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cularize a portion of the farinaceous substances in use among the Athenians, and the manner of preparing them. Besides the usual divisions of wheaten and barley bread, the Athenians appear to have made use of millet, (usλin,) of zea, (the triticum spelta of Linnæus and the far of the Romans,) and of a corn called tiphë, in the composition of bread. The species of grain denominated olyra, with which Homer feeds his heroes' horses, formed, in later ages, a sort of brown bread. Rice (opula) and an Ethiopic grain resembling the seed of the plant sesame, whose fruit still furnishes a valuable oil in the East, supplied a species, called Orindes. But the chief attention was confined to the wheaten and the barley bread, (apros, μata). Into the details of each of these the copious language of the Greeks entered very minutely. The meal of the latter (axCITO*) was accurately distinguished from the meal of the former, (aλeupov,) and the act of kneading them into dough had also their separate terms, (πETTEIV, μaoσEIV). Meal unboulted bore the name of Syncomistos; boulted to an extreme degree, it was termed Semidalis: a third name was imparted from the boulting cloth (xpŋσɛpa), which, according to Photius, was often made of wool, and bore the same name as the fine net with which the Athenian anchovy was caught. If leaven was used, the bread received the appellation of Zymites; if not, that of Azymos. The operation of baking, as performed by the oven, the hearth, by live coals without flame, by ashes heaped up round the dough, or by placing the dough on a roaster, introduced a fresh change of Ιπνιτης, εσχαρίτης, απανθρακις, εγκρυφίας were terms appropriated to these several operations. But the favourite mode of baking was that performed by the cribanus, or clibanus, an earthen or iron pot broader below than above. The dough shut up in this vessel, and surrounded with coal, or placed over a fire, was thought to warm more equally; and the bread thereby acquired a more delicious flavour.
We pass over the Chondrites, the cheek-filling' Tabyrites, the Dramis, the Etnitas, the Ericitas, the Cyllastis, and a multitude of other breads, both wheaten and barley,† to come to a few of the former, possessing something peculiar in their preparation or appropriations. The bread made of the first corn after the harvest was called Thargelus. The Homoros was a bread on which goddesses supped; as the Hemiartium, or half-circle, appeased the coarser appetite of Hecate. The bread given to children was, ac
From the barley meal was formed the powder with which the Canephora (the virgins elected to the proud honour of carrying the holy basket at the festivals of Ceres, Bacchus and Minerva) powdered themselves.
+ From a passage in Plato's Republic (Lib. ii. 427. D.) it appears that wheaten bread was served up at table on a layer of leaves, barley bread on one of reeds.
cording to the scholiast on Aristophanes, called Collyra. The poor, who wished to fill the stomach expeditiously, we conclude, bought the bread called Panias. The bread made of new springwheat, and which in figure resembled the pegs or pins by which harpstrings were tightened, was called Collabus.* A large bread prepared for the ladies of Delos, when celebrating the feast of Ceres and Proserpine, took the name of Achaïnas: its size gave a name to the festival; and from an exclamation put into the mouths of those who carried it, it appears to have been of a very greasy composition. The Cyprian bread was chiefly dangerous to hungry horsemen travelling in a hurry; for having the effect of a magnet, it necessarily impeded expedition. The Encryphias, placed at Alexandria in the temple of Chronus for any person to eat that pleased, ranked, as we have seen, among the Athenians, with the bread baked on live coals. The Obelias, deriving its name from its price, or the manner in which it was baked, was a bread carried on men's shoulders in sacred processions, and was invented by Bacchus on his military expeditions. From a caution of Pherecrates against its purchase, the god was probably hard. put to for food, when the idea first entered his head. The Stætites had a mixture of fat in it; the Meconis a strong tincture of a favourite edible among the ancients, the poppy; the Encris was composed of farina, oil and honey; the Dipyrus (synonymous with the modern Biscuit) of water and farina, boiled in broth, with an addition of pepper, cinnamon, and saffron : cheese, that universal ingredient in Greek cookery-much to the discomfiture. of Archestratus-also entered into its composition. But the two favourite breads were the Escharites of the Rhodians, and the Cribanites. The latter was said to surpass all the rest, as being juicy, agreeable to the stomach, and easy of digestion; but gourmands must have been inexcusable in not preferring the former: for, surpassing even the aptos ayopasos of the Athenians, it is said to have been so delicious as to cause appetite+ by eating. A Lydian, a Phoenician, and in later ages, when the excellencies of the art had been thoroughly discriminated, a Cappadocian baker was recommended. Thearion, one of the profession, could command honourable mention even from such a man as Plato;
*The Athenians, very attentive to times and seasons in their food, considered a hot Collabus, eaten with a piece of the under-belly of an autumnal pig, as an excellent antidote against repletion with anchovies.
