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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

240: John Evelyn, Acetaria, A Discourse of Sallets (London, 1699)

In 1699, John Evelyn, the famous naturalist and gardener, published this homage to salads, the title of which refers to the vinegar used in the dressing. In fact, he described a 9-step recipe for dressing a salad, including specific instructions on the washing and draining of the leaves and the mixing of olive oil, salt, pepper, and egg yolks, with other ingredients such as orange peel, lemon peel, and saffron, ‘to inrich our Sallet’. Both his botanical and culinary knowledge are clear from this fold-out chart of different kinds of salads and vegetables, and their uses. His attention to the different growing seasons reflects a growing interest in fresh vegetables inspired by French and Italian food fashions.

The Syndics of Cambridge University Library (Keynes.B.2.27)

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