; fill centers with cabbage mixture. Return to baking pan; bake in 400 degree F. oven for 30 minutes. Yield 4 servings."
    ---Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking, compiled by Jane Solmson & edited by Charlotte Turgeon [Weathervane Books:New York] 1980 (p. 759)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Acorn squash with sliced apples & Apple-onion acorn squash (stuffed acorn squash).]

    "Squash Bread
    2 large loaves
    You will need 2 1/2 cups mashed, cooked acorn or butternut squash. Bake the squash in advance: split them lenghthwise, remove seeds, and place face-down on a buttered tray. Bake at 350 degrees F. until very soft. Then cool, and scoop out the insides. (I can't tell you exactly how much squash yields 2 1/2 cups, because of enormous squash-size fluctuations-and some have more seeds per pound, etc. Better to make a little extra, and to use it in casseroles or soups or whatevr)
    The Sponge (usual procedure (pp. 86-88): 2 pkg. (2 Tbs.) active dry yeast
    1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
    2 cups unbleached white flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    a drop of molasses
    The Mix:
    2 1/2 cups well-mashed squash
    3 Tbs. molasses
    1/4 cup melted butter
    2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. cloves
    Additionally: approximately 3 more cups unbleached white flour and 5 more cups whole wheat flour."
    ---Enchanted Broccoli Forest...and other timeless delicacies, Mollie Katzen [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 1982 (p. 100)

    This problematic pot herb is puzzles food historians for several reasons. The fact that several authoritative food history reference books cite different botanical names for this plant is the first clue. Sources generally agree costmary is native to Western Asia, used in a medieval times to flavor ale (no specific place), introduced to England in the 16th century, brought to the New World in colonial times, and is now rarely used. They also repeat, without reference to a specific source, that costmary is called the 'Bible leaf,' because it was used as a book mark in that title. We librarians wonder, based on its costmary's flat shape and pungent odor, if the "Bible leaf" was used to mask mildew or other odors absorbed by damp paper.

    Classical food historian Andrew Dalby helps us unpuzzle the confusion. He states:
    "The translation 'costmary' for classical costus is erroneous. a medicinal herb introduced to European gardens from the Near East in medieval times. When added to ale it gave an aroma reminiscent of costus [Saussurea Lappa], hence its name, but it does not match the descriptions of costus in any other way."
    ---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 105)
    [NOTE: Mr. Dalby defines "Costus, or putchuk, aromatic root native to the mountains of Kashmir. This was one of the chief commodities of trade at successive port cities at the mouth of the Indus. Costus provided 'a burning taste and an exquisite scent' (so Pliny says) but was 'otherwise useless.' As Pliny knew well, costus was popular in Roman festivities...It was also much used in compound medicines,, and was an ingredient in spiced wines." (p. 105). Pliny reference is Natural History, Book XXXVII.]

    Joseph Dommers Vehling's translation of Apicius [1936] states: "COSTUM, COSTUS, costmary; fragrant Indian shrub, the root of burning taste but excellent flavor." (p. 284). Apicius' recipe for Absinthium Romanum [Roman Vermouth] Rx3 calls for "costi scripulos senos," generally translated by moderns as costmary.

    What is costmary?
    "Costmary--A plant that is native to Asia, was a popular herb in Ancient Greece, and has seen both past and present use in England, costmary (Chrysanthemum balsamita)-- with its leaves' hint of lemon and mint flavorings--is employed to season poultry as well as stuffings, soups, salads, and sauces. It was naturalized, and now grows wild, in North America where it is known as 'Bible leaf' because its long, narrow leaves were used in former times as page markers in Bibles. Costmary has also been known in the past as 'alecost' because it was used in the production of home-brewed ale."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1763)

    "Costmary (Tanacetum Balsamita)...a perennial plant which originated in W. Asia but achieved a wide distribution in Europe and was taken to N. America by early settlers...Its use in ale is of historical interest only, and other roles of its pretty leaves, as in making tea or being added to salads, have largely disappeared. Although Joy Larkcom (1984) lists it as a salad plant, she advises that the leaves should be used sparingly since their flavour is strong. Di Corato (1978), writing about the use of flavourings in Italy, echoes this advise but mentions too that the leaves are added to some rustic soups and that in Piedmont they are used as an ingredient of stuffings, e.g. for courgettes. He also records a use of the seeds for flavouring meats and sweets."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine ed. [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 219)

    "Costmary...Fr. Baume de coq; Ger. Alecost or Ranfurn. An old-fashioned pot-herb, rarely seen nowadays, similar to Tansey. It was introduced in England in the sixteenth century and was used extensively not only to flavour dishes, but to perfume linen and strew floors."
    ---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 21)

    "Costmary...This plant is common in every cottage garden in England, were it was introduced in 1568. The leaves possess a strong, balsamic odor and are sometimes put in salads but it has ceased to be grown for culinary purposes and even in France is only occasionally used. The leaves were formerly used in England to flavor ale and negus, hence the name alecost."
    ---Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants, edited by U.P. Hedrick, Report of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station for the year 1919 II [J.B. Lyon Company:Albany NY] 1919 (p. 163)

    Chrysanthemum Balsamica. Called Costmary, Sweet Mary, Bible Leaf, Alecost. French: Menthe de Notre Dame, Menthe romaine. German: Marienblatt, Bibelblatt, Marienbalsam. Italian: Erba Santa Maria, Erba Costa, Maria Santa. A perennial, costmary spreads from the underground parts & forms large clumps; the stiff, erect stems may reach a height of 4 feet; they have numerous short branches & are slightly downy. The leaves rare alternate, oval, lobed near the base, the largest over 6 inches long; the margins are crenate. The flower-heads are very small, yellow, & have several white ray-flowers. Variety tanacetoides has rayless heads...The leaves have a sweet, minty, lemony flavor, and are used fresh like mint for flavoring tea and iced drinks; dried, they are used to make an infusion. Linens are perfumed with dried costmary, with or without an admixutre of lavendar. The plant was used in medieval times for flavoring ale and beer. It is suitable for the garden border but tends to become sprawly or straggly late in the season. Costmary is propagated by division and by root cuttings. Seeds are seldom produced. Dry soil & full sun prove best to promote flowering, but some shade is tolerated. A generous spacing, 3 to 4 feet, should be provided. Costmary is native to western Asia.
    ---Garden Spice & Wild Pot-Herbs Walter C. Meunscher and Myron A. Rice [Comstock Publishing Associates/Cornell University Press:Ithaca NY] 1955 (p. 155)

    "Costmary, erba de San pietro, erba di Santa Maria, Balsamita major, Tanacetum balsamita...with large pungent leaves, used sparingly in frittatas, salads, stuffings and the flavouring of liqueurs and tonics--one of the many ways of conveying a fragrant bitterness to food and drink. It is the characteristic flavouring of the casonei of Val Camonica in Brecia, a stuffed fresh pasta with spinach, beets, cabbage, parsley, and a little erba i San Pietro, with parmesan and eggs. It used to be used, in infusion, as a hair conditioner, and every writer on herbs repeats that the leaves were said to have made agreeable bookmarks in Bibles."
    ---Oxford Companion to Italian Food, Gillian Riley [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2007 (p. 146)

    Looking for modernized recipes? The Flower Book/Arienne Crowhurst offers Costmary Tea, Costmary Ale, Costmary Sauce and Costmary Aspic (p. 36-39).

    Crosnes (aka Chinese Artichoke, Japanese Artichoke) are starchy tubers originating in the far East. They are not related to
    globe artichokes or Jerusalem artichokes. Ugly, unusual, and unique, Crosnes are being rediscovered by creative chefs and heirloom gardeners.

