Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crime & Punishment: Bad Taverners.

In medieval times, there was a strong sense of making the punishment fit the crime, and law enforcers were sometimes quite creative in determining a sentence for an individual offender. Offences relating to unwholesome food or drink, or food that was “in deceit of the people” were taken seriously, as we have seen in previous stories about unscrupulous pie-bakers and butchers.

A particularly appropriate punishment was meted out in November of 1364, in the time of King Edward III, to a John Penrose, who was brought before the authorities of the City of London and convicted of “contempt and trespass.”

The prosecutor for the King alleged that the said John Penrose, and his colleague John Rightwys, had “in the tavern of Walter Doget there, sold red wine to all who came there, unsound and unwholesome for man, in deceit of the common people, and in contempt of our Lord the King, and to the shameful disgrace of the officers of the City; to the grievous damage of the Commonalty etc.”

The men were committed to the infamous Newgate prison until such time as the four supervisors of the sale of wines in the City could investigate. About ten days later, on November 22, the verdict was returned: Rightwys was acquitted, but Penrose was determined to be guilty. The penalty was:

“ ..that the said John Penrose shall drink a draught of the same wine which he sold to the common people; and the remainder of such wine shall then be poured on the head of the same John ; and that he shall forswear the calling of a vintner in the City of London for ever, unless he can obtain the favour of our Lord the King as to the same.”

Penrose was apparently restored to his trade in February 1369, so perhaps had some good legal assistance in making his plea.

In honour of good law-makers, law-enforcers, and lawyers everywhere, I give you, from William Kitchiner’s The Cook’s Oracle (1827):-

The Justice’s Orange Syrup, for Punch or Puddings.
Squeeze the Oranges, and strain the juice from the pulp to a large pot; boil it up with a pound and a half of fine Sugar to each pint of juice; skim it well, let it stand till cold, and then bottle it, and cork it well.
Obs.- This makes a fine, soft, mellow-flavoured Punch; and, added to melted butter, is a good relish to Puddings.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First, Catch Your Game.

Silly me. The question of the sixteenth century pancakes has nagged at me since Monday’s post. Eventually, one has to give in and accept an internal nag, as they inevitably have substance. I did and it had. The list of the Top Ten Forgotten British foods is already complete, because I have previously posted on the topic of Sixteenth Century Pancakes.

So, instead, let us consider sumptuary laws.

Sumptuary Laws have a long, but not very successful history. Many monarchs and rulers in many countries have instituted them over the centuries, for a variety of reasons. They have all had very limited success, primarily because the power-brokers themselves don’t like their excesses being limited, and if a sufficient number of the populace ignore or flout the regulations, inevitably they fade away or are actually repealed.  

The motivation for the promulgation of sumptuary laws was varied. A particularly devout and personally abstemious leader may have felt that excessive and conspicuous consumption would bring the wrath of God upon the nation. Archbishop Cranmer and his bishops in 1541made some very specific orders as to the exact number of courses and dishes that the various ranks of the clergy might eat, it being seen that men of religion had moved too far from the concepts of simplicity and abstemiousness – to the point even of becoming gluttonous. In Cranmer’s own words however, “this order was kept for two or three months, till, by the disusing of certain willful persons, it came again to the old excesses.”

Sometimes the motivation was less to do with morals and more to do with pride and maintaining one’s position. To some rulers, it was unseemly that a mere ordinary citizen might emulate or surpass one in finery or at the dining table.

Most often, sumptuary laws applied to clothing, and they were frequently quite detailed as to colours, fabrics, trims, styles and so on, but sometimes, as in the example of Archbishop Cranmer, they applied to food.

Has every country at some time or other produced sumptuary laws? It seems so. Let us go to Spain. The first sumptuary law in Spain was issued in 1234 by James I (“the Conqueror”) of Aragon. He was a devout man, and was apparently shocked by the extravagance of his subjects, who were reveling in the expulsion of the hated Moors from the kingdom. The Jewish population in were enjoying a new era of prosperity too, which no doubt increased the Catholic monarch’s resolve to curb the lifestyle of his subjects.
James therefore decreed that none of his subjects should sit down to a meal of one dish of stewed and one dish of roast meat, unless it be dried and salted. Unlimited game might be eaten, provided that it had been hunted or caught by the individual themselves, but otherwise only one dish of game could be on the menu.
I don’t know how long or how faithfully James’ subjects abided by the laws, but given the history of such laws, I suspect not very long or faithfully at all.

