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The above data show that cabbage is composed chiefly of water, amounting to as much as 91 percent of its weight. Its principal food constituents are starch, sugar, and digestible fiber. Its most valuable food constituent is most probably the protein, of which it contains a large proportionate quantity. In all its forms cabbage is a wholesome, if not very nutritious, dish.
Starch, sugar, etc.,.
Carrot. The botanical name of the carrot is Daucus carota L. French, carotte; German, Mohre; Italian, carota; Spanish, zanahoria.
This plant is indigenous to Europe. The carrot is naturally a biennial plant, though it is often produced in a single season, and especial efforts are made to produce quick-growing carrots. This vegetable is much more common in Europe than in the United States, and when grown here at all it is used chiefly in soups and often for cattle food. There is a large number of varieties of carrots, but practically all belong to the same botanical species. The flesh is often of a yellow tint, though blood-red carrots are grown and highly prized. Composition.
Sugar, starch, etc.,.
It is seen from the above data that the carrot has almost exactly the composition of the garden beet. Its principal food value is in the sugar and other carbohydrates which it contains. It also has a notable proportion of protein and has almost 12 percent of solid matter.
Cauliflower. Cauliflower is a variety of cabbage the edible portion of which is the extraordinarily modified and thickened flower cluster. It is more tender and delicate in its structure than the common cabbage. The French name is choufleur; German, Blumenkohl; Italian, cavolfiore; Spanish, coliflor.
It is highly prized when prepared for the table with a sauce. It is a dish which is much more common in Europe than in this country, where it is not appreciated as it should be. There is a large number of varieties produced, chiefly by the different methods of cultivation and the effect of environment in which they are grown.
The cauliflower is very close to the cabbage in composition, having, however,
a slightly larger proportion of digestible carbohydrates and a much larger proportion of fat. Its dietetic value, however, is not notably different from that of the cabbage.
Celery. One of the most important vegetables upon the table in this country is celery. The botanical name of celery is Apium graveolens L. The French name is celeri; German, Sellerie; Italian, sedano; Spanish, apio.
Celery is indigenous to Europe. It is eaten in its young state, and is most valued when the stalks are bleached. This is accomplished by hilling up the earth around them or protecting them from the light by boards or otherwise. Kept in the dark in this way the green color fades and the stalks becomes more crisp and brittle. There is a number of varieties of celery, and these are chiefly due to the different methods of cultivation. Celery is not only eaten raw but also stewed and is a common constituent of soup. Celery seeds are supposed to have not only a condimental but a medicinal value.
Chicory. The botanical name of chicory is Cichorium intybus L. In French it is called chicorée sauvage; German, wilde or bittere Chichorie; Italian, cicoria selvatica; Spanish, achicoria amarga o agreste.
The wild chicory is used chiefly, even in its cultivated state, for salad purposes, the roots not being of any value on account of their smallness. The chicory, however, develops under cultivation a large root like the carrot or turnip, and this variety of chicory is used chiefly on account of the roots, which, when they are roasted properly, are highly prized as a substitute for coffee. The common wild chicory has been used from time immemorial as a salad. The leaves have rather a bitter taste and are more highly prized for salad purposes when mixed with lettuce or other leaves which have a less pronounced flavor. The variety of chicory of which the roots are used as a substitute for coffee is known as "Brunswick chicory," or Magdeburg large-rooted chicory.
Composition of the Root.
Starch does not appear to be among the carbohydrates in chicory but inulin takes its place. In this respect chicory resembles the artichoke in its composition.
Roasted Chicory.-When chicory is used as a substitute for coffee or as a substance added to coffee it is roasted, and its composition is thus materially changed, as is represented by the following data:
Caramel and undetermined,
From the data of the above analysis the inulin does not appear to have been very largely converted into levulose by roasting, but rather into the insoluble carbohydrate matter. Whether or not, therefore, the inulin exists in the large proportion given in the analysis of the fresh chicory is a matter of some doubt.
Cranberry. The cranberry is grown extensively in the swampy grounds of the northern part of the United States, especially in New England, New Jersey, and Wisconsin. It is a red, hard berry, not at all pleasant to the taste in its fresh state, very acid, but greatly valued during the autumn and winter months when stewed with sugar and served as a sauce, especially with turkey. Its chief use, in fact, is to eat with turkey or chicken. The cranberry is a fruit which contains naturally a small quantity of benzoic acid.
(Measured as grams of sulfuric acid per 100 grams of material.)