    Culinary applications
    "Chinese Artichoke,--The Chinese artichoke (Stachys sieboldii=s. affinis) has nothing to do with the globe artichoke. Rather, it is a crops, edible tuber which resembles the Jerusalem artichoke in taste and is native to and grown in China and Japan. Also called the Japanese artichoke, in Europe it goes by the name of crosne, which-according to legend, was also the name of a small town in France where the Chinese artichoke was introduced in 1822. Chinese artichokes are usually boiled for a few minutes and then eaten as a cooked vegetable; they may also serve as an ingredient in other dishes, especially soups. Common names and synonyms: Crosne, Japanese artichoke Japanese potato."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1754)

    "Stachys affinis. Fresent. Labiatae. Chinese Artichoke. Knot Root. Egypt and Arabia. This plant was introduced into cultivation by Vilmorin-Andrieux et Cie. in 1886. The roots are thick and fleshy and are useful for pickles and may be used fried. According to Brethschneider, the roots were eaten as a vegetable by Chinese writings of 1640 and 1742. The species is a cultivated vegetable in Japan and is called choro-gi, and is esteemed."
    ---Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants, edited by U.P. Hedrick, report of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919 II [J.B. Lyon Company:Albany NY] 1919 (p. 556)

    "Stachys sieboldii--Chinese artichoke, Crosnes, Chorogi. The crisp, white tubers have a nutty, artichoke-like flavor and are eaten raw, fried, roasted steamed, boiled or pickled. In Japan they are pickled like ume plums in a mixture of salt and red beefsteak leaves (Perilla). Tubers quickly discolor when exposed to the air, and are saide to lose their flavor when peeled. Eastern Asia, cultivated." ---Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants, Stephen Facciola [Kampong Publications:Vista CA] 1998 (p. 137)
    [NOTE: Stachys affinis refers the reader to Stachys sieboldii entry.]

    "A...minor by widespread root crop, known as 'Chinese artichoke' is Stachys affinis....An ancient North Chinese domesticate...this nettle-like member of the mint family (Labiatae) bears elongated white tubers unusual in form, divided into internodal segments which can number a dozen or more. Tubers quickly discolor in the atmosphere and if they are not to be used promptly they may be stored in moist sand. After washing, they are boiled for a few minutes then fried. Their excellent. Pickled, they are a very good source of calcium and possibly of iron."
    ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1991 (p. 119)

    20th century USA
    "Crosnes (pronounce krones) have many pseudonyms and are unsighltly difficult to grow and expensive. That being the case, New York chefs can't get enough of them...Diners could be forgiven for not being familiar with crosnes. More obscurely known as knotroot, chorgi or stachys affinis, and more commonly referred to as Chinese or Japanese artichokes, crosnes derive their name from Crosne, a town south of Paris where they were planted in 1882 by an agronomist who had brought them from Japan. Crosnes which average an inch in length, are similar to water chestnuts in texture. The French variety tastes a bit like potato. The American variety is smaller and nuttier. The delicate flavor suggests jimama or Jerusalem artichoke. Unlike most tuvers, crosnes stay crunchy when cooked...For the cook, they are impossible to peel and annoying to clean...Nevertheless, home cooks who like a challenge (or an adventure) can buy crosnes for $15.50 a pound...Crosnes are often compared to Jerusalem artichokes but they have nothing to do with artichokes of any nationality. They belong to the mint family, though the resemblance is only above ground. The crosne plant looks like mint, but its leaves have no flavor...Crosnes were popular in Europe until the 1920's, when they fell out of food fashi on. They reappeared around 10 years ago when 'all those roots like rutabaga and Jersulaem artichokes were coming back...Inventive chefs are moving far beyond the classic Larousse recipe of boiling them slightly and adding lots of butter...Most chefs serve crosnes in small doses, as accents to raw or cooked dishes. John Schaefer, executive chef at Gramercy Tavern, pickles them for a salad and roasts them with chicken and other root vegetables. David Bouley serves them with halibut and mushrooms at Bouley and with braised shrimp and pumpkinseeds at Danube. But Mr. Dupuy of La Caravelle puts crosnes center stage, turing them into a confit with olive oil and herbs. The chef at Alias on the Lower East Side, Anthony Rose, prepares them as creative side dishes, sometimes with chicken stock, butter and mint; sometimes with pork belly; sometimes in a red-wine sauce."
    ---"A Tuber So Homely, Only a Chef Could Love It," Pavia Rosati, New York Times, February 25, 2004 (p. F5)

    Recommended reading (origin theories): "Authorities Disagree on Crosne, a Rare Vegetable," Waverly Root, Los Angeles Times, June 26, 1975 (p. G7)

    Eggplants are the perfect edible medium for exploring the human story of agriculture, technology, immigration, politics, economics, linguistics and taste.

    Origin & early diffusion
    "Aubergine (or eggplant), the name used in North America), Solanum molongena, botanically a fruit but usually counted as a vegetable. It originated in India, and is now grown in suitable climates worldwide...Although the aubergine is believed to be of Indian origin, the first surviving mention of its is in a Chinese work on the agriculture of the 5th century AD, the Tsi Min Yao Shu. Augergines soon became popular throughout Asia and the Near East, since their mild flavour and spongy texture suited them for many combinations with other vegetables and meat. The arrived in Europe both through the invasion of the Moors and by means of Italian trade with the Arabs, which became important in the 13th century...For a long time Europeans considered the aubergine inedible, gave it insulting names, and grew it only as an ornamental plant. But during the 15th century it gradually gained acceptance. By 1500 its was well enough known for the early Spanish and Portuguese colonists to take it to America, where it grew well and became a popular vegetable, which it still is...Back in Europe, the aubergine has for some time been firmly established regional cuisines...The most famous aubergine dish, eaten all over the Arab world, is called Imam bayildi--'the priest fainted'... This consists of aubergines stuffed with onions...and cooked with olive oil...In India, Iran, and Afghanistan, aubergines are made into a hot pickle..." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 39-40)

    Why do we call it "eggplant?"
    "Used in present-day English chiefly by America speakers as a synonym for the aubergine, eggplant was originally applied specifically to the white-skinned, egg-shaped variety of the vegetable. This was in the mid-eighteenth century (available evidence suggests that the term predates aubergine by about 30 years). By the middle of the nineteenth century eggplant had come to be used for the purple-skinned aubergine, and subsequently over the past hundred years, the split between American and British usage has developled."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 118)

    Synonyms & regional names
    "Eggplant...the familiar dark purple, ovoid form sometimes called the 'Japanese Eggplant.' In West Africa, eggplants ...[are] called 'garden eggs.' the West Indies...a variety of names including 'gully bean,' "susumber,' and 'pea aubergine.' Known in much of the world as "aubergine" and in the Middle East as "poor man's-caviar,"...Common names and synonyms: Apple-of-love, Asiatic aubergine...brinjal...Guinea squash...Italian eggplant...melanzana, melongene...pea apple, pea aubergine...terong..."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1770)

    Eggplant symbolism & lore
    "The egglant belongs to the nightshade family, and although most foods in the nightshade family (such as potatoes and tomatoes) oringated in the Americas, the eggplant comes from India and Southeast Asia, where it grew in a variety of forms and colors. The eggplants that first reached northern Europe were not purple like the common eggplants today, but white or yellow, somewhat like swans' eggs. Because eggplants were nighshades and because people believed the purple bulbous kind resembled mandrakes more closely than eggs, these foods suffered a lack of respect for a long time. Mandrakes, like most nightshades, were poisonous, so at one time, people thought that eggplants made those who ate them insane. The myths and legends surrounding eggplant substantiated the fears the people had of eating them. Some scholars have identified eggplants as the Dead Sea fruit of the Bible and of John Milton's Paradise Lost, in which fallen angels wandered by the Dead Sea in hunger and found purple fruits that looked delicious, but upon eating them discovered that the pulp of the fruit turned to ashes. This strange legend may have ahd a factual basis. Eggplants indeed grew along the Dead Sea near Sodom, the biblical city of sinners that God destroyed, and while the eggplants of Sodom appeared plump and ripe on the outside, an insect invaded the inside, causing the pulp to decay and create a powdery substance inside the seemingly perfect skin. Farmers later learned what destroyed these fruits and how to combat the insect infestations; but early on, people could only speculate on the cause. They knew that God reduced the evil city of Sodom to ashes, so they easily attributed a similar evil to the ash-producing fruits they found growing there."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 2000 (p. 85)

