« AnteriorContinuar »
Man is, with but slight exaggera- theless we shall err if, fixing our attion, said to be omnivorous ; and if tention on this one quality, we ashe does not eat of all things, he eats sume that the flesh of young animals so multifariously, that our limits is always more digestible than that would be insufficient to include even of adults ; we shall find veal to be a superficial account of all the_sub- less so than beef, and chicken less so stances employed by him as Food. than beef. The reason given for the We must therefore be content to first of these exceptions is, that veal let attention fall on the principal has less of the peculiar aroma degroups.
veloped in cooking ; the reason given Meats. It is superfluous to dwell for the second is, that the texture of on the fact that the flesh of most chicken is closer than that of beef, herbivora, both wild and domestic, and, being closer, is less readily acted is both agreeable and nutritious; on by the gastric juice. Every one even the advocates of a purely vege- knows that veal is not very digestable diet do not dispute the flavour tible, and is always shunned by the or the potency of flesh, whatever con- dyspeptic. On the other hand, in sequences they may attribute to spite of chicken being less digestible the eating of it. It contains some of than beef, it is more suitable for a the chief alimentary principles : delicate stomach, and will be assiminamely, albumen, fibrine, fat, gela- lated when beef, or other meat, would tine, water, salts, and osmazome. not remain in the stomach,--an exThe last named, is a substance of ample which shows us that even the reddish - brown colour, having the rule of nutritive value being detersmell and flavour of soup (whence mined in a great measure by digestithe name-oqun, smell, and swuos, bility is not absolute; and which soup); it varies in various animals, further shows how cautious we should increasing with their age. It is this be in relying upon general rules in osmazome, developed during the culi- cases so complex. nary process, which gives the cha- The age of animals is very imracteristic taste to beef, mutton, goat- portant. Thus the flesh of the kid flesh, and birds. The flesh of young is very agreeable; but as the kid apanimals is tenderer than that of proaches the adult period, there is so adults; and tenderness is one quality pronounced an odour developed from which favours digestibility. Never- the hircic acid in its fat, that the VOL, LXXXIII.-NODXI.
flesh becomes uneatable. Whereas Beef, with mustard, &c., boiled, ,, the ox or cow, fattened for two
Beef, with mustard, &c., fried, years after reaching full growth, Veal, fresh, broiled, have acquired the perfection of their Beef, old, hard, salted, boiled,,, aroma and sapid qualities. The differ- Veal, fresh, fried, ence between lamb and mutton is Pork, fat and leau, roasted, very marked, especially in their fat, As may be expected, the flesh of that of the latter containing more
different parts has different qualifatty acid, and being to many
ties : the breast of birds, with its stomachs quite intolerable. Great pectoral muscles, which move the also is the difference effected by wings, is tenderer than that of the cooking. When meat is roasted, the legs; but the flesh of the legs, when outer layer of its albumen is coagu
the birds are young, is more juicy lated, and thus a barrier is formed and savoury than that of the wings”; which prevents the exit of all that and in the woodcock, old or young, is fluid ; the cellular tissue is con
the legs are always preferred, while verted into gelatine in a form ready in the partridge it is the wings. The for solution; the fat is melted out of flesh of game is richer in osmazome
l the cells. In rapid boiling, a some
than that of domestic birds; and what similar result is seen, except when the bird has been kept till it is that the albumen becomes less “high,” it has, especially in the back, soluble. Slow boiling extracts all the
an aromatic bitter flavour very acjuices in the form of soup, leaving a
ceptable to epicures, but very nausestringy mass of flesh behind. Baking ous to unsophisticated palates. The exerts some unexplained influence on
flesh of all water-fowl, especially the the meat, which renders it both less goose, is penetrated with fat, which agreeable and less digestible.
