Saturday, March 27, 2010

Salad Dressing Poem

One species of recipe comes as a poem. I find these often in my travels through nineteenth century women's magazines, early community cookbooks, and miscellaneous other sources. A few years ago, Carolyn Blackstock of Toronto wrote an article on salad dressings for Food History News and included the following charmer. Unfortunately the citation has gone astray, so you will merely have to enjoy it for itself:

"To make this condiment, your poet begs

The powdered yellow of two hard-boiled eggs;

Two boiled potatoes, passed through the kitchen sieve,

Smoothness and softness to the salad give;

Let onions atoms lurk within the bowl,

And, half suspected, animate the whole;

Of mordant mustard, add a single spoon;

Distrust the condiment that bites so soon;

But, deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault

To add a double quantity of salt;

Four times the spoon with oil from Lucca crown,

And twice with vinegar, procured from town;

And lastly, o'er the flavoured compound toss

A magic soupcon of anchovy sauce.

O, green and glorious! O, herbaceous treat!

'Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat;

Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul,

And plunge his fingers in the salad bowl;

Serenely full, the epicure would say,

'Fate cannot harm me, I have dined to-day."



  1. The author of the wonderful poem is Sydney Smith - here's a link -

    Always excellent to hear this little gem. :)


  2. My working life is rarely dull, as there is never such a thing as a typical day. food historian