    Indian eggplant (brinjal)
    "The Sanskrit words vrntaka and vartaka may be of earlier Munda origin, and the brinjal (Hindi baingan, Portuguese bringella, English eggplant or aubergine) may have originated from a wild ancestor in Inda by human selection for reduced spininess and bitterness, bigger fruit size and annual habit. The borinjal comes in a variety of shapes and sizes (small and globular, large and long) and colours (purple, green, yellowish, white,s triped) and is found abundantly all over India. The many ways in which it can be cooked are well illustrated in the historical literature of Kannada. Thus brinjal could be seasoned with ghee, roasted on live coals and mashed into a baji (bartha); or cut into small piecesa and cooked with jaggery. Yet again, the brinjal could be fried along with rice grits and chopped onions, wrapped in a turmeric leaf, and steamed to give a pude, a generic dish. An uncooked dish consisted of a brinjal mash with coconut shreds and curry leaves, flavoured with asafoetida and cardamom. In Bengal, wedges of brinjal are spiced and lightly fired, and it can form part of a bitter shukto dish. Brinjals stuffed with their own mashed and spiced contents, or whith spiced minced meat (a dish called purabhattaka in the Manasollasa of AD 1130) and then shallow-fried are delicacies everywhere..."A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 30-31)

    Chinese eggplant
    "Eggplant...was domesticated in India or Southwest Asia. The Persians seem to have introduced it from India to Africa, and the Arabs to Spain...In early China it was sometimes called 'Malayan melon' or 'Malayan purple melon'...suggesting that it may have been introduced from Southeast Asia. It was cultivated in what is now Kwangtung in the fourth century A.D.... Though the eggplant is oftgen regarded as an annual, it is in fact a perennial which, where not killed by frost, can grow into a stroung plant up to eight feet high. Apparently in early Kwangtung it was grown as a perennial known as the 'eggplant tree,' and it continued to be grown in this way at least until the seventeenth century...Several varieties of eggplant were found in traditional China, and they contrasted in shape, color, and date of maturity...Even in early China several varieites seem to have been known, including one with fruit 'the size of a marble.' They were eaten raw or cooked and, as in later times, may have been pickled as well...China has a considerable varierty in its eggplant dishes, both in ways of preparation (steamed, boiled, fried, or otherwise) and flavorings...Eggplant may also be served in cold dishes such as steamed or boiled 'Eggplant Salad,' a dish of both today and of the Ch'ing dynasty court...It may also be pickled..."
    ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1991 (p. 169)

    Eggplant in the Middle East
    "Eggplant. Often called 'poor man's meat' and, in one form, 'poor man's caviar,' the eggplant is one of the staple foods of the Middle East...The type of eggplant often determines the dish that can be made with it."
    ---A Book of Middle Eastern Food, Claudi Roden [Vintage Books:New York] 1968, 1974 (p. 284)
    [NOTES: (1)Ms. Roden's book offers 28 Middle Eastern recipes for eggplant. (2) We also recommend Clifford Wright's book A Mediterranean Feast for recipes with excellent history headnotes. Think: Moussaka. Your librarian can help you get copies.]

    Eggplant in Europe
    "The humbel eggplant has been intgroduced...into northern France by Louis XIV...Louis CIV liked to see rare and unknown foods on his table, and Jean de la Quintinie, in charge of the royal kitchen gardens gratified him by being the first to grow eggplant in northern France...[Eggplant] seems to have been cultivated first in Spain by the Moors of Andalusia, for it was the Arabs who imported it originally from the distant East. It has been cultivated in Italy since the fifteenth century, reagech England late in the sixteenth and became grenerally known in northern France, following the lead of Louis XIV, in the seventeenth. It cannot be said that it was received with wild enthusiams anywhere. Though in Italy it appeared on the menu of a banquet given by Pope Pius V in 1570, it has never attained in that country the gastronomic peaks it has reached in the Middle East. When it turned up in England, John Gerard advised the readers of his 1597 Herball ' content themselves with the meate and sauce of our owne country than with fruit and sauce eaten with such perill; for doubtless these apples have a mischevious quality; the use therof is utterly forsaken.' In France, the eggplant was described as having 'fruit as large as pears, but with bad qualities.'...under the Directory (1795) it suddenly became a fad with the incroyables (hippies?) and the merveilleuses (the beautiful people), who wolfed down slices of grilled eggplant at their disorderly gathering place, the garden of the Palais Royal."
    ---Food, Waverley Root [Smithmark Books:New York] 1980 (p. 120)

    Eggplant in America
    "How and when eggplant first arrived in America is a subject of dispute. Early Spanish conquerors of Mexico and the Caribbean may have been the first to introduce eggplant to the Americas in the sixteenth century. Eggplant many have been introduced to America by African slaves. According to one story, the eggplant was introduced to America by Thomas Jefferson...Despite having arrived in the Americas with or soon after the first European settlers, eggplant is often considered an ethnic food...William Woys Weaver notes that Americans have been slow to expand their taste for eggplant...The eggplant is most commonly assciated with foods of the Far East, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean, although many of these foods have become commonplace in America. Eggplant parmesean is an Italian favorite in America."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 424)

    "Eggplant.--This plant (Solanum Melongina) apparently came to Virginia from Africa as part of the slave trade; Byrid casually mentions Guinea melons (Guinea squash was more customary but terms were loose) in 1737. In any event, Jefferson frequently speaks of them and they were cold in the Washington market by the opening of the nineteenth century at least."
    ---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 272)

    How do Americans cook eggplant?

    "Egg Plant.

    The purple ones are best, get them young and fresh, pull out the stem, and parboil them to take off the bitter taste; cut them in slices an inch thick, but do not peel them, dip them in the yelk of a egg and cover them with grated bread, a little salt and pepper, when this has dried, cover the other side in the same way; fry them a nice brown. They are very delicious, tasting much like soft crabs. The egg plant may be dressed in another manner, scrape the rind and parboil them, cut a slit from one end to the other, take out the seeds, fill the space with a rich forcemeat, and stew them well seasoned gravy, or bake them, and serve up wtih gravy in the dish."The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 131-132)

    "Vegetable Beef Steak or Egg Plant

    Is to be cut in very thin slices and fried in hot lard or butter, with pepper and salt to taste. It is not worth much."
    ---The American System of Cookery, by a Lady of New York (Mrs. T.J. Crowen) [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 191)

    "Egg Plant, Broiled.

    Split the egg plant in tow, peel it, and take the seed out; put it in a crockery dish, sprinkle on chopped parsely, salt, and pepper; cover the dish, and leave thus about forty minutes; then take it off, ptu it on a grased and warmed gridiron, and on a good fire, baste with a little sweet oil, and seasoning from the crockery dish, and serve with the drippings when properly broiled. It is a delicious dish.
    The same, fried.--Peel it, cut it in slices, put them in water with a little salt, for a quarter of an hour, take out, drain, and wipe it dry; make a light paste with a little water, one egg, and a little flour; dip the spices into it, place them in hot lard or butter in frying apn on a good fire, turn over once, and serve hot when fried...
    The same, stuffed.--Split in two and peel, take the seed out, place it on a dish, sprinkle on it a little salt, and leave thus twenty minutes; soak at the same time a pieces of bread without crust, in milk for twenty minutes also; then mix well with bread and chopped parsley, chopped bacon, a little butter, salt and pepper; fill the egg plant with that mixture, putting the two pieces together so as to make it appear as if it had not been split; then put in a stewpan two or three thin slices of fat bacon; place the egg plant on them, put the other slices of bacon on; wet with a little broth, cover and put in a hot oven, and serve with the sauce when cooked. It takes about an hour. Use as many egg plants as you wish, and the seasoning accordingly..."
    ---What to Eat and How to Cook It, Pierre Blot [D. Appleton and Company::New York] 1863 (p. 182-183)

    Eggplant Lyonnese.

    Peel the eggplant and cut it into round slices about one-third of an inch thick. Peel and slice a couple of onions, place them in a stewpan with plenty of butter and fry them unti lightly browned; then put in slices of eggplant, season to taste with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg, pour over a small quantity of stock and stew gently until tender. When cooked, stew a moderate quantity of finely-minced parsley over the eggplant, turn it onto a hot dish with the sauce over it, and serve."
    ---The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saalfield Publishing Co.:Chicago] 1896, 1908 (p. 453)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Boiled Eggplant, Boiled Eggplant with Parmesan Cheese, Broiled Eggplant, Fried Eggplant,
    Fried Eggplant with Parmesan Cheese, Eggplant Fritters, Mashed Eggplant, Eggplant, Poulette Style, Stewed Eggplant, Stewed Eggplant with Onions, and Stuffed Eggplant. (p. 451-454).]