often becomes rancid and “fishy :" Dr Beaumont has drawn up tables this renders the goose so notoriof the comparative digestibility of ous an offender, that he has to be various substances, to which suc
qualified" by a little brandy, euphuceeding writers have referred, with-istically styled
Latin for goose. out always perceiving that Dr Beau- Dr Beaumont found no difference mont's observations, being confined between the digestibility in the to what takes place the stomach, stomach) of roast goose and roast which is only one part of the diges- turkey, both requiring two hours and tive process, do not throw
a half; but we must remember that upon what takes place in the intes- the fats are not digested at all in the tines—by far the more important part stomach, and it is on the fats that of the process and can only have a
the real difference between goose and limited value, because they can only turkey depends. Turkey, roasted, apply to those substances which are requires two hours and a half for in any. degree influenced by the digestion ; fowl, roasted, four hours, gastric juice. Bearing this in mind and ducks the same. and accepting the following figures
Besides the meat (muscle) there as indications only, they will be found
are the brains, livers, kidneys, and useful
sweetbread of various animals. On
account of the fat and oil contained in Venison, steak, broiled, requires brain and liver, they are unsuitable Pig, sucking, roasted,
30 for delicate stomachs, especially when Lamb, fresh, broiled,
30 fried. Kidneys are very tough, and Beef, with salt only, boiled,
45 Boef, fresh, lean, roasted,
difficult of digestion. Sweetbread Beef-steak, roasted,
forms a favourite food with convalesPork, recently salted, raw,
cents, when plainly dressed ; its comPork, recently salted, stewed,
position in 100 parts is as followsMutton, fresh, broiled, Mutton, fresh, boiled,
14.00 Pork, recently salted, broiled,
1.65 Pork steak, broiled, 15 Gelatine,
6.00 Mutton, fresh, roasted, 15 Animal fat,
0.30 Beef, fresh, lean, dry, roasted, 3 30 Margaric acid,
0.05 * Margaric acid is one of the fatty acids, and is produced by the saponification of margarin, a pearly fat found in olive oil, goose grease, and human fat.
I find it vary
8.00 Brown would sturdily refuse. UnWater, : 70.00 happily no dietetic rules for men can
be deduced from condors and lions ! 100.00
We must rely on the experience of An excellent food, too much neglect- human stomachs. Nor is this exed, is Tripe, which is simply the perience wanting. Without alluding stomachs of ruminant animals. As to the rumours which attribute to it contains a large proportion of albu- the Paris restaurateurs a liberal men and fibrine, and requires not employment of horse - flesh among more than one hour for its digestion their filets de boeuf, M. St Hilaire in the stomach, we see the justifica- collects an imposing mass of evidence tion of the practice popular in many to show that horses have been eaten families, of having Tripe for supper. in abundance, and without suspicion, There is no nightmare in it.
as without evil consequences. HuHorse-flesh.-A Frenchman was one zard, the celebrated veterinary surday blandly remonstrating against geon, records, that during the Revoluthe supercilious scorn expressed by tion the population of Paris was fed Englishmen for the beef of France, for six months on horse-flesh. It is which he, for his part, did not find so true that when the beef was known inferior to that of England. “ I have to be that of horses, some complaints been two times in England,” he re- were made; but in spite of the marked, “but I nevère find the bif strong prejudices, and the terrors such so supérieur to ours.
a discovery raised, no single case of conveenient that they bring it you on illness was attributable to this food. leetle pieces of stick, for one penny, Larrey, the great army - surgeon, but I do not find the bif supérieur. declares that on very many occasions On hearing this, the Englishman, red during the campaigns, he administerwith astonishment, exclaimed, “Good ed horse-flesh to the soldiers, and God, sir ! you have been eating cat's what is more, he administered it to
It is very true, he had the sick in the hospitals. Instead of been eating cat's meat; but had he finding it injurious, he found it not at the same time been eating meat powerfully contributed to their conas succulent, savoury, and wholesome valescence, and drove away a scoras the marbled beef of which the butic epidemic. Other testimony is Briton is so proud ? Let the resonant cited, and M. St Hilaire feels himself shouts of laughter subside a little, abundantly authorised to declare and while you are wiping the tears that horse-flesh is as wholesome and from your eyes, listen to the very nutritious as ox-flesh. serious exposition we shall make of Is horse-flesh as palatable as it is the agreeable and nutritive qualities wholesome? Little will it avail to of horse-flesh. We are not going to recount how there are tribes of hippress into the service of our argu- pophagists, or how soldiers during a ment the immense mass of evidence campaign, and citizens during a siege, collected by M. Isidore Geoffroy have freely eaten of the filet de cheSt Hilaire,t respecting the tribes and val : under such extremities an old nations which habitually dine off shoe has not been despised, which is horses ; nor will we lay much stress nevertheless not generally considered on the fact, that in the Jardin des a toothsome morsel. Feeling the Plantes the carnivora are habitually necessity of having this point definifed on horse-flesh, which keeps them tively settled, the advocates of horsehealthy in spite of many unfavour- flesh' have given banquets, both in able conditions. The sceptic might Germany and France, at which the not unreasonably ask whether our comparative merits of horses, cows, digestive power be quite as good as and were appreciated. In that of the lion ; and he would re- 1825 the Prefect of Police chose a mark that the condor is known to commission of eminent men to indevour, with relish, food which Mr quire into the quality of the flesh
Saturday Review, 27th April 1856. + Lettres sur les Substances Alimentaires, et particulièrement sur la Viande de Cheval. 1856.
