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the tooth-ache, but very improperly, since from its pungent quality, it is apt to corrode the gums and injure the adjacent teeth. When the tooth is carious and will admit of it, a bruised clove is much to be preferred. Much, however, of the oil of cloves, which is sold, is said to be obtained from all-spice.
PEPPER, or rather Black Pepper, is well known from its general use. It is the produce of a climbing plant, or vine, growing in several parts of the East Indies, chiefly Java, Sumatra, Malacca, and the coasts of Malabar. It is propagated in Sumatra by cuttings, or suckers; in growing, it is supported by props. The plant is three years old, before it bears fruit; it yields two crops annually, the first in December, the second in July. White pepper is the fruit of the same plant, perfectly ripe, and freed from its outer coat by means of a preparation of lime and mustard-oil applied before it is dried.
The CayenNE PEPřer, or bird pepper, brought from the West Indies, is very useful as a condiment, particularly with fish; and latterly it has been introduced into medicine in the shape of a tincture, which is a useful stimulant in dyspepsy, &c.
JAMAICA Pepper, or pimenta, is the fruit of an ever-green-tree, rising sometimes fifty feet in height. It grows plentifully in Jamaica and other American Islands. It is aromatic, and may supply the place both of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, whence it is called by the English all-spice. The essential oil of pimenta contains the principal virtues of the berry; it is so much like oil of cloves as to be often mista. ken and sold for it.
CASSIA, or Cassia Cinnamon, is the bark of a species of bay-tree, growing in Malabar, Ceylon, Sumatra, and Java. It has many of the habits of the cinnamon tree, and is barked in the same manner. Cassia cinnamon is chiefly distinguishable from the true cinnamon, by being of a lighter color than that article ; by being also thicker, by breaking shorter, and by having less bitterness in its taste, as well as very frequently when chewed becoming mucilaginous in the mouth; this last, however, is not an invariable accompaniment.
CINNAMON is the bark of a tree growing in abundance in the islands of Ceylon, and also in Malabar, Cochin China, Sumatra and other East India islands. It is also now cultivated in the Brazils, the Mauritius, and Guiana. It seldom rises above thirty feet high. Ten varieties of this tree have been enumerated; of these, that called the sharp sweet cinnamon, is said to be the best. It is raised from the seed. The chief part of the cinnamon in this country is brought from Ceylon. The principal difference between cinnamon and cassia consists in the former being much thinner and in more irregular masses, and also in its having much more astringency, and therefore in substance is preferable to cassia.
SALT, COMMON SALT, muriate of soda, or chloride of sodium by the most correct and recent nomenclature, is a saline crystallization used to season and give pungency to various kinds of food ; as well as to preserve it on numerous occasions from putrefaction. Salt is obtained from three different sources, namely, the water of the sea, mines, where it exists in a solid form, called rock salt, and from saline springs.
Rock salt is found in various places ; at Nantwich in Cheshire, at Cracow in Poland, and in Hungary, Catalonia, in Africa, Asia ; and in America, forming hills or very extensive beds above the surface.
Rock salt, it is said, was entirely unknown to the ancients. The Polish mines near Cracow were discovered in 1251 ; their depth and capacity are surprising. Within them is found a kind of subterraneous republic, which has its polity, laws, families, &c.; and even public roads, carriages, and horses, for the conveyance of salt to the mouth of the quarry, where it is taken up by engines. These horses when once down never see the light again; but the men take frequent occasions of breathing the village air. When a traveller arrives at the bottom of this strange abyss where so many people are interred alive, and where so many are even born, and have never stirred out, he is surprised with a long series of lofty vaults sustained by huge pilasters cut out with chisels; and which, being themselves rock salt, appear by the light of flambeaux, which are incessantly burning, as so many crystals or precious stones of various colors, casting a lustre which the eye can scarcely bear. One of the chief wonders of the place is, that through these mountains of salt, and along the middle of the mine, runs a rivulet of fresh water, sufficient to supply the inhabitants. As soon as the massive pieces are got out of the quarry, they break them into fragments fit for the mills, where they are reduced to a coarse powder, to be used as culinary salt. There are four kinds, white, bay, red, and brilliant ; the last is the sal gemmæ of the druggists, but not known in this country. All these become white when pulverized, though they appear of different colors in their natural state.
Salt is obtained from sea water by different methods. At Lymington, in Hampshire, England, the sea water is adınitted into large reservoirs, where, being exposed to the air, a part of the water evaporates ; the remaining liquor is then transferred to boilers, where the water is still further evaporated by artificial heat, and then set by. to cool and crystallize. The water which remains after the crystallization of the salt is called mother water. It contains, or is said to contain, sulphate of magnesia, or as it is usually called Epsom
salt, a well known purgative salt ; from this source it is that most, if not all the Epsom salt found in the shops, is obtained by mere evaporation. From the same salt is also obtained the common magnesia of the shops. This is what is publicly known of the method of obtaining Epsom salts, but it is believed that the manufacturers keep the real process a secret.
Besides the salt obtained from sea water, in various countries, much is obtained from the rock salt produced from mines, and a good deal is also produced from brine springs.