    "Eggplant Steak

    Wash the eggplant and cut it incrosswise slices a half-inch thick, leaving on the skin. Dust the eggplant with salt and pepper, brush well with melted butter, place in a broiler and broil slowly until the eggplant is tender, about ten minutes, reversing when brown on one side. Serve with brown nut gravy."
    --Mrs. Allen on Cooking, Menus, Service,, Ida C. Bailey Allen [Doubleday, Doran & Company:Garden City NY] 1929 (p. 464-465)
    [NOTE: Ms. Allen also offers recipes for Fried Eggplant, Diced or Cubed Fried Eggplant, Mashed Eggplant and Eggplant au Gratin.]

    "Eggplant is a tasty and digestible vegetable and a light one. It can be used as a side dish or as a regular course. When its natural bitter taste is slight, the egg plant makes a delcious dish. The samll or medium sized plant is to be preferred, as the large ripe ones are likely to be bitter.
    Fried Egg Plant
    Peel off the skin of the egg plant and cut it into small pieces; salt is and allow it to rest for an hour. Remove the water which has oozed out, dip the eggplant in flour, and fry it in oil."
    ---Italian Cook Book Adopted form the Italian of Pellegrino Artusi, Olga Ragusa [S.F. Vanni:New York] 1945(p. 163)
    NORE: Artusi also offers recipes for Stewed Egg Plant, Griddled Egg Plant and Egg Plant Pie.]

    "Eggplant Sandwiches

    2 medium eggplants
    1/2 cup flour
    1 1/2 cups olive oil
    2 egg yolks
    1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, diced fine
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup bread crumbs
    Peel eggplants and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Roll in flour and fry in olive oil. Drain well on paper. save oil. Mix together well ell yolks, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and salt. Spread 1 tablespoon of this micture on 1 side of each eggplant slice and cover with another slice. Dip sandwich into beaten egg, roll in crumbs and fry in oil until golden brown on both sides. Serves 4."
    ---The Talisman Italian Cook Book, Ada Boni, translated and augemented by Matilde Pei [Crown Publishers:New York] (p. 184)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipe for Baked Eggplant Sicilian Style, Broiled Eggplant, Eggplant Croquettes, Eggplant Foggia Style, Fried Eggplant, Eggplant Gourmet Style, Eggplant in Skillet, Eggplant Marinara, Eggp;lant Onorato, Eggplant Parmesan, Eggplant Provenzale, Skewers Neaplolitan Style, Whole Eggpalnt Sicilian Style and Eggplant with Anchovies.]

    Eggplant Parm?
    Meat-based (veal, chicken)
    "Parmesan" dishes surface on American tables after World War II. Eggplant Parm(emsean), without the tomato sauce, graced upscale American tables in the early 20th century.
    "Fried Eggplant with Parmesan Cheese.

    Peel the eggplant, cut it into quarters lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and cut it into convenient lengths. Rub a stewpan over with garlic, put a lare lump of butter, and melt it; then put in the pieces of eggplant, season to taste with salt, pepper, and a small quantity of grated nutmeg, and toss them about over a fire. Before the eggplant is quite done put in plenty of grated Parmesan cheese, and add more butter if necessary. When quite tender turn the eggplant onto a hot dish, with the cheese over it, garnish with sippets of hot buttered tast, and serve."
    ---The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saalfield Publishing Co.:Chicago] 1908 (p. 452)

    "Eggplant Parmigiana

    1 large eggplant, or 2 small ones
    1 cup olive oil
    1 1/4 cups tomato sauce
    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced thin.
    Peel eggplant and cut into thin slices. Fry in oil until brown and drain well on paper. Place 1 layer fried eggplant in casserole, cover with sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and cover with layer of mozzarella. Repeat procedure until all eggplant is used, ending with mozzarella. Bake in hot oven (400 degress F.) 15 minutes and serve hot. Serves 4."
    ---The Talisman Italian Cook Book, Ada Boni, translated and augemented by Matilde Pei [Crown Publishers:New York] 1950 (p. 183-184)

    Fiddlehead ferns
    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, fiddlehead, as it relates to food is a local name for a young fern frond. First print reference was 1882. Crozier, is a curled top of a young fern. Print references date to 1831. A crozier or crosier is also the crooked pastoral rod of a shepherd or bishop. The connection between the latter term and unfurling fern fronds makes visuals sense. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary, (2nd edition newly revised, 1993) defines fiddleheads as young coiled fronds of various species of ferns, eaten as vegetables. This source dates the term to 1790-1800 but does not provide citations or references. Molly ONeill states: Fiddleheads are a growth stage, not a species. Since colonial times, they have been gathered along the mid-Atlantic. [Talking Fiddleheads, Molly ONeill, New York Times, May 1, 1994 (p. SM69).]

    Why fiddlehead? Our survey of historic newspapers suggests it is because the unfurled fronds resemble the shape of a violin (aka fiddle).

    Fiddlehead fern. All ferns are fiddleheads when their new, tightly coiled, green shoots emerge from the earthusually in the spring. After they uncoil into fronds, they are no longer edible, ands as with certain mushrooms, they are questions about the edibility of some of the so-called fiddleheads which are suspected of being carcinogenic. However, the one usually marketedthe ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)is supposed to be safe. Fiddleheads grown in damp places and in North America are sought mostly in forests along the eastern seaboard, especially in New Brunswick, Maine, and Vermont. For some, their taste is akin to that of artichokes; for others, it is more like the flavor of asparagus. Although they are often added raw to salads, fiddleheads are best when (as with asparagus or artichoke hearts) they are lightly boiled and served with melted butter or some other appropriate dressing. The nutrients provided are vitamins A and C. Common names of synonyms: Fiddleheads(s), fiddlehead greens, ostrich fern.
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1773)

    How to prepare fiddlehead ferns?
    Matteuccia pensylvanicaOstrich fernThe thick succulent, unrolled fronds, called fiddleheads or crosiers, are salted and boiled, and served on toast with oil, butter, cream or a cream sauce. Or they may be cut into small pieces, mixed with bread crumbs, milk, and eggs, and baked into a superior escalloped dish. They are available fresh in specialty markets or as canned and frozen products. The crowns can be forced for winter use. Rootstocks are eaten boiled or roasted. Northern temperate region.
    ---Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants, Stephen Facciola [Kampong Publications:Vista CA] 1998 (p. 164)

    Most beautiful of all are the fiddleheads of the cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomes), sometimes known as the fiddlehead fern. Once you have seen a cluster of these wooly crosier, you will never forget them. The sturdy stems and the unfurling fronds are covered with a dense growth of fine, pale yellow-buff hair that changes to cinnamon brown on the fertile fronds. Though the crosiers of the well known and popular Christmas fern (Polyystichum acrostichldes) are similar to those of the cinnamon fern, they are silver-haired and more slender. The crosiers arise among the deep green fronds from the previous years growth of this evergreen fern. In early spring before blossome [sic] time, the delicately cut foliage of some flowering plants may be mistaken for fern fronds. Unless the tips of the leaves are curled, the plants are not ferns. The primitive succulent fernsgrape ferns and rattlesnake ferns (botrychium) are folded rather than curled in the bud. The young leaves or fronds of all other ferns are held in a tight coil for safety as the stems push through the ground. The fronds slowly unfurl as the stem lengthens.
    ---Fern Fiddleheads Play a Traditional Spring Overture, Molly Price, New York Times, March 22, 1959 (p. X27)

    How to pick fiddlehead ferns. Fiddlehead ferns are the tip ends of the common ostrich fern, which grows in the woods and along various woodland borders. The ferns should be gathered when the fresh shoots have started to develop in the spring. Pluck off the top, curved tip of the fern. Rinse well under cold running water.
    How to cook fiddlehead ferns. Cook the ferns in boiling salted water to cover for three to four minutes. When cooked, they should be tender but crisp. Drain and serve hot with melted butter and lemon or chill and serve with French dressing as a salad. They are good, too, on toast rounds with cream cheese or mayonnaise.
    How to freeze fiddlehead ferns. When the fern tips are gathered and rinsed under cold water, boil or steam them for exactly one minute. Drain and dry on paper toweling. Arrange them on cooky sheets and freeze.. When frozen, empty them into freezer containers and store.
    ---Gather Ye Fiddlehead Ferns While Ye may and Freeze Them, Craig Claiborne, New York Times, May 25, 1967 (p. 52)
    [NOTE: Recipe for Egg and Lemon Soup with Fiddlehead Ferns included.]