If you can catch your own pheasants, the following recipe might just be the thing.

Pheasants (Spanish way)
Take your pheasants, singe, prick, and draw them; mince the livers with a lump of butter, scraped bacon, champignons, green truffles, if you can get any, some parsley, green onions, pepper, salt, sweet-herbs, and fine spice; mince all well together, and put it into the body of your pheasants, and tie them up at both ends; then blanch them in a stew-pan: they being blanched, put them on the spit, wrapped in slices of bacon, and paper tied round: take a stew-pan, put into it an onion cut into slices, a carrot cut into small bits, with a little oil, give it some tosses over the fire, then moisten it with gravy, good cullis, and a little essence of ham; put in it the half of a lemon cut in slices, four cloves of garlic, a little basil, thyme, a bay-leaf, a little parsley, green onions, and two glasses of white wine. If you have any carcasses of pheasants, pound them, and put them into this sauce; and if you have none, pound the livers you kept of your pheasants, after you have taken off the gall. When your cullis is well skimmed, let it be of a good taste; now put in your liver pounded, and strain off your cullis. Your pheasants being done, draw them off, take off the slices of bacon, dish them up with your Spanish sauce over them, and serve them up hot for entry. They are also served up cut into pieces. After they are done, cut them, and put them in a stew-pan with your Spanish sauce, and serve them up hot for a small entry, or hors 
The Practical Cook, English and Foreign (1845), by Bregion and Miller.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rabbit with Prunes.

This penultimate post on the Top Ten Forgotten British Foods has proved somewhat of a challenge. The Guild of Fine Food Retailers in 2006 did not give much in the way of clarification of this dish, or what justified its choice on the list.

What sprang to my mind immediately was the well-known Scottish dish of Cock-a-Leekie soup – but that is made with old chicken, not rabbit – albeit on a beef stock base. I have touched on this in a previous post (here) and gave a recipe from 1545 for a broth with capons and prunes, so the concept is far from new. Is rabbit the poor-man’s version of chicken?

Mistress Meg Dods (Christian Isobel Johnstone) in The Cook and Houswife’s Manual (1826) gives a recipe, naturally (she being Scots to the core,) for Cock-a-Leekie soup, which we all know contains prunes. Or does it? Mistress Dods’ version does not, although she gives the following variation:

Leek Porridge.
Make this as cock-a-leekie, and thicken with toasted or fried bread. Use fewer leeks. Prunes may be added to this composition.

Nowhere have I found a specific regional British specialty with rabbit and prunes, but I sincerely hope one of you can enlighten me. The best I can do is the following, from one of my favourite cookbooks - Domestic economy, and cookery, for rich and poor, by a lady (1827)

Plum Rice Soups of Fowl, Veal, or Rabbit. (Scotch.)
Put any of these into a saucepan, with a sufficient quantity of water; and, after boiling, skimming, and simmering, till there is just time to cook the rice, drop it into the boiling soup, either with the fowl taken out, or not, with a blade of mace, a little lemon-zest, white pepper, salt, and half a pound of prunes, or raisins. Let them cook sufficiently, and dish altogether or separately, as suits; if separately, cover the meat, which ought to be kept whole, unless it is to be fricasseed; or it may be served with a white acidulated parsley, anchovy, caper, or liver sauce poured over it

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fife Broth.

It is time for me to finish off the series on the list of the top ten forgotten British foods, as decided by a competition run in 2006 by the Guild of Fine Food Retailers. I have dragged the series out too long, and anyway, I need a quick easy story today as the state of Queensland is in a state of storm and flood alert, and there are already many homes without power and I don’t want to get caught mid-post!

The list of previous posts, with links, is at the end of this story.

There are three dishes left on the list – Fife Brooth, [Broth] Rabbit with Prunes, and Sixteenth Century Pancakes. We will take the soup today. I have been unable to find out what is unique about the soup from Fife, but perhaps one of you will be able to let us know. There do not appear to be any recipes for it in old cookery books. It must surely be a form of Scotch Barley Broth? In the absence of a definitive Fife Broth, the following recipe will have to do, in the interests of completing this series! The next couple of days, the storm gods and the research muses permitting, we will finish the list.

From The Magazine of Domestic Economy, Vol.6 (1841) a simple sustaining soup, made the same way for centuries past and no doubt centuries to come. Just the thing for riding out some very wet and wild weather.