taken from horses which had died, judgment, and proved, on trial, incaor had been recently killed, in Paris pable of distinguishing horse-beef and its environs. These commission- from ox-beef. M. Renault, the direcers all shared the general prejudice; tor of the great veterinary school at yet in their report they avowed that Alfort, had a horse brought to the
we cannot but admit this meat to establishment with an incurable pabe very good and very savoury ; se- ralysis. It was killed ; and three veral members of the commission days afterwards, on the 1st Decemhave eaten it, and could not detect ber 1855, eleven guests were invited any sensible difference between it to dine off it: they were physicians, and beef.” In 1841, horse-flesh was journalists, veterinary surgeons, and openly adopted at Ochsenhausen employés of the Government. Side (what irony in this name !) and by side were dishes prepared by the Wurtemberg, at both of which places same cook, in precisely similar manit continues to be publicly sold, under ner, consisting of similar parts of the the surveillance of the police ; and meat from this horse, and from an ox five or six horses are weekly brought of good quality. The horse-soup was to market. A large quantity is also flanked by an ox-soup, the bouilli of sold at the Lake of Constance. In horse by a bouilli of beef, the fillet 1842, a banquet, at which a hundred of roast-beef by a fillet of roast-horse.
a and fifty persons assisted, inaugu. The guests unanimously pronounced rated its public use at Königsbaden, in favour of the horse-soup; the near Stuttgard. In 1846 the police bouilli, on the contrary, they thought of Baden authorised its public sale; inferior to that of the ox, though and Schaffhausen followed the ex- superior to ordinary beef, decidample. In 1847, Weimar and Det- edly so to cow-beef. The roast fillet, mold witnessed public banquets of again, seemed to them very decidedly the hippophagists, which went off in favour of the horse. with éclat; in Karlsbad and its en- periments have been subsequently virons the new beef came into gene- repeated in Paris and the provinces, ral use; and at Zittau two hundred under varying conditions : the guests horses are eaten annually. The in- have sometimes been informed what novation gained ground rapidly, and they were going to eat; sometimes the public sale of horse-flesh is now they have been totally unsuspecting; general in Austria, Bohemia, Saxony, and sometimes they have been simply Hanover, Switzerland, and Belgium. told that they were going to eat In 1853, Berlin counted no less than something quite novel. Yet in every five slaughter-houses, where three case the result has been the same. hundred and fifty horses were sold. It is on this evidence that M, St In Vienna, during the same year, Hilaire calls upon the French people there was a riot to prevent one of to turn their serious attention to the these banquets; yet, in 1854, such immense mass of excellent animal progress had been made in public food which lies within their reach, opinion that thirty-two thousand and which they annually suffer to pounds' weight were sold in a fort- waste, merely because of an absurd night, and now at least ten thousand prejudice. Difficult as it may be to of the inhabitants are hippophagists. overcome a prejudice, no array of
These facts are very striking. ignorance can prevent the establishWhen we consider, on the one hand, ment of a truth which is at once how strong is prejudice, and, on the easily demonstrable and immediateother, how unreasoning the stomach, ly beneficial. Prejudice may reject we must admit that horse-flesh could horse-flesh, as it long rejected tea only gain acceptance in virtue of its and potatoes, the latter of which, positive excellence. Nor will it suf- Montaigne tells us,
excited l'estonnefice to meet these facts with a sar- ment et le dégoût, but has neverthecasm on German beef, in comparison less become European food. If horses with which horse-flesh may be sup- are eaten, why not donkeys? The posed to hold no dishonourable rank: Greeks ate donkeys, and we must we have the testimony of men accus- suppose they had their reasons for tomed to the Café de Paris and Phil- it." Has any modern stomach been lippe's, invited expressly to pronounce courageous enough to try?