    Interested in learning about more greens?

    Jew's mallow
    "Corchorus olitorius--Jew's mallow Bush okra, Melokheya Saluyot. Very young leaves are used in salads. Older leaves and shoot tips are an excellent hot weather spinach substitute being high in protein. A popular soup in Egypt and the Near East is made from finely hashed melokheya spiced with fried garlic and coriander, and cooked with broth of rabbit, chicken, mutton or goose. The dried leaves, which are available in Middle Eastern stores, are commonly used to thicken soups and stews or they can be made into tea. In the Sudan, fresh or dried leaves are mixed with salt spices, oil, meat and powdered okra to form mulah, a sauce or relish served with staple porridges. Immature fruits are used in salads or as a potherb. Reportedly dates back to the Pharaohs. Tropics."
    ---Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants, Stephen Facciola [Kampong Publications:Vista CA] 1998 (p. 241)

    "Jew's mallow--also known as "jute mallow," ...(Corchorus olitorus) is a native of India that now grows in most of the world's tropical and subtropical regions...The young, tender, green leaves of Jew's mallow--which are edible (and palatable) raw as well as cooked--have been used for food since the days of the hunter-gatherers. In Egypt, they are used to make the country's national dish--a thick soup called molokhia. The greens are high in beta-carotene, calcium, and vitamin C. Common names and synonyms: Bush okra, jute, jute mallow, long-fruited jute, Malta jute, Spanish okra, tossa jute, tussa jute, West African sorrel."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Krimehild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two(p. 1793)

    "Melokhia (or molokhia)...a plant related to and named after the mallow...It is sometimes called Jew's mallow. It belongs to the same genus as the jute plant and is grown worldwide as a source of fibre; but the use of the dark green leaves as a vegetable is also widespread, from W. and N. Africa to the Mediterranean islands through the Middle East to Malaysia, Australia, the Pacific Islands, S. America, and the Caribbean. It is in Egypt that the leaves, which are not unlike sorrel, have the greatest culinary importance. They are made into a soup, also called melokhia...This is one of the national dishes of Egypt and has acquired symbolic importance as the typical dish of the populace...It is traditionally eaten with rabbit (or chicken or other bird) as a treat. Generally, the leaves are cooked and eaten like spinach. They can be dried or stored."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 498)

    Melokhia is the primary ingredient, and recipe title, of Egypt's national soup.

    "Technically legumes, 'pease' are the edible seeds enclosed in the elongated green pods of the vine Pisum sativum. Pease comprise a large group that can be divided into those that are 'edible-podded' and those that are 'tough podded.' Foremost amng the latter are 'green pease,' also known as 'garden peas' and 'English peas'--the large, bulging sweet pease, fresh from gardens or found in produce markets...Historically...the most important peas in a nutrition sense were thoese that were prserved and consumed throughout the year. Like so many of our foods, there is confusion over the origin of the pea, which may have occurred in central or southern Asia or in the Middle East...wild forms must have been tasty seasonal items on the menus of the hunter-gatherers, and peas were among the first plants to be domesticated-- about 8,000 years ago...after which they spread quickly to the Mediterranean region and to India and China. Peas were an important food of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans...In the sixteenth century, tender varities of green pease (designed to be eaten fresh) entered the diet as the mange-tout or sugar pea was developed in Dutch gardens, and petits pois became a part of French cuisine...peas have made their way with the earliest settlers to the New 1870 it was among the first to be canned by what would become the Campbell Soup Company. Chickpeas, black-eyed peas ('cowpeas') and pigeon peas are not true peas."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas edtiors [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge], Volume Two, 2000 (p. 1830)

    "Pea. A Legume which originated in western Asia, has been a staple food since ancient times...The earliest trace of the garden bean is in the relics of Bronze Age selltelments in Switzerland, c. 3000 BC. It was appartently grown by both Greeks and Romans in the classical period, spread quickly through India, where it is still a popular vegetable, and reached China in the 7th century AD...Field peas were eaten dried, and sometimes husked and split. Dried peas were oe of the principal foods of the Middle Ages, especially in winter. They were cheap, filling, and a useful source of protein...It was not until the 16th century, when Italian garderners developed tender varieties for eating fresh and small, that garden peas were introduced and grown increasingly thereafter. A sudden vogue for eating immature peas fresh which was a novel procedure, reached a peak at the end of the 17th century...At the end of the 19th century, when canned vegetables began to be sold widely, peas were one of the most popular types...Peas were also among the earliest frozen vegetables in the 1920s and 1930s."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:Oxford], 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 588-9)

    Why call them peas?
    "The word pea is a seventeenth-century development. Previously it has been pease (which survives in pease pudding), but gradually this came to be misanalysed as a plural form, and the new 'singular' pea came into being. The term is an ancient one: Old English pise was borrowed from late Latin pisa, which goes back via Greek pison to an unknown pre-Indo-European ancesotor probably of Aegean origin...As this sugests, peas have long been a staple human food; evidence has been found of their cultivation in neolithic times, 8,000 years ago. We have continuted to eat them ever since...for most of the year, as dried peas. This was necessarrily so; no method existed of preserving thee tender young peas of spring...for the rest of the year. Then, in the late nineteenth century, the combination of the invention of canning and the development of reliable mechanical harvesting techniques gave rise to the tinned pea."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002(p. 246)

    Popular pea recipes: Peas pottage/pease pudding & Pea Soup.

    In 21st century USA , Quinoa enjoys superfood status. Definately nutritious, decidedly exotic and demonstratably economical. What exactly is this high Andean Peruvan plant? Botanically, it's an herb offering both vegetable and grain culinary options. Contemporary American recipes generally promote quinoa as a superfood grain alternative. This is true on a basic level. Quinoa subs in nicely for traditional grain recipes (pasta, rice, couscous, &c.). USA commercially packed quinoa granules promote the grain potential (especially to gluten-free consumer market base) but fail to disclose the full plant's potential: most notably greens used for salad & vegetable purpose.

    Origins & Inca foodways
    "Quinoa...Pronounced 'keen-wah, quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is an annual herb of the tropical American highlands and a native of Chile and Peru. Also known as quinua and sometimes as 'goosefoot,' quinoa is and historically has been the most important of the cultivated chenopods. Like amaranth, it is technically not a grain, meaning that it is not one of the cultivated grasses. Also like amaranth, quinoa helped sustain a great American civilization--in this cakes the Incas. After maize, it was the most utilized grain in the Andes region at the time of the Spanish conquest. It was used to make beer (chica) as well as soups, stews, and porridges, and its leaves were employed as a potherb. Quinoa does well in poor soils at high altitudes...Quinoa is cultivated today throughout the Andes from Ecuador to Bolivia and at one time was grown in England, where the leaves were consumed as greens and the seeds given to poultry. It is superior to the true grains in nutritional quality..."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1841)