Scotch Barley Broth.
Boil a teacupful of Scotch barley or pearl barley in a gallon of water for half an hour, then add three pounds of lean beef or neck of mutton, some sliced onions, carrots, and turnips, a little salt, and a pint of green peas, if in season. Boil gently for two hours or more in a covered kettle

I understand that the correct way to serve Scotch Barley Soup is with oat cakes. 

6. Rabbit with Prunes
7. Fife Brooth
8. Roman Pie 
9. 16th C Pancakes

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Pleasure of Eating: 5, Hearing.

Yesterday we looked at the rather obvious importance of the sense of taste in the pleasure of eating, as opined by the author of Dining and its Amenities, by a Lover of Good Cheer (New York, 1907.)  Today we look at perhaps the least considered sense involved in our eating pleasure – that of hearing. Most of us at some time or other have been in the unpleasant situation of being seated near a noisy chewer and chomper, so may not immediately consider the potential for the positive enhancement of the eating experience by the sense of hearing.

I give you our author of the day’s words on the ‘auditive sense’ in relation to eating.  Although I doubt very much the veracity of his scientific explanation, I am most intrigued by his opinion of the effects of the act of chewing on the appreciation of music!  


'Since the cooperative influence of the tactile and olfactive senses upon gustation have been shown in the foregoing notes, it remains to be told how audition contributes to the sense of taste and to the pleasure of eating.

The auditive sense of diners is always attentive to the pleasing click of the knives and forks, is ever charmed by the musical gurgle of the beverages as they emerge from their slender-necked receptacles, and is enraptured by the mellifluous tones of the congenial guests. In former times, during drinking bouts, the gurgling of decanting wine or the bursting of the foaming bubbles of ale not being as audible as the soldier liked, he contrived, to better satisfy audition, the clinking of the drinking vessels; and the ceremony is still observed. lago's song tells of that custom which was very old even in the Elizabethan era.

"And let me the canakin dink, clink;
And let me the canakin clink:
A soldier's a man;
A life's but a span;
Why then, let a soldier drink."

It is believed that good music, during a banquet, by its pleasing effect on the auditive sense, reflexively stimulates appetite and promotes conviviality. It was, probably, this notion that impelled the great among ancient civilised nations to keep their flute-players and other musicians, and even dancers, in constant action during convivial reunions; thus gratifying the senses of gustation and vision while catering for audition. Music seems to do more thancharm the gourmet's audition since they believe that certain sounds, affecting the nerve which goes to the salivary glands, excite an increased flow of saliva so very indispensable to gustation. Here then the incident musical sounds serve to heighten the gratification of the gustative as well as the auditive sense, and offer a sufficient reason why, even in these modern times, musicians are so often kept in action during the period of deliberate degustation and thus check conversation which is so fatal to the full enjoyment of delicate aliments. Besides their natural fondness for music and on account of its good effect on gustation the majority of gourmets have another reason to desire its introduction at banquets, for they know that the act of mastication, by causing tension of the ear-drum, permits a greater appreciation of certain notes.
Remotely related to the gustative sense is the quick perception, ready specialisation, and exquisite enjoyment of delicate, varied, and harmonious musical sounds, which together have been designated the savor of sounds; and those endowed with this rare auditory faculty of thus savoring sweet sounds, are said to possess practically an additional sense. The true gourmet is ever as busy cultivating his senses as the athlete his muscles. 


The author ends his brief dissertation on the role of the senses in the pleasure of eating with these words: 


The last, the most brilliant of all the services at a grand feast, is ushered in with its luscious dainties, sweet ices, fragrant fruits, delicate cheeses, and foaming wines, to crown with glory the sensual delight of eating and herald the intellectual pleasure of the table stimulated and intensified by the slow imbibition of wee cupfuls of sable mocha infusion, by the sipping of the nectarean cordials from tiny crystal vessels, and by the leisurely inhalation of delectable nicotian vapors.

There is not a more beautiful illustration of the Creator's infinite wisdom than his endowment of man, for his preservation and happiness, with these wonderfully correlated and coordinated senses!


And as the recipe for the day, what better than a crunchy, crackly, noisy peanut brittle?

Peanut Brittle.
Shell, skin and chop fine one quart of peanuts or enough to make one cup of nutmeats. Place one cup of sugar in a saucepan without water, and heat gradually, stirring all the time, until the sugar is completely melted. Mix the peanuts in thoroughly, pour out on an inverted tine, unbuttered, then shape into a square with two broad knives. When the candy begins to hold its shape, mark it in small squares and continue to shape it and re-mark it until it hardens. Set it to cool.
Greenfield Gazette and Courier, December 16, 1905

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Pleasure of Eating: 4, Taste.

