Culinary History Collection


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Current Editor: Cynthia D. Bertelsen


Issue 4 Spring 2003

GREENS

by Ann Hertzler, PhD,
Professor Emerita of Human, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Tech (1980-2001)

As we look forward to spring and the planting of vegetable gardens or purchasing fresh vegetable at the local farmer's markets, let us look at how greens were prepared as reflected in several early cook books.

People have been eating salads since the time of classical Greece. Tudor salads were edible art, with primroses, violets, and marigolds in among the greens. When William Byrd promoted the Virginia colony, he listed salad makings as three kinds of lettuce, two of garlic, several of cabbage and cucumbers, radishes, and many; suitable herbs.

Many salad ingredients were thought to have healing properties. Herbalists promoted the medicinal qualities of raw salad vegetables and herbs - "Whole nations of meat eaters had become heavy, dull, unactive, and much more Stupid than plant eaters who were more Acute, Subtil, and of deeper Penetration." Thomas Jefferson was avid about salads preferring them to most other foods. He grew many of the necessary ingredients in his Monticello gardens. He recommended endive for winter use, and also celery and spinach.

Greens recommended for the family:

Cabbage

Kale

Purslane

Swiss Chard

Chicory

Kohlrabi

Radish

Tops of Beets

Collards

Lettuce

Romaine

Turnip

Dandelion

Mustard

Sorrel

Watercress

Escarole

Parsley

Spinach

Ideas for Serving Greens:

Books of Interest with Comments

Serving Greens

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Last modified on: 06.08.04 by Mark B. Gerus
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