In the United States salt is manufactured, but not very extensively, from sea water. Large quantities are made from brine springs. The principal springs are to be found in the State of New York, in the counties of Onondaga, Cayuga, Serieca, Ontario, Niagara, Genesee, Tompkins, Wayne, ånd Oneida. Those of Oneida are the most valuable. In 1823, 606,463 bushels were manufactured in this latter county. In 1800, there were not less than 50,000 bushels manufactured. Fortyfive gallons of water make a bushel of salt. At Nantucket, 350 gallons of sea water are required. The following approximated analysis
of the water of a spring in New York is given by Dr. Noyes of Hamilton College. Forty gallons, or 355lbs. contain 56lbs. of saline ex
Pure Muriate of Soda,
5 lb. Carb. Lime, colored by oxide of iron,
61 Sulph. of Lime,
2 4 Muriate of Lime,
12} and probably muriato magnesia and sulphate of soda.
The village of Salina and other neighboring places, are the chief places where salt is extensively manufactured. The mode of evaporation is different at different places-sometimes by boiling, and again by exposure to the atmosphere. “At Salina, the mode adopted,” says the Northern Traveller, is that of boiling; and a brief description will convey a clear idea of the process. Each building contains sixteen or eighteen large iron kettles, which are placed in two rows, forming what is called "a block.” They stand about three feet higher than the floor ; and under them is a large furnace, which is heated with pine wood, and requires constant attention, to keep the water always boiling. The water is drawn from a large reservoir, at one end of the building, after having been allowed to stand awhile, and deposit the impurities it has brought along with it. A hollow log, with a pump at one end, and furnished with openings against the kettles, is the only machine used in filling them. The first deposit made by the water, after the boiling commences, is a compound of several substances, and is thrown away, under the name of “ Bittern ;” but the pure white salt, which soon after makes its appearance, is carefully removed, and placed in a store room, just at hand, ready for barrelling and the market.
“ Each manufactory yields about forty bushels a day, and the different buildings cost about half a million.
“ There are two large manufactories here, where salt is made in reservoirs of an immense size, and evaporated by hot air passing through them in large pipes. The reservoir of the principal one contains no less than 40,000 gallons. The pipe is supplied with heat by a furnace below, and the salt is formed in large loose masses, resembling half thawed ice. The crystallization, also, is different from that produced by the other modes, at least in secondary forms.”
As a condiment, common salt is of all others the safest, best; and most extensively employed. It is used by all nations; and, indeed, in some shape, or other, by almost all aninials whatever. It seems, in a peculiar manner, designed to assist in the digestion, and assimilation of our food. In the quantity in which it is usually taken, there is no reason to doubt, that many of our aliments become thereby more wholesome and digestible, as well as more agreeable. Like the other condiments, however, in larger quantities it is injurious to the constitution. It occasions heat and thirst, and seems rather to impede, than to assist, digestion. Besides the usual culinary preparations, in which salt is advantageously employed, it is used, also, as an antisceptic, to preserve aliments from spontaneous decomposition, and particularly to prevent the putrefaction of animal food. In general, however, the large quantity of salt which is necessarily employed in this way, in
jures the alimentary properties of the meat ; and the longer it has been preserved, the less wholesome and digestible does it become. It is this kind of food, salted flesh and fish, which so surely occasions the disease called scurvy amongst sailors, and others, who are deprived of fresher and more wholesome aliment. Meat, however, which has not been too long preserved, simply pickled, or corned meat, as it is called, is but little injured or decoinposed, is still succulent and tender, easily diyested, nourishing, and wholesome enough.
Salted and hung meat, and therefore all sorts of hams are more indigestible, and less nutritive. Sparingly used with other food, they communicate, indeed, to it an agreeable relish, and prove a stimulus to the stomach, but their freer and more frequent use cannot be whole
They require, in general, all the powers of the most robust stomachs. It is worthy of remark, in this place, that the fat of animals seems less injured, as an aliment, by salting, than the lean parts. Bacon, therefore, though long preserved, is still a very nourishing aliment; though not easily digested.
MUSTARD. There are cultivated two species of this plant, the black, and the white : both annuals, and both natives of Great Britain.
The seed of the white mustard is celebrated for its medicinal vir. tues, being at once a tonic and an aperient; cleansing the stomach and bowels, and bracing the system at the same time. The following are the directions given by Loudon, for its cultivation. For spring and summer consumption, sow once a week or fortnight, in dry, warm situations, in February and March, (of course later in the United States ;) and afterwards in any other compartment. In summer, sow in shady borders, if it be hot, sunny weather ; or, have the beds shaded. Generally, sow in shallow flat drills, from three to six inches apart ; scatter the seeds thick and regular, and cover in thinly with the earth, about a quarter of an inch.
Black mustard is a larger plant than the white, with much darker leaves, and their divisions blunter. It is cultivated chiefly in fields for the mill, and for medicinal purposes. It is sometimes, however, sown in gardens, and the tender leaves used as greens, early in the spring.
To raise seed for flour of mustard, &c., sow either in March or April, in any open compartment; or make large sowings in fields, where designed for public supply. Sow moderately thick, either in drills, from six to twelve inches asunder, or broad-cast and rake, or harrow in the seed. When the plants are two or three inches in the growth, hoe and thin them moderately, where too thick, and clear them from weeds. They will soon run up in stalks, and in July or August return a crop of seed ripe for gathering.
KETCHUP is a sauce, which derives its name, it is said, from a Japanese word kit-jap. It is made, or ought to be made, from the juice of the mushroom. Wild mushrooms, from old pastures, are generally considered as more delicate in flavor, and more tender in flesh, than those raised in artificial beds.