It is Day 4 of our foray into the words of the author of Dining and its Amenities, by a Lover of Good Cheer (New York, 1907) on the role of the senses in the pleasure of eating. Today it is the turn of the most obviously relevant sense – that of taste. Again, his science is out of date, but his thoughts are still worth a little of our reading time. 


The gustative sense, than which there is no more precious gift of the Creator to the creature, is cultivable to a high state only by man, even from the humblest beginnings. It is likely that the first taster, perceiving what is now called sapidity in an odorous object, after bruising it in his mouth, swallowed it because good, and finding a second object malodorous and unsavory rejected it because bad or because it failed to cause the pleasing buccal sensation producedby the first. It may be said, therefore, that gustation or taste is the perception as well as the distinction of certain properties of ingested aliments. Perhaps a glance at the derivation of gustation and taste may help to a clear conception of the value of these terms; the one from gustare and the other intensively from tangere and formerly used synonymously with totest, to try, to feel, as appears when Hotspur says: “ . . Come, let me taste my horse who is tobear me like a thunderbolt,” and when Toby Belch says to Cesario: “Taste your legs, Sir; put them to motion.”

The French use altogether  goût while we have the two words gust and taste to convey the same idea or even different shades of meaning, and base thereupon our stock of qualifyers, etc.; thus from gust come gustation, gustative, gustatory, gustable, gustful, gustless, ingustible, disgustible, disgust, disgustful, disgusting, and from taste, tasting, tasty, tasteful, tasteless. Other expressions relating also to quality, such as sapidity, saporific, sapid, insipid; savor, savory, unsavory; flavor, flavoring, flavorless, etc., are in great request in gastronomy.

Strictly, to taste is to test, try, feel with the tongue any alimentary or other substance put into the mouth with a view of ascertaining whether sapid or insapid, good, bad, or indifferent; the perception of these characters being seated in the gustative center of the brain whence is reflected the general sensation of pleasure or displeasure.

Taste, like many other words pertaining to alimentation, is much used figuratively, as in the expressions good or bad taste, or simply its want, in written or in spoken language, and in dress, deportment, art, etc.; the old adage, "De gustibus non est disputandum'' being applied to both the original term and its figurative usage. For instance, an aliment which is agreeable to one individual may be repugnant to another. A particular work of art may give great pleasure to
an uninformed gazer and fail to satisfy the aesthesis of vision of a good judge of such productions. Some forms or combinations of colors which are pleasing to the eyes of the multitude are often offensive to the few whose visual sense is highly cultivated. Certain
odors are pleasing to some persons and displeasing to others, as in the case of meeting of an Athenian with a Spartan woman whose hair exhaled the penetrating stench of a rancid unguent shocking to the olfactive sensibility of the delicately perfumed Athenian woman whose refined essences were equally repellant to the Spartan woman, so they simultaneously turned away in disgust.

In gastronomy, taste requires long cultivation, and seldom reaches its maturity before the age of forty, despite refined home surroundings. Except, of course in the case of the fair sex, where is to be found the perfection of daintiness and veritable gourmetism which is of the rarest occurrence in adolescent males. The hunger of youth is imperative and its cry is mainly for quantity. It is well known that many aliments disliked at twenty are relished at forty, and vice versa. The excellence of certain wines, such as those of Burgundy and of Madeira, is scarcely appreciated by the young who crave the sweet and sparkling. The gratification of the sense of tastegives the highest attainable pleasure only to the experienced gourmet who is wont to eat and drink, always in moderation, but with the greatest attention and reflexion; and remembers the Master's aphorism to the effect that ''Those who feed to surfeit and tipple to saturation know not how to eat or drink."

The seat of the end-organs of gustation is chiefly at the base and sides of the tongue which are the regions of the calciform papillae and of their adjuncts the fungiform; the filiform papillae, disseminated upon nearly the whole lingual surface, being purely tactile. However, the concurrence of the tactile and olfactive senses is essential to perfect gustation and to thefull enjoyment of delicious aliments.

Some experimenters have reached the conclusion that there are but two veritable savors; the sweet and the bitter, while others recognise three additional savors, the saline, the alkaline, and the acid; but all reject the idea of acrid savors which really result from the mechanical action of acrid substances upon the tactile papillae of the tongue and indeed upon the whole buccal membrane. They all very properly discard the so-called aromatic savor which belongs exclusively to olfaction.