Fish is largely eaten by all classes, fish with sauce composed of a mixand is certainly nutritious. Great dif- ture of butter and vinegar, and I ferences are noticeable in the different never found acid sauces disagree kinds. Many have large quantities of with me. It is also my opinion that oil-as the eel, salmon, herring, pil- a fish diet is more wholesome than chard, and sprat; and these are there- flesh, particularly to those persons fore the least digestible. The oil is who do not use much exercise, bemost abundant in the “thin ” parts of cause fish is more easily comminuted salmon, which are consequently pre- and digested in the stomach and ferred by cpicures. After spawning, bowels than flesh.”* But while the quality is greatly diminished. fishermen are robust on a fish diet, it In the cod, whiting, haddock, plaice, is notorious that those accustomed to flounder, and turbot, there is no oil ineat find a certain debility follow the except in their livers, so that these adoption of an exclusively fish-diet are easily digested, especially if they during Lent, for instance ; and are not eaten with quantities of lob- jockeys, when "wasting”, themselves ster or shrimp sauce, agreeable ad- at Newmarket, take fish in lieu of juncts very apt to exact large com- meat. Lehmann cites the analyses pensation from the delicate in the of Schlossberger, which show “that shape of acidity and flatulence the amount of nitrogen in muscular Frying, of course, renders fish less fibre is throughout the animal kingdigestible than boiling or broiling; dom essentially similar. The flesh and those who are delicate should of fish contains the same amount as avoid the skin of fried fish. They that of the higher animals; oysters, should also avoid dried, smoked, on the contrary, instead of containing salted, and pickled fish ; crabs, lob- more, as common experience would sters, prawns and shrimps. The lead us to conjecture, actually conoyster is most digestible when raw, tain less.”+ There is, however, as we least so when stewed. Dr Beaumont have seen, a remarkable difference found the raw oyster took 2 hours between being rich in nitrogen and 55 minutes to digest, the roasted being good food. One reason why oyster, 3.15, and the stewed, 3.30. fish is less nutritious than flesh, in What is called scalloping gives spite of the similarity in their comoysters a delicious flavour, but the position, is said to be the absence of heat coagulates the albumen and the osmazome which gives flavour to corrugates the fibrine ; besides, the flesh. effect of heat on the butter in which One of the popular notions enterthey are cooked renders it very unfit tained even by some medical men is, for the delicate stomach.
that eating fish increases fertility, Respecting the nutritive quality of and that the fish-eating tribes are fish, opinions are divided. Let us unusually prolific. We need not hear old Leeuwenhoek. “It is the pause to refute the physiological opinion of many medical persons,” he arguments on which this opinion says, “that various disorders in the is founded, as the fact asserted, of human frame are caused by acid in fish-eating tribes being very prolific, the stomach, which coagulates the is itself a fiction. Dr Pereira rejuices (!); and some condemn the use marks: of acids, and also of fish, as articles “ There is, I think, sufficient evidence of food.
But to these opinions I to prove that the ichthyophagous people cannot subscribe, for at a town in are not more prolific than others. In my neighbourhood, where the people Greenland and among the Esquimaux, get their living by fishing, and feed says Foster, where the natives live principally on fish, especially when chiefly upon fish, seals, and oily animal
substances, the women seldom bear child. they are on the sea, the men are very
ren oftener than three or four times : five robust and healthy, even to a great
or six births are reckoned a very extraage: and with respect to myself, I ordinary instance. The Pesserais whom have experienced that when my we saw had not above two or three habit of body has been indisposed, I children belonging to each family, have been greatly refreshed by eating though their common food consisted of
LEEUWENHOEK : Select Works, i. 154. + LEHMANN: Physiol. Chemie, iii. 351.