Cress. The botanical name of cress is Lepidium sativum L. French, cresson alenois; German, Garten-Kresse; Italian, agretto; Spanish, mas
It is a plant which is indigenous to Persia. It grows in this country in moist gardens and particularly in the warmer parts of the country. The real water cress belongs to a different species, its botanical name being Rorija nasturtium. It grows only in water, in which it differs from the preceding variety. It is highly prized as an aromatic flavoring material and for table use. There are very many varieties in cultivation.
Cucumbers.-The botanical name of cucumber is Cucumis sativus L. French, concombre; German, Gurke; Italian, cetriulo; Spanish, cohombro.
The cucumber is indigenous to East India, but is now cultivated in all countries. It is a plant which develops vines which often run to great distances. The cucumber is used almost exclusively in its green state, and the very young cucumbers are most highly prized for making pickles, though all sizes are used for that purpose, from the very smallest to the giant variety. The number of varieties cultivated is extremely great. The variety known as the gherkin is highly prized for pickling.
Composition of the Cucumber.
Starch, sugar, etc.,.
The above data show that the cucumber is not much more than solid water, there being just enough of other material to give it a flavor and consistence.
Egg Plant. Another vegetable which is highly prized for the table is the egg plant, Solanum melongena L. French, aubergine; German, Eierpflanze; Italian, petronciano; Spanish, berengena.
The egg plant is indigenous to India. Its name is derived from the shape of some of its varieties, though many of them have ceased to resemble the egg in appearance. There is a large number of varieties, but the one which is known as the white egg plant looks more like an egg both in shape and color than most of the others.
Starch, sugar, etc.,..
The egg plant is a highly succulent vegetable containing only a little more than 7 percent of solid matter, and this is chiefly sugar, starch, and other digestible carbohydrates.
Garlic. The botanical name of garlic is Allium sativum L. French, ail ordinaire; German, Gewöhnlicher Knoblauch; Italian, aglio; Spanish, ajo vulgar.
This highly prized aromatic vegetable is indigenous to southern Europe. It is a perennial plant, and the edible bulbous portion grows chiefly underground. This part is used for spicing food. It is eaten in large quantities by the Latin nations of southern Europe, and is employed throughout the world as a seasoning or flavoring for many dishes. When eaten in excess it makes the breath extremely disagreeable, as can be witnessed by all who have traveled in the Latin countries of Europe and even among the South Germans. Garlic is not eaten to any extent by our native citizens, but is used by our first-class cooks extensively as a seasoning. A little of it is known to go a great way. Its composition is very much like that of the onion. A wild garlic grows in the United States over wide areas. It is often eaten by cows, and it imparts to the milk a very disagreeable flavor and smell.
Gourds.-Gourds themselves are not very much used for edible purposes, but the varieties which include all the species of pumpkin and squash belong
to the important vegetable foods in the United States. The most important member of this family is the pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L., which grows often to an enormous size and has a beautiful yellow color. The French name for the pumpkin is potirons; German, Melonen oder Centner Kurbiss; Italian, zucca; Spanish, calabaza totanera.
The pumpkin of California, especially, is noted for its gigantic proportions. The pumpkin is used very extensively in New England, as well as other parts of the country, for making pies, and is also used as a sauce. The pumpkin is not eaten raw. As a cattle food it is highly prized in all parts of the country, and when fed to milch cows it imparts to the butter, even in the winter, a delicate amber tint.
Composition of the Flesh of the Pumpkin.
It is seen that the flesh of the pumpkin is essentially a watery food, the chief ingredient of the solid matter being sugar. Its value, therefore, as a food is more condimental than nutritive.
Horse-radish.-The botanical name of horse-radish is Cochlearia armoracia L. French, raifort sauvage; German, Meerettig; Italian, rafano; Spanish, taramago.
The horse-radish is prized as one of the principal condimental vegetable substances in common use in the United States. It is particularly used with oysters and other foods of similar character and as a sauce or spice in a salad. It is indigenous to Europe, but is now cultivated everywhere. There are many varieties, but they are all characterized by a sharp, pungent taste and odor.
Adulteration of Horse-radish.-Other vegetable substances, as, for instance, the more highly spiced aromatic turnips, are often substituted for horse-radish. Jerusalem Artichoke. This is a plant of the aster family (Helianthus tuberosus L.) producing a heavy ovoid head the fleshy parts of which, including the base to which they are attached, are highly valued as food, being usually eaten with a sauce. This plant is more largely cultivated in France and other European countries than in the United States.
Kale.-Kale is a variety of cabbage which is somewhat different botanically from the common cabbage. This form of cabbage does not make a firm head, but grows only with free leaves. It is especially adapted for use in much the same manner as the common substance known by the housewife as greens. It is a hardy plant and grows well even in cold climates. There are a great many varieties of kale, and the composition is practically that of the cabbage.