[with apologies for the formatting - Blogger wont do as asked today]
I hope you enjoyed
the post yesterday on the true identity of the Earth Nut, because I have
another little bit of confusion for your puzzle-pleasure today.
As the final snippet
(for the time being) from the Dictionaire
Œconomique, or, The Family Dictionary (1725), I give you the entry for
in Latin,Pomum adami, a Fruit but little different from Lemons; for tho’ the
Tree that bears them has larger and bigger leaves than those of the Lemon-Tree,
yet the Branches are very like: it produces a Flower like that of the
Citron-tree, and a Fruit twice or thrice bigger than that of the Orange Tree.
It’s round, has a pale rind, nervous and uneven. It is found much in Italy.
yield much Juice, and they have a Pulp little different from Lemons: in the
mean time they are neither so delicious nor so well tasted. The Juice of these
Apples has the same Properties as Lemons, but with less Efficacy: if you cut
them into two parts, strew them with Frankincense reduc’d into a fine Powder,
and heat them on hot Embers, you may apply them to Scurfs and the Itch, and you
will be much relieved thereby.
So, Adam’s Apple is a
citrus fruit, not an apple? This particular confusion can probably be explained
away by the fact that in times past, ‘apple’ (or ‘pome’) was sometimes used as
a generic name for the fruit of any tree.
Before I discuss the
fruit itself any further, I want to point out, in case you didn’t already know,
that the more prominent larynx in the human male is called the ‘Adam’s Apple’
because it supposedly demonstrates the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the
Garden of Eden stuck guiltily in Adam’s throat. This explanation will become
relevant shortly – trust me.
There have been a
number of contenders for the ‘true’ nature of the fruit of the Tree of
Knowledge (which assumes a belief in a ‘real,’ not an allegorical tree,) and we
have considered several of these in previous posts. Some of the most popular
are the quince, the date, the peach, the pomegranate, and the banana – all more
likely for a Middle Eastern Garden of Eden than the temperate-climate apple,
methinks, if you are going for reality rather than symbolism. But I digress.
superficial research shows that, as in the case of the earthnut, a number of
citrus fruits have been known by the name of Adam’s Apple, including the
shaddock or pomelo (Citrus grandis,)
the grapefruit (Citrus paradisi,) the
citron (Citrus medica, ) the bitter
orange (Citrus aurantium,) and the
lime (Citrus aurantium var. limetta, or
Citrus aurantifolia?.) Citrus history is long, and nomenclature is
complicated and dynamic, so I am by no means certain I have gotten these varietal
names correct. The point is, however, that I do not know what the author of our
source of the week had in mind when he referred to the ‘Adam’s Apple.’ The
‘nervous and uneven’ rind, and the connection with Italy suggested the citron
to me, but the author of the week has a separate entry for Citrons, and it does
not seem to overlap.
suggest that is indeed a cultivar of Citrus
aurantifolia (Citrus lumia var. pomum
adami ?) which is also sometimes called ‘Adam’s bite’. The fruit has a deep groove at
one end – just as if someone (Adam) had sunk his teeth into it. I know I have
seen an image of this particular fruit, and it does indeed have a bite-shaped
groove at one end of the mature fruit – but now I cant find the picture.
Keeping up with five posts a week sometimes (often?) means insufficient
research folks, that’s just the way it is.
Just to confuse
things further, the banana (Musa
paradisiaca) was also sometimes known as Adam’s Apple, but at least the
‘Paradise Apple’ (Malus pumila paradisiaca)
is a real, if tiny, apple.
Whatever the citrus
you have at hand, I am sure it will make a refreshing beverage. Here are the
early eighteenth century instructions from our source of the week.
prepar’d in the following Manner: To a Paris Pint of Water put the juice of
three Lemons, and seven or eight Slices, but if the Lemons are large, and very
juicy, you may need but of two, with a Quarter of a Pound of Sugar, or at most but five Ounces: when the Sugar is
melted, and the whole well incorporated, strain it through a Bag; let it cool
and drink it: There are other Ways of preparing Lemonade, but this shall [?]