If the reader have ever eaten Gaufres in the neighbourhood of Brussels, he may have some idea of the Escharites; as in the opinion of the French commentators they closely resemble each other. Lynceus of Samos, who sets it up as a rival against the apros ayopasos of Athens, uses a very strong expression in order to recommend its merits: απειρηκοτων δε και πεπληρωμένων, ήδίςην επεισαγεσι καλυμένον. σε διατριβήν,” τον διαχρηςον εσχαριτην
his exhibitions at the Panathenaic festival, where contending artisans displayed the prodigies of their crafts, and fought for victory as well as poets, had a cleverness in them that appeared, almost miraculous to the astonished spectators: even 'the wellborn,' according to Antiphanes, found it difficult to drag themselves from baking-shops, conducted on the principles of the admirable Thearion.
The mysteries of pastry, confectionary, and sweetmeats (μμτα, πλακοντες, τραγήματα) may be dismissed with a slight notice. The great father of criticism has not thought it below his dignity to record* that the latter were much in request at the theatres; but he also takes care to add that these little sensualities of the palate were always kept by the audience in due subordination to their mental pleasures. When the interest on the stage flagged, the demand for sweetmeats rose high; at the representation of the Edipus Tyrannus, if the actors kept pace with the poet, we will venture to say that there was not a single cheesecake or bonbon disposed of. The makers of these more delicate provocatives of the palate claimed the title of demiurgists, or artists par excellence: the task was generally entrusted to female hands. Great houses, it may be presumed, maintained a woman ad hoc, there being but two things in which mere mediocrity is allowed by all to be infamous-the productions of the Muse and those of the Petit-Four. Guests wiped their hands on pieces of soft bread, called apomygdalia: Aristophanes feeds his sausage-seller upon morsels of this kind, and the rogue, in spite of his dramatic pleasantry, deserved no better food. The apomygdalia were generally thrown to dogs.
The Greek cook is too important a person to be considered lightly; and with the copious materials upon our hands, we fear this is the only mode in which we can at present treat him. Some amusing notices on the subject may be found in Cumberland's Observer, and others in the volume placed at the head of these remarks. There are few subjects indeed, on which the multifarious reading of Mr. D'Israeli does not enable him to say something of interest or amusement; and the zeal with which he has rescued the Grecian cookery from the erroneous pleasantry in Smollett's admirable banquet, deserves particular commendation. A few additional remarks may still be admitted, and the subject yet remain unexhausted.
In their earlier and more important tragedies, (for the practice altered about the time of Aristotle,) the Greek poets generally confined themselves to a few leading historical or mythical events for
* Arist. in Ethicis, lib. x. c. 5.