Tasty aliments are often designated palatable, although the palate is passive as regards gustation;
its office being purely mechanical. It serves as a firmly fixed surface against which the tongue bruises the food to express and diffuse sapid particles for quick action by the saliva without which there would be no gustation. The other parts of the buccal cavity are said to possess no more than tactile properties.

The only truly gustible aliments are those containing sweet, bitter, saline, alkaline, or acid principles. Hence the free use of condiments of such nature in good cookery, and of pungent condiments in moderation to stimulate all the papillae of the tongue. Fats are gustible from their mildly saline principle but generally need an addition of salt or sugar. Bread without salt would be tasteless. Sweet and acid fruits are always enjoyable when sufficiently ripe. Nuts of divers kinds are liked on account of their bitter or acid principle, and their taste is often improved by a sprinkle of salt or sugar. Distilled water is insipid but rendered sapid by the addition of atrace of salt or sugar. Wines are gustible by reason of the sugar therein contained; it is their aroma that gives the greater pleasure through olfaction. Very dry wines, with but a trace of sugar, act mechanically upon the lingual papillae, and their ethers are enjoyed through the sense of smell. Rum is gustible owing to its sweetness. The love of cocktails and other equallyinjurious mixed drinks is because of their bitter, sweet, and acid ingredients. Beer would be insipid but for its contained lupuline or other bitter substance.

Taste, then, with its closely associated olfactive and tactile senses, may be regarded, gastronomically, as the special and general sensation of pleasure or displeasure evoked by the perception and specialisation of the temperature, succulence, sapidity, and perfume of aliments; and figuratively, as a judgment of the beautiful, the sublime, and the picturesque.'


In view of the author’s strong opinion on the ‘injurious nature’ of cocktails and other mixed drinks,’ I feel obliged to spring to their defense. I give you therefore, a few words on ‘Punch’, because the mixing of good punch requires us to consider and balance several of the various taste elements which we can distinguish – sweet, sour, and bitter. The words are from Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks (1869) by William Terrington.


Whene'er a bowl of punch we make,
Four striking opposites we take-
The strong, the small, the sharp, the sweet,
Together mixed, most kindly meet.
And when they happily unite,
The bowl is “ ragrant with delight."

THIS delicious beverage, which, if compounded in a proper manner, is not so intoxicating as it has the character of being, is a composition of sugar, lemon, water, or milk, and spirit, with the addition of some aromatic or cordial; wine being sometimes substituted for the spirit. There is no precise rule for making punch, no two persons agreeing in the exact proportions of the ingredients. The great secret is that the mixture should be so happily compounded that nothing predominates. …
A decoction of tea, especially a mixture of green and Pekoe, is preferred to water for the liquor of punch. …
Punch is much improved by adding a very small quantity (which the size of the bowl will regulate) of flowers of benzoin ; it imparts the flavour of arrack to the punch.
A piece of butter, about the size of a filbert nut, is used by many people to soften punch; this size will be sufiicient for a quart.
Guava or apple jelly makes punch truly delicious.
The following formula will give a good idea of the general method of preparing punch on a rather large scale :

Begin by paring the rinds of 30 lemons very thin ; pound them in a mortar with sufficient sugar to form a dry stiff paste ; strain the juice; collect the pips, which put in a saucepan, and pour on them a pint of boiling water; keep hot, so as to draw out the thick mucilaginous flavour; mix together and strain clear, adding a little boiling water to the remains in the strainer ; when ready, taste the sherbet; add more acid, or sugar, if required, and the liquor (tea or water); to every quart of sherbet add % pint of rum, and 1 pint of brandy. This punch, if not made too weak with liquor, will keep some time. It can ‘also have whatever addition the taste or fancy of the manipulator may choose to prescribe for the sake of variety.

