Friday, May 4, 2018

How to Eat Bread, 1567


Stadtbibliothek N├╝rnberg, Amb. 317b 2, f. 85r (1607)
Nobles, who are bilious by nature, have both crusts removed from the bread, both the upper and lower crust. And the preeminent leaders of the church and more fastidious gourmands do likewise. So you should choose the inner part of the bread, because it provides better, more substantial, and faster nourishment than the crust. For people who are healthy but have a humid stomach, or people who want to lose weight, it is sometimes permissible to eat crusts after other foods. 
Johann Curio, De conservanda bona valetudine 
Just as you suspected: your crust-rejecting toddler is actually a bilious Renaissance lord.


Monday, March 26, 2018

How to Choose Tinted Glasses, 1653


Cornelius Meyer, Nuovi ritrovamenti (1689)
"Of Spectacles of pleasure. Simple Spectacles of blew, yellow, red or green colour, are proper to recreate the sight, and will present the objects died in like colour that the Glasses are, only those of the greene do somewhat degenerate; instead of shewing a lively colour it will represent a pale dead colour, and it is because they are not dyed greene enough, or receive not light enough for greene... all colours are not proper to Glasses to give colour..." 
William Oughtred, Mathematicall Recreations
Your choice: the spectacles of pleasure, or the shades of pallid death.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

How to Survive Cold Season, 1761



Giovanni Battista Ferrari, Hesperides (1646)
Fever: To prevent catching any infectious fever, do not breathe near the face of the sick person, neither swallow your spittle while in the room. 
Cold in the Head: Pare very thin the yellow rind of an orange. Roll it up inside out and thrust a roll up each nostril.  
Cough: Drink a pint and a half of cold water lying down in bed... Or, make a hole thro' a lemon, and fill it with honey. Roast it, and catch the juice. Take a tea-spoonful of this frequently.  
The Country Gentleman, Farmer, and Housewife's Compendious Instructor 
What, you don't want to spend the winter with a cocktail garnish up your nose? Maybe you shouldn't have swallowed your spittle, my friend.