[Sca-cooks] Bread and butter issues

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Sat Mar 31 10:04:41 PDT 2007

Here's the text-- *PAGE 97*

For when Husbands either breake in life time, or be found banckerouts at 
death, the Wiues are preferred to all debters in the recouery of their 
dowry. Notwithstanding Bruges at this day by the third generall taxe of 
Flaunders yet in vse, payes something more then Ghant for publike vses. 
These be the words of Iacobus Marchantius.

The foresaid trade of the vnited Prouinces, hath at home much commodity 
and increase by the Riuers, (as the Rheine bringing downe the 
commodities of Germany), and by the standing or little mouing waters, 
which are most frequent, and by channels or ditches wrought by hand, and 
bearing at least little boates for passage to each City and Village: but 
these waters for the most part ending in standing pooles, by reason they 
fall into a low ground neere the Sea, the Ayre is vnholsome, the waters 
are nei|ther of good smell nor taste, neither doe they driue Mils, as 
running waters doe elsewhere, of which kind they haue few or none. My 
selfe in a darke rainy day passing one of these said narrow channels, 
numbered an hundred little boates at least, which passed by vs, (and are 
hired at a low rate) whereby the great trade and singular indu|stry of 
the Inhabitants may be coniectured. Adde that besides, the German Sea, 
lying vpon diuers of these Prouinces, they haue many Armes of the Sea, 
that runne farre within Land. All the Riuers fall from Germany, which in 
this lower soyle often ouerflowing, haue changed their old beds, and 
falling into ditches made by hand, doe no more runne with their wonted 
force, but (as I haue said in the description of Holland) doe end (as it 
were) in lakes. By reason of the foresaid industry of the people 
inhabiting the vnited Prouinces, the number of their ships, and the 
commodity of their Seas and waters, howsoeuer they want of their owne 
many things for necessity and de|light, yet there is no where greater 
abundance of all things, neither could any Nation indowed with the 
greatest riches by nature, haue so long borne as they haue done a ciuell 
warre, and intollerable exactions and tributes, much lesse could they by 
this mischiefe haue growne rich, as this people hath done. One thing not 
vsed in any other Countrey, is here most common, that while the Husbands 
snort idly at home, the Weomen especially of Holland, for trafficke 
sayle to Hamburg, and manage most part of the businesse at home, and in 
neighbour Cities. In the shops they sell all, they take all accompts, 
and it is no teproch to the men to be neuer inquited after, about these 
affaires, who taking money of their wiues for daily expences, gladly 
passe their time in idlenesse.

Touching this peoples diet, Butter is the first and last dish at the 
Table, whereof they make all sawces, especially for fish, and thereupon 
by strangers they are merrily  called Butter-mouths. They are much 
delighted with white meats, and the Bawers drinke milke in stead of 
beere, and as well Men as Weomen, passing in boates from City to City 
for trade, carry with them cheese, and boxes of butter for their foode, 
whereupon in like sort strangers call them Butter boxes, and nothing is 
more ordinary then for Citizens of good accompt and wealth to sit at 
their dores, (euen dwelling in the market place) holding in their hands, 
and eating a great lumpe of bread and butter with a lunchen of cheese. 
They vse to seeth little peeces of flesh in Pipkins, with rootes and 
gobbets of fat mingled therewith, without any cutiosity; and this they 
often seeth againe, setting it each meale of the weeke on the Table, 
newly heated, and with some addition of flesh rootes or fat morsels, as 
they thinke needfull, and this dish is vulgar|ly called Hutspot. They 
feed much vpon rootes, which the boyes of rich men de|uoure raw with a 
morsell of bread, as they runne playing in the streetes. They vse most 
commonly fresh meates, and seldome set any salt meates on the board, 
except it beat Feasts to prouoke drinking. They vse no spits to roast 
meat, but bake them in an earthen pipkin as in an ouen, and so likewise 
seeth them: And these meates being cold, they often heat and serue to 
the Table, so as I haue come into an Inne, and being in the Kitchen, 
could see nothing ready for supper, yet presently called to supper, haue 
seene a long Table furnished with these often heated meats, which 
smoaked on the outside, yet were cold on the inside. This people is 
prouerbially said to excell in baked meates, especially in baking of 
Venison; yet to my knowledge they haue no red Deare in these Prouinces, 
neither haue they any inclosed Parkes for fallow Deare, nor *PAGE 98*

any Connygrees. Onely Count Mauritz hath of late had out of England some 
Buckes and Does of fallow Deare, which runne in the groue at the Hage, 
and there be some Connies neere Leyden vpon the sandy banke of the Sea, 
which are not sufficient to serue the Inhabitants of those parts, but 
are accounted good and pleasant to eat. Neither in forraigne parts doe 
they much desire to feed on Connies, either because they are rare, or 
because the flesh is not sauoury. They vse to eate early in the 
mor|ning, euen before day, and the cloth is laid foure times in the day 
for very seruants, but two of these times they set before them nothing 
but cheese and butter. They seeth all their meate in water falling of 
raine, and kept in Cesternes. They eate Mushromes and the binder parts 
of frogges for great dainties, which frogges young men vse to catch and 
present them to their Mistresses for dainties. I haue seene a hundreth 
of Oysters in diuers Cities sold sometimes for eight or twelue, yea for 
twenty or thirty stiuers. They dresse fresh water fish with butter more 
then enough, and salted fishes sauourly with butter & mustard: where 
they eate not at an Ordinary, but vpon reckoning (as they doe in 
Villages and poorer Innes), there they weigh the cheese when it is set 
on Table, and taken away, being paid by the waight; and I haue knowne 
some waggish Souldiers, who put a leaden bullet into the Cheese, making 
it thereby weigh little lesse then at first sitting downe, and so 
deceiuing their Hosts: But in the chiefe Innes, a man shall eate at an 
Ordinary, and there Gentlemen and others of inferiour condition sit at 
the same Table, and at the same rate.

When he speaks of the united provinces, it's with regard to "The vnited 
Prouinces of Netherland"


ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:
> Does the quote refer to Netherlands, Denmark, and Poland?  or just Netherlands?
> Ranvaig
> __________

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