Tolpsey’s Account of a West India Planter’s Punch.
“He made his appearance with a respectably sized bowl, an enormous jug of boiling water, and a large paper bag filled with sugar. Our punch-maker then commenced operations, and having extracted from his secret store a bottle of his matchless rum, his limes, and a small pot of guava jelly, he brewed about a pint of green tea (2 oz.), and, the infusion finished, two-thirds of the sugar was dissolved in it. After the tea leaves had been thrown aside, the remainder of the sugar was rubbed on the lime ; Mr. Hamilton observing that the essential oil, which conveyed the exquisite flavour, was much more strongly diffused throughout the compound than when the skin was peeled; then the delicious acid of the fruit was added to the already impregnated sugar, and as soon as the several lumps had imbibed the proportions required, the guava jelly (and without this confection no punch can be pronounced perfect) was dissolved in a pint or so of ' boiling water. This done, the tea, the sweets, and the acids were commingled, and the foundation or sherbert tasted by the experienced palate of the grand compounder; six glasses of Cognac, two of Madeira, and the bottle of rum were added, and over all about a quart more of boiling water, and, as a finishing touch, the slightest possible sprinkling of nutmeg.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Pleasure of Eating: 3, Smell.

On Day 3 of our exploration of the role of the senses in the pleasure of eating, as explained in Dining and its Amenities, by a Lover of Good Cheer (New York, 1907) we consider the sense of smell. The author’s science may not be up to date, but the anecdote of the wine connoisseur is amusing and timeless!

'The olfactive sense, that chief detective, that Provost Marshal of the sensory brigade, gives warning of foul odors which are abhorred because of their association with bad taste, and signals the most delicate perfumes of savory aliments before they reach the mouth, and enjoys them during and after deglutition. 

It is clear then that the acts of gustation and olfaction are almost simultaneous, by reason of the close proximity of the end-organs of smell and taste. So far as they relate to gastronomy, Savarin believed smell and taste to be merged into a single sense, saying substantially that man tastes nothing without smelling it, and the nose acts also as an advanced sentinel to challenge incoming unknown aliments. He gave some well-known examples of the correlation of the two senses, among which is - when the nasal membrane is in a high state of irritation from what is commonly called a cold in the head - taste is much impaired and often abolished while the trouble lasts. In such a case, although the tongue appears to be in its normal state, no savor is detected in what is eaten.

The just appreciation of the delicate bouquet of good wines is a source of very high gratification to this sense which so quickly discerns and so greatly enjoys it before, during, and after imbibition; this last enjoyment being styled, figuratively, the echo of the sensation. No true gourmet ever thinks of drinking Madeira or white Port except in the fragile "morning glory" glass, or sparkling wines in other than the shallow, clear Cyprian bowl; in both for the artistic form of the vessels, so pleasing to the eye, in all cases to get the fullest enjoyable effect of theiraroma, and in the last, to feast vision with the rising bubbles and the expansive foam.

The memory of olfaction is worthy of special illustration although it is well known that the aroma of a wine may long dwell, as it were, in the mind of the connoisseur. An interesting tale, to this effect, has been told of a distinguished guest who, in discussing with his friends the merits of certain favorite wines, spoke warmly of the super-excellence of one of the Madeiras served from an unlabelled bottle and ventured to tell when, where, and with whom he had tasted the same wine; giving the date of the vintage. Thereupon the host smiled and said that, only a few hours before, the so highly prized wine had been purchased for a small coin at a comer shop. So confident of his assertions was the guest that, after parting from the company, he went to the place indicated and bought the whole stock of several dozen bottles of the really valuable wine which proved to be what he had said concerning its characters, its vintage, and its original ownership, and afterward learned by what devious ways it had reached the spicery. Thushis memory of the tint, aroma, and savor of the wine was rewarded, and he loyally retained possession of this delicious beverage whose original owner had died leaving no heirs.

Professional wine-tasters use olfaction quite as much as gustation in their tests and do so by slow
inhalations because probably they were told that the sense of smell begins in the upper half of each nasal cavity, and that the lingering of vinous fumes in this region of the olfactive cells and abundant twigs of the nerve of smell is essential to the right appraisal of their qualities.'

As the recipe for the day I was going to pay homage to the sense of smell by giving you a recipe heavy with garlic, but what to follow a previous treat of Garlic Soup? How about some sweet and sweetly fragrant violet candy?

Violets to Rock Candy.
Pick the leaves [petals] off the violets; then boil some of the best, and finest sugar to soufflé, pour it into a candying-pan made of tin, in the form of a dripping-pan, about three inches deep; then strew the violet leaves as thick as possible on the top, and put it into a hot stove, in which let it remain for ten days; when it is hard candied, break a hole in one corner of it, and drain off all the syrup; break it out, and place it in heaps upon a tin to dry in a stove.
The Cook's Dictionary, and House-keeper's Directory, (1830) by Richard Dolby.