Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

And the answer is…..

July 9th, 2012 by Carolyn

 

 

Leeks!!

 

“The leaves or the blades of the Leek be long, somewhat broad, and very many, having a keel or crest in the backside, in smell and taste like to the onion. The stalks, if the blades be not often cut, do in the second or third year grow up round, bringing forth on the top flowers made up in a round head or ball as doth the Onion.”  (Gerard, John “The Herbal” 1633)

Onions and leeks look very similar when they flower. They way to tell them apart is that the leaves of the leeks are board and flat, while those of the onion are round and hollow. Here is a full length view:

 

 

Leeks were used in cookery, but beware they are very “hot” in temperature and may offset your humors as this passage warns:

 

“The Hurts

It heateth the body, ingendreth naughty bloud, causeth troublesome and terrible dreams, offendeth the eyes, dulleth the sight, hurteth those that are by nature hot and choleric, and is noysome to the stomach, and breadth windiness.” (Johnson, Thomas ed. Gerard, John “The Herbal” 1633, pg. 174-175)

 

So go ahead enjoy your leeks, but beware of impending windiness.

 

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2 Responses to “And the answer is…..”

  1. Gary Allen says:

    I’ve read Gerard’s book… and he had a lotta’ dam’ gaul, complaining about windiness.

  2. KM Wall says:

    So, Gary – do you think Gerad is a gas?

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