the subject and characters of their dramas; the quickness of their audience requiring only a certain stock of material to set the mental faculties at work, and a glowing imagination soon supplying the rest. The writers of the middle and the new comedy followed in the same track as the tragedians; and the house of Atreus or of Laius was scarcely more sure of affording matter for the tragic muse, than the cook was of figuring in the composition of the two later schools of Grecian comedy. As the Athenians, from their levelling disposition and their love of scandal, reserved a dash of the disdainful, even for those who most commanded their respect, the lords of the kitchen, grateful as they must have been upon the whole to persons of such discerning appetites, did not command unqualified approbation. They were reproached as being particularly addicted to scoffing; as recherchés in their language, as indulging in new terms, as curiously minute in points of history, and as resembling in their ambiguity of speech more a Sphinx than a man. The cook vindicated his art from these trifling aspersions. He discriminated nicely between the coquus and the mere obsonifex: leaving the latter to arrange the materiel, to cut and slay, to blow the fire, and occasionally to mix the ingredients of a sauce, he reserved to himself the higher branches of the profession,--the knowledge of time and place--the nice discrimination between host and guest-the seasons for purchasing and the articles to be purchased. The critical moment which the fortunate invention of time-pieces enables the modern professor to observe so accurately, was no doubt a branch of the art on which he particularly prided himself; and if he could not always command success in this point, allowances must be made for the inefficient discoveries of the day. To execute all this with precision and propriety, among a people like the Athenians,-appétits de la première classe,-required certain gifts of nature which it would be taxing the powers of our language to endeavour to describe. An acute palate-a tongue with large capabilities-an ear quick and ready, and a penetrating coup-d'oeil were among the first and most essential requisites. But the cook who aspired to the higher honours of his profession did not leave all to nature. He made great inroads into various branches of science, and among other acquirements thought necessary to enhance these rich gifts of nature, he numbered painting, astronomy, architecture, strategics, geometry and medicine. But his favourite pursuit, as we have before hinted, was philosophy. What particular branch he patronised, the dramatists, who state the fact, have neglected to specify; we shall take upon ourselves to supply the deficiency.
He belonged, then, exclusively to the Ionian school; maintaining sometimes with Thales, that water is the first principle of
things, and sometimes arguing with Hippasus and Heraclitus, that things differ from each other solely in proportion to their participation of caloric. If the atomic system' ever commanded his attention, its faultiness became most palpable to him when he saw one of his best dishes in the hands of a bad carver. The opinion of Aristotle then came home to him, that the error of Democritus arose from thinking that, because a body might be divided any where, it might therefore be divided every where. where. He admitted of accedents or adjuncts* (σuußeßnxoтa) in cookery and philosophy; and, directing ourselves to modern ideas, he explained the term to mean, that oysters ought always to be washed down with 'vin de Chablis,' and that a young rabbit is worth nothing, unless eaten en terrine et à l'eau-de-vie.' As a disciple of the Ionian school, he was naturally opposed to the Italian philosophy, to Plato, and to Pythagoras. He laughed, therefore, at 'general ideas' and immutable essences'; he troubled himself little about numbers,' but as they applied to the proportion of guests for whom he had to provide; and in the formation of an 'omelet soufflé,' he cared little to know whether there was in his mind a form internal of the said omelet, corresponding to the form external, to which external it served as an exemplar or pattern: all this he considered with Aristotle as empty sound and poetical metaphor.' In treating of his art, he was happy enough to borrow the animated language of the Stagirite when describing the theologic or first philosophy; like him he spoke of a science so much above the reach of humanity, that if the gods were capable of envy, it ought to draw down the divine displeasure on the cultivators of it. But he viewed with jealousy the Aristotelian doctrine, that the mind is after a sort all things; and he was in short nothing more nor less than a gross materialist. Though the operations of his furnace and his bellows led him occasionally to coincide with the correcter metaphysicians in applying to the thinking principle some appellation synonymous with spiritus or veʊμa, or in likening it to a spark of fire, or some other of the most impalpable and mysterious modifications of matter,' yet we take upon ourselves to say that thoughts of this kind were, with him,' angelvisits, few and far between.' The opinions, belonging two thousand years ago to the philosophical cooks of antiquity, were those since advocated by Diderot, Condorcet and Darwin, that sensation is the only source of all our ideas—that ideas are material things
* Aristot. in Topicis, lib. i. c. 8. The nature of the Greek language did not permit the ancient cook to make the same signal mistake as modern philosophers have done by terming the word accidents. The cook lost thereby two things equally acceptable to his countrymen, a pan and au excuse; but he gained considerably in propriety of language as well as in common sense. See Dr. Gillies's excellent Analysis of Aristotle's Works.