    Culinary applications
    "Another favorite of our South American neighbors is a cereal which is all their own, and a very fine one at that, even if it is a member of the Pigweed Family. This plant, known as quinoa, goosefoot, or Incan arrow, is a native of the highlands of Peru and Chile and thrives best at an altitude of from 12,000 to 15,000 above the sea where few other food-plants or cereals grow. For several thousand years the quinoa has been cultivated by the Indians of the Andes, until today the best varieties grow to six feet or more in height and bear an abundance of edible seeds. These are round a flat, looking a good deal like small lentils, and are slightly glutinous, and very nutritious. They are ground into meal and flour and are used to making bread, cakes, in soups, and in the preparation of the native beverage known as chica. The quinoa meal and flour tastes somewhat like buckwheat, but with a hint of pea-flavor, and cakes or bread made from the cereal are excellent and a most welcome change from wheat or corn. In Chile, where the plant is extensively cultivated, the flour from the seeds is usually mixed with wheat flour for baking bread. In addition to providing a splendid cereal food, the quinoa furnished the natives with delicious "greens" which are made from the young leaves of the valuable plant, while finally, the Indians claim that an infusion of the seeds is a certain cure for tuberculosis. But even if their faith of the curative properties of the quinoa seeds is not wholly warranted, the "cereals" prepared from them would prove most valuable additions to our menus. If present plans in Chile and Peru mature, and quinoa is grow on a large commercial scale, it may note be very long before we in the North are breakfasting on this find cereal from the far-off Andes."
    ---Foods America Gave the World, A. Hyatt Verrill, [L.C. Page & Company:Boston] 1937 (p. 56-7)

    Quinoa symbolism & folklore
    "Quinoa is a high-protein grain that was virtually unknown to people outside South America until recent years. The grain grew wild in the South American highlands thousands of years ago. People living in the area around Lake Titicaca began cultivating it around 5800 to 4500 B.C. For thousands of years, millions of people in the Andean region relied on quinoa to fulfill their nutritional needs, and they revered the grain as a god-given food. In Quechua myth, a sacred bird, the turtledove, or killku, delivered quinoa to the people...When the Inca came to rule the Peruvian Andes, they too relied on quinoa as a nutritional staple and held it sacred. They called it "mother grain," and they made it the focus of sacred rituals performed in worship of their sun god."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 192)

    Quinoa goes global
    "A plant that could have a trial in the agriculture of California is the quinoa...a cereal indigenous in the higher districts of Peru and extensively cultivated there before and since the Spanish conquest. The grain prepared for the table in various ways similar to the methods of cooking beans, is regarded by the Peruvians and by many travelers as a delicacy. It was tried in German on a small scale and was cultivated with success, but did not give satisfaction on the table. Tschuli, from whose book of travels in Peru I learn from these facts, says: 'It is to be hoped that the cultivation of the quinoa will become general in Europe, for the plant would be a great utility in districts where the potato rot prevails. We all know that potatoes and tea when first introduced in Europe were found very offensive to the palate by may people who afterward accepted them gratefully. Like them there is reason to believe that the quinoa will become an article of food consumed by many civilized nations.'"
    ---"A Peruvian Cereal," Los Angeles Times, September 20, 1887 (p. 11)

    "Quinoa, or Goosefoot: a plant cultivated in the elevated regions of Chile and Peru for its seeds, which are made into cakes, soup, beer, etc. It has the unusual merit of flourishing at a height of 13,000 feet above sea-level. It is grown to a limited extent in England, where the young leaves are consumed as 'greens' and the ripe seeds are valued as food for poultry and swine."
    ---The Grocers Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911 (p. 517)

    "Chenopodium Quinoa...Petty Rice...South America. This plant, indigenous to the Pacific slopes of the Andes, constituted the most important article of food in the inhabitants of New Granada, Peru and Chile at the time of the discovery of America, and at the present day is still extensively cultivated on account of its seeds, which are used extensively by the poorer inhabitants. There are several varieties, of which the white is cultivated in Europe as a spinach plant, rather than for its seeds. However prepared, the seed, says Thompson, is unpalatable to strangers. Gibbon, who saw the plant in Bolivia, says that when boiled like rice and eaten with milk, the seeds are very savory. Seeds from France but originally from Peru, were distributed from the United States patent Office in 1854. Garcilasso de la Vega says it was called quinua by the natives of Peru and mujo by the Spaniards. he says: 'Both the Indians and the Spanish eat the tender leaf in their dishes, because they are savory and very wholesome. They also eat the grain in the soups, prepared in various ways.' A black-seeded variety, cultivated in gardens, is mentioned by Feuille, in Peru, preceding 1725. It was introduced into France in 1785 but has not had very extended use. Molina says in Chile there is a variety called dahue by the Indians which has greyish leaves and produces a white grain. The grain of the quinua serves for making a very pleasant stomachic beverage; that of dahue, on being boiled, lengthens out in the form of worms and is excellent in soup. The leaves are also eaten and are tender and of an agreeable taste."
    ---Sturtevant's notes on Edible Plants,, edited by U.P. Hedrick, Report of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919 II [J.B. Lyon Company:Albany] 1919 (p. 161-162)
    [NOTE: "New Granada," aka "New Kingdom of Grenada," refers to Columbia, 1530s-1780s.]

    "The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which will wind up a special conference on Latin-American nutrition Wednesday, looked to day to quinoa, an ancient plant considered as sacred by the Incas, as a possible supplementary food in the Hemisphere to combat malnutrition."
    ---"Latin Nations See New Food in Quinoa," Milton Bracker, New York Times, July 27, 1948 (p. 10)

    "Quinoa...A South-American grass cultivated in teh uplands of the Andes for the sake of its leaves which are eaten like spinach but should be boiled in two waters so as to render them less acrid. In Peru, its seeds are also used in soups and in cakes, and also in the brewing of a kind of beer."
    ---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 118)

    "Johnny and Mary may be able to forget about the word 'spinach' soon. A substitute is on the way, but the youngsters may not like that either, even if they can pronounce it. The name will be 'Quinoa.' According to the Department of Agriculture and the National Geographic Society, food manufacturers have been tinkering with the think leaves of the quinoa plant. It is an import from the Andes. To South American natives it has been the staff of life for centuries. It thrives only in the cold thin atmosphere, high in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. The tender young shoots serve as salad greens. They taste like lettuce. But the seeds, the experts say, taste something like soap."
    ---"Now Comes Quinoa: It's a Substitute for Spinach, Dear Children All," New York Times, March 7, 1954 (p. 113)

    "In the high Andean valleys of South America, where corn and beans do not grow...To make up for the potato's dietary deficiencies, they also grew a sturdy plant called quinoa, which thrives at very high altitudes and prodces small seeds that are rich in protein."
    ---Latin American Cooking, Jonathan Norton Lenoard, Foods of the World series [Time-Life Books:New York] 1968 (p. 21)

    "Quinoa was the 'mother grain of the ancient Incas, who thought it sacred. Today, quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wa') still grows on the high slopes of the Andes--and of the Colorado Rockies, where a group of new-age entrepreneurs is cultivating t for the small but rapidly growing American market. Not a cereal, but rather a fruit of the chenopodum family, quinoa is an annual herb on which the seeds from large clusters at the top of the stalk-like millet. It's an extremely hard plant that thrives in high, dry, mountainous regions where little else grows. Higher in protein than even wheat, it has a balance of essential amino acids close to ideal. Quinoa cooks in just 15 minutes, and while it's delicate, light and fluffy, the flavor is full, not quite like anything else. It bears some resemblance to couscous, and can be used in much the same way. I like to prepare it in in very simple ways (pilafs, taboulleh-type salads and stuffed peppers, for instance) so as not to eclipse its charms. Production is still a small-scale and labor-intensive operation, so the going price is about $3.50 a pound, which makes it an exotic alternative to wild rice."
    ---"Laurel's Kitchen," Washington Post, October 30, 1985 (p. E8)
    [NOTES: (1) The fact the reporter includes pronunciation note suggests quinoa was unfamiliar to his readers. (2) Recipes for Confetti Quinoa and Lemony Quinoa Pudding included.]

