What conspiracy is at work here? (was: Irish Food)

Cameron Laird claird at Starbase.NeoSoft.COM
Mon May 26 20:22:25 EST 1997

In article <5m9vt3$eei at lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>,
Nick Maclaren <nmm1 at cus.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>In article <5m9iu3$d2h at Starbase.NeoSoft.COM>,
>Cameron Laird <claird at Starbase.NeoSoft.COM> wrote:
>>In article <2788 at purr.demon.co.uk>, Jack Campin <jack at purr.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>Before or after the genuinely largest immigrant group in Britain (i.e.
>the Anglo-Saxon-etc. lot) moved in? :-)
>I don't know any varieties of cabbage that are hardy enough to thrive in
>the Highlands, and the same remark applies to most modern vegetables.
>Note that just growing isn't enough - they have to set seed most years.
>But I don't know any modern crofters, and I may be wrong.
>My guess is that the staples of pre-feudal Highland non-nobles would
>have been pretty close to the wild plants - much closer than even the
>toughest and nastiest of modern varieties.
One of the reasons I orient to Jack's postings is
that he did me the favor several years ago of send-
ing a much-appreciated copy of Maisie Steven's *The
Good Scots Diet*.

Neither do I know of (narrow-sense) cabbages that
set seed at the high latitude *and* altitude you
mention.  I *think* the emigrants in my lineage
whose names I know were Lowlanders, so my intent
was a bit skew to your questions.  Incidentally,
I'm fairly sure I could propagate (edible) rape and
comphrey in those climes, but I know of no indi-
genes who did so.  One of the pot-herbs whose use
is documented is nettle; I'm quite found of its
flavor, but it certainly does contribute to an image
of the vegetable fare of Scots as "tough and nasty".

Then again, while meat dishes certainly aroused
Scottish enthusiasm, they also were often ... un-
refined in preparation.

Cameron Laird           http://starbase.neosoft.com/~claird/home.html
claird at NeoSoft.com      +1 713 623 8000 #227
                        +1 713 996 8546 FAX

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