    "Quinoa, the tiny ivory-colored seed, has been recently introduced to the American market. High in protein--an average of 16.2 percent compared with 14 percent for wheat--it represents a better balance of amino acids than wheat, according to Eugene Anderson, professor of anthropology at the University of California at Riverside. The seed is particularly rich in the amino acid lysine, which is difficult to obtain from vegetable sources. The calcium content of uncooked quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah, from the Spanish) is the same as an equal quantity of low-fat milk, but with four times as much phosphorus. It is also a good source of B vitamins and vitamin E. Native to the high Andes of South America, quinoa has been rediscovered as one of the 'heritage' foods that sustained native American populations before the arrival of Europeans. As such, it joins New Mexican blue corn, the sacred train of the Hopis used to make silvery paper-thin piki bread, which has successfully made the great leap from the Southwestern reservation to the trendy California kitchens. It's too early to tell if quinoa will catch on in this fashion. The new seed is not merely nutritionally good. Cooked briefly in water, quinoa fluffs up, quadrupling in size, but retains a crunchiness approaching a cross between short-grain rice and bulgur. Because the delicately nutty flavor is unassertive, the cooked grain can be used in salads, as a main-dish casserole, a quick substitute for couscous with a meat or vegetable stew, a seasoned curried pilaf, a side dish when mixed with pesto or other herbs, a stuffing for poultry or vegetables or even dessert. Quinoa is delicate enough to serve with fish yet can be robustly seasoned to accompany a hearty beef stew, and recooking it, in a sauce for example, will not affect its texture...Quinoa, sold in health food stores and specialty imported from Peru and Bolivia. The Quinoa Corporation of Boulder, Colo., the major importer in this country, plans to introduce the food in gourmet shops in a few months and in supermarkets by the end of the year."
    ---"Quinoa, Andean Legacy, Arrives," Florence Fabricant, New York Times, February 12, 1986 (p. C1)
    [NOTE: Recipes for Basic Quinoa, Felipe Rojas-Lombardi's Quinoa Atamalada and Toasted Quinoa Pilaf included.]

    "Quinoa is starting to get attention from chefs, and once in the hands of culinary geniuses, this old grain could well be included in a restaurant menu in no time."
    ---"Specialty Food Show Grows With Its Market: A Range of Products...," Minni Mernardino, Los Angeles Times, February 26, 1987 (p. H2)

    "Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is emerging from obscurity to become a popular substitute for rice and bulgur in side dishes and salads. One reason quinoa is catghin on is its extraordinarily high protein content. Another is its distinctive toasty flavor."
    ---"The Vegetarian. Quinoa: Tasty Substitute," Diana Shaw, Los Angeles Times, April 6, 1989 (p. WS42)
    [NOTE: Includes recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh.]

    "The so-called 'new grains' are not really new at all...Ethnic cuisines have paved the way for widespread interest in whole-grain cookery--familiar partners with couscous, arborio rice, polenta and bulgur. And today, as more Americans proceed from good taste to good health, a fascination with ancient forms of fiber--including such 'new grains' as amaranth, quinoa and tricale--has begun to develop...Triticale , quinoa...millet and amaranth are just few of teh equally versatile and delicious whole grains that have begun appearing on shelves next to the barley, bulgar and buckwheat as well as in recipe books...Quinoa, a tan-colored, birdseed-like grain is popular for its high grain protein and calcium content. It is high in the amino acid lysine, which most other whole grains lack, making it a complete source of protein. Quinoa seeds have a distinctive flavor upon cooking, and the grain is excellent in savory dishes. Because of a natural coating called saponin, quinoa requires thorough rinsing before cooking..."
    ---"Timeless Grains," Toni Tipton, Los Angeles Times, June 15, 1989 (p. K1)

    Rutabagas, Swedes & Neeps
    Unpuzzling rutabagas, the hardy rotund turnip cousin, poses interesting challenges because this root vegetable has many different names. Turnips were generally held in low regard in Europe (cattle food) meaning early print documentation is scant. Thanks to cook book authors describing this vegetable, we can piece together the some parts of this puzzle. Today in America many people use the terms Turnip and Rutabaga interchangably. Our research suggests the definition can be family tradition or scientific classification. Cooking methods and serving suggestion are similar for both vegetables. Bottom line: if your in-laws serve mashed rutabagas for winter holiday meals & call them turnips, it's perfectly okay. Celebrate the holiday and enjoy the food. Whatever you call them, rutabagas are delicious!

    "Rutabagas (Brassica napobrassica) are occasionally referred to as "Swede turnips" or just "Swedes" because they were developed and grown in Sweden before A.D. 1400. According to Carcione and Lucas...Rutabagas appear to be "the result of a meeting of a swinging Swedish turnip and an equally willing cabbage." Although closely related to the turnip, the a relatively modern vegetable that is larger and longer than the turnip, with a milder taste and flesh that is yellow-colored rather than white...Rutabagas spread from Sweden to central Europe and the northern regions of Italy, where in medieval times they were called "Swedes" and housewives were advised to accept only those that were garden-fresh...Rutabagas were cultivated prior to 1650 in Bohemia, and in 1755 they were introduced to England and Scotland from Holland, where they were initially referred to as "turnip-rooted cabbage," "Swedes," or "Swedish turnips." American gardeners were growing rutabagas by 1806, and today, Canada--along with the states of Washington and Oregon--supplies the United States with rutabagas, which explains their often being called "Canadian turnips" by Americans. Two of the best-known rutabaga types are 'Laurentian' and the "Purple-Top Yellow."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 295)

    "Swede. The humble and lubrigious swede, orange-fleshed cousin of the turnip, was introduced into Scotland in 1781 from Sweden--hence the name, orginally Swedish turnip, and by the early nineteenth century swede. It was hailed with enthusiasm as a replacement for the ordinary turnip--the Encyclopedia Britannica (1791) announced that the Swedish turnip is a plant form which great expectations have been formed'--and while it has not subsequently set the world on fire, it has remianed part of the standard vegetable repertoire of Britain, and particularly of Scotland. There it is often called turnip or neep, the old word for 'turnip': a dish of mashed neeps, or pureed swede, is a traditional accompaniment of haggis. The Americans, meanwhile, usually refer to it as rutabaga, orginally a Swedish dialect terms meaning "baggy root."
    ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 330-1)
    [NOTE: The Rutabaga entry in this book tells us the original Swedish term is "rotobagga."]

    "Swede and rutabaga, two names for a root vegetable, Brassica napus ssp rapifera, which is closely related to but botanically and commerically disinguishsed from the turnip. Swedes differ from turnips in having ridged scars forming concentric rings aroung their tops. The 'root' is not a true root but the swollen base of the stem, and theses marks are leaf scars. The swede probably originated in C. Europe and reached France and then England in the 17th century. By the late 18th century it had become an important European vegetable crop; and by the beginning of the 19th century it had reached the USA... The word 'rutabaga' is a corruption of the Swedish dialect term rota bagge,--'red bags', referring to the bulbous shape... In Scotland they are called 'neeps; (a contraction of 'turneeps', and searly form of 'turnips')."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 772-773)

    "Swede or Swedish turnip (Brassica napo-brassica), a plant whose large round roots, with their yellow or white flesh, resemble turnips. They are used mainly for cattle food in northern Europe, except in the British Isles where they are a well-known vegetable. Swede may be cooked in any way that is suitable for turnip. Swede is known by several names: Russian turnip, rutabaga, and turnip-rooted cabbage. In Ireland, however, it is called turnip, the true turnip being known there as 'white' turnip, and it is prepared by first boiling it, then mashing with butter, pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon or mace."
    ---The Food of the Western World: An Encyclopedia of Food From North America and Europe, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Quadrangle:New York] 1976 (p. 463)

    "Rutabaga of the Swedes, the navet de Suede, or chou de Suede, or chou rutabaga, or chou navet jaune, of the French was introduced to England somewhere about the end of the eighteenth century. In the Maine Farmer of May 15, 1835, a correspondent, John Burton, states that the rutabaga, swedish turnip, or Lapland turnip--for by all these names it was known--was introduced to this country since the commencement of the present century. Six or more varieties are named in all seed catalogs of and Burr describes 11 kinds. The rutabagas of our gardens include two forms, one with white flesh, the other with yellow. The French call these two classes chou-navets and rutabagas respectively...In 1806 the distinction was retained in the United States, McMahon describing the turnip-rooted cabbage and the Swedish turnip, or Rutabaga...The first description of the white-rooted form is by bauhin in his Prodromus, 1620, and it is named again in his Pinax, 1623, and is called napo-brassica. In 1686, Ray apparently did not know it in England, as he quotes Bauhin's name and description, which states that it is cultivated in Bohemia and is eaten, but Morrison, in 1669, catalogs it among the plants in the royal gardens. In France, it is named by Tournfort, in 1700, Brassica radice napiformi, or chou-navet. In 1778, this was called in England turnip-cabbage... There are three varieties described by Vilmorin...The rutabaga is said by Sinclair, in the account of the system of husbandry in Scotland, to have been introduced into Scotland about 1781-2, and a quotation in the Gardeners' Chronicle says it was introduced into England in 1790. It is mentioned in 1806 by McMahon as in American gardens, and in 1817 there is a record of a acre of this crop in Illinois. The vernacular names all indicate an origin in Sweden or northern Europe. It is called Swedish turnip or Roota-baga by McMahon, 1806, by Miller's Dictionary, 1807...The foreign names given by Don in 1831 include...the Italian navone di Laponia."
    ---Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants, U.P. Hedrick editor, Report of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919 II [J.B.Lyon Co.:Albany NY] 1919 (p. 105-106)

    Historic definitions & recipe sampler

    "198. Turnips. Pare off all that would be hard, woody, and stringy when boiled. Boil them in plenty of water, for from three-quarters of an hour to nearly two hours, according to the age and size. Drain and serve them whole, or, if too large, divided, or mahsed. A bit of the green top shoot is left on young turnips and on Swedish turnips. Swedish turnip-tops are very delicate greens when young. If boiled in their coats, and then pared, turnips will be more juicy." ---Cook and Housewife's Manual, Mistress Margaret Dods (Mrs. Isobel Christian Johnston), facsimile 1829 edition [Rosters Ltd.:London] 1988 (p. 210)
    [NOTE: Recipe 199: To Dress Turnips, for the second course--a French mode and 200: To Mash Turnips follow. Neither specfically mentions "Swedich Turnips" but the recipes would work.]

    "Turnips, to Boil Yellow or Large White. Wash, pare, and throw them into cold water; put them on in boiling water with a little salt, and boil them from two hours to two and a hlaf, drain them in a cullender, put them into a saucepan, and mixing in a bit of butter, with a beater mash them very smoothly, add half a pint of milk, mix it well with the turnips, and make them quite hot before serving. If they are to be served plain, dish them as soon as the water is drained off."
    ---The Cook's Own Book, By a Boston Housekeeper (Mrs. N.K.M. Lee), facsimile 1832 edition [Arno Press:New York] 1972 (p. 228)

    "Ruta Baga.--Or large winter turnip, may be cut in quarters or slices, and boiled with meat, and served with a little butter and pepper over; or boil in water with a little salt; take off the thick outside rind, and cut them in quarters or slices, and boil them for an half an hour or more, until they are soft; then drain off the water, and mash them fine, add a bit of butter and pepper to taste, work them smooth then put them into a covered dish, smooth the upper surface over, and mark it with a knife blade in flutes, meeting in the centre, or make it in a pyramid or pine-apple, and serve."
    ---The American System of Cookery, By a Lady of New York (Mrs. T.J. Crowen) [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 177)

    "2249. Ruta Baga is the only root that inreases in nutritious qualities as it increases in size."
    ---Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million, Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale [T.B. Peterspm:Philadelphia PA] 1857 (p. 471)

    "The Yellow or ruta-baga turnip is much liked instead of cabbage; pare off the thick outside, cut them in halves, or if very large, quarter them. Boil up and serve as directed for cabbage; or mash them fine, ans smooth with a bit of butter and a little pepper; mash the potatoes with a gill of hot milk, and a bit of butter the size of an egg. Put potatoes and turnips in covered dishes; heap them high in the centre; smooth over the surface in flutes with a knife blade meeting in the centre, as a common point. Take a pinch of fine pepper in the fingers and put it over the whole surface in spots. Put the meat on an oval dish, and vinegar and make mustard in the castor."
    ---The American System of Cookery, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1866 (p. 119-120)
    [NOTE: The original 1847 Crowen recipe is reprinted on p. 177 of this book.]

    "Turnips. We have in common use two varities, the rutabaga, yellow or Swedish turnup (Brassica campestris, Linn.), and the white turnip (Brassica rapa, Linn.). In chemical composition the turnip is very much like the cabbage, except that it contains more water and lessnutritious matter. It odes not contain either sugar or starch. The carbohydrates present are in the form of inulin and pectose, which make them an agreeable and harmless begetable for diabetic patients. Turnip tops, or sprouts of old turnips, may be used in salads or boiled as greens.

    Turnips with Cream Sauce 6 white turnips or three rutabagas
    2 tablespoonfuls butter
    2 tablespoonfuls flour
    1/2 pint milk
    1/2 teaspoonful salt
    1 saltspoonful pepper
    Pare the turnips; cut into cubes of a half inch; throw into cold water for half an hour; put into a saucepan of unsalted boiling water and cook in the vessel, uncovered, for about thirty minutes, or until they are white and transparent; drain in the colander. Rub the butter and flour together and add the milk, salt and pepper; stir until boiling. Put the turnips into a heated vegetable dish; pour over the sauce and send at once to the table."
    ---Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery and Meat Substitutes, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia PA] 1909 (p. 146-147)

    "Rutabaga Turnip. This is a deep yellow turnip and requires much longer cooking that the white turnip, and is not so delicate. It may be boiled with a piece of pork, seasoning meat or served with melted butter or with sauce."
    ---Southern Cooking, Mrs. S.R. Dull [Grosset & Dunlap:New York] 1941 (p. 110)
    [NOTE: This book also offer these recipes (presumably for white turnips): To Cook Turnips, Moulded Turnips and Turnips and Pork.]

    "Turnips and Rutabagas. Yellow they are rutabagas white they are turnips, a little more delicate in flavor. Both are cooked and served the same way. Firm heavy ones are best; lightweights are woody, strong flavored. Pare; slice, dice or leave small ones whole. (Rutabagas usually have waxed covering to preserve them during shipping). Cook covered in 1/2 to 1" boiling salted water (a little sugar improves flavor)--turnips, 20 to 30 min,; rutabagas 25 to 40 min. Or saute as for Janette's Parsnips (p. 439). Turnip or Rutabaga Puff: Floow recipe for Potato Puff (p. 441)--except use mashed turnips or rutabagas in place of potatoes. Ideas forserving--Servew ith butter, salt, and pepper. Mash with cream or whipped cream and nutmeg. Combine with a White Sauce (p. 398). Add a few tbsp; minced onion or chives and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Glazed Turnips or Rutabagas. Cool, slice, and saute slowly in butter...sprinkling lightly with sugar...continuing to add sugar until turnips or rutabagas are well glazed. Turn occasionally."
    ---Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, revised and enlarged, 2nd edition [McGraw-Hill Book Company:New York] 1956 (p. 444)

    "Rutabaga and Apple
    3 cups pared rutabaga slices
    1 medium apple, thinly sliced
    6 tablespoons brown sugar
    2 tablespoons butter or margarine
    Cook rutabaga slcies in boiling salted water till just tender; drain. Place half the rutabaga slices in a greased 1-quart casserole alsong with half the apple slices. Sprinkle with half the brown sugar; dot with half the butter; sprinkle with salt. Repeat layers using remaining ingredients. Bake covered in moderate oven (350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings."
    ---Better Homes & Gardens Vegetable Cook Book [Meredith Press:New York] 1965 (p. 111)

    Mashed turnips & carrots?
    Mashed turnips & carrots is my mother-in-law's signature dish. Born in 1927 (Cornwall Ontario Canada) with Scottish heritage. Family dishes were thrifty and frugal. The perfect convergence of Scottish values and the Great Depression. Mashed turnips (really rutabagas) & carrots with butter, garlic, pepper & parsley is a required element on Olver Thanksgiving tables. But? We do not know the origin or history of this dish. It just is & it is delicious!

    Turnips (rutabagas, Swedes) are traditionally grouped on the lower end of the human food spectrum. Carrots grace tables of all classes. Carrots also bring color and sweetness to the otherwise bland turnip. Thinking? The ability to add carrots to this mashed mix signaled aspiring class status. If your family/traditions come from places other than Canada/UK let us know (where). Happy to investigate.

    Recommended reading:
    Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants/E. Lewis Sturtevant [1919]

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    31 January 2015