[Sca-cooks] So, just what was a Pumpion?
johnnae at mac.com
Mon Nov 2 05:25:12 PST 2009
And the Florilegium doesn't satisfy their requests for recipes?
I think spelling varies as does what plant was being referred to at
any one time or in any one place.
defines it as "The large fruit of a cucurbitaceous plant (Cucurbita
Pepo); a pumpkin; also the plant itself.
1545 Elyot Dict., Pepo,..a kynde of Melones called Pompones
1555 Eden Decades 127 Gourdes melones cucumers pompons citrons.
1587 Harrison England ii. xiii. (1877) i. 259 An acre of
ground..whereon to set cabbages..pompons, or such like stuffe.
1601 Holland Pliny xix. v. 14 Now when they exceed in greatnes, they
be called Pepones, i. Melons or Pompons.
1573 Tusser Husb. (1878) 95 Herbes and rootes to boile or to butter...
Pompions in May.
Florio in 1598's A vvorlde of wordes, or Most copious, and exact
dictionarie in Italian and English, collected by Iohn Florio, includes:
a pompion, or a gourd. Also a salt-boxe, for that in Italie they vse
to make of dried gourds saltboxes, bottles, or lanternes. It is also
taken metapho|ricallie for a mans pate, head, braine, skonce, or nole,
or skull. Also a kinde of wyne-measure. Also a skull, a head|piece, or
steele-cap. Also a kinde of drinking glasse.
a meate made of pompions or gourds. Also a flim-flam tale, a tale
without ryme or reason, or without head or foote.
a little gourd or pompion.
The herball or Generall historie of plantes. Gathered by Iohn Gerarde
of London Master in Chirurgerie very much enlarged and amended by
Thomas Iohnson citizen and apothecarye of London.
Gerard, John, 1545-1612., Johnson, Thomas, d. 1644,,
has this chapter. In part:
CHAP. 345. Of Melons, or Pompions
"1 Pepo maximus oblongus. The great long Pompion.
2 Pepo maximus rotundus. The great round Pompion.
3 Of this kinde there is also another Pompion like vnto the former in
rough stalkes, and in gashed and nicked leaues: the floure is also
great and yellow, like those of the others: the fruit is of a great
bignesse, whose barke is full of little bunnies or hillie welts, as is
the rinde of the Citron, which is in like manner yellow when it is ripe.
4 The fourth Pompion doth very much differ from the others in form:
the stalks, leaues, and floures are like those of the rest: but the
fruit is not long or round, but altogether broad, and in a manner flat
like vnto a shield or buckler; thicker in the middle, thinner in the
compasse, and curled or 〈◊〉 in certaine places about the edges,
like the rugged or vneuen barke of the Pomecitron; the which rinde is
very soft, thin, and white: the meat within is meetely hard and
dureable. The seed is greater than that of the common Cucumber, in
forme and colour all one.
‡ Macocks Virginiani, sive Pepo Virginianus. The Virginian Macocke,
‡ This hath rough cornered straked trailing branches proceeding from
the roor, eight or nine foot long, or longer, and those againe diuided
into other branches of a blackish greene colour, trailing, 〈◊〉,
or running alongst the earth, couering a great deale of ground,
sending forth broad 〈◊〉 rough leaues, on great grosse, long,
rough, hairy foot-stalks, like and fully as big as the leaues of the
common Pompion, with clasping tendrels and great broad shriueled
yellow floures also like those of the common Pompion: the fruit
succeedeth, growing a longst the stalkes, commonly not neere the root,
but towards the vpper part or toppes of the branches, somewhat round,
not exten|ding in length, but flat like a bowle, but not so bigge as
an ordinarie bowle, beeing seldome foure inches broad, and three
inches long, of a blackish greene colour when it is ripe. The sub|
stance or eatable part is of a yellowish white colour, containing in
the middest a great deale of pulpe or soft matter, wherein the seed
lyeth in certaine rowes also, like the common Pompion, but smaller.
The root is made of many whitish branches, creeping far abroad in the
earth, and perish at the first approch of Winter.
3 Pepo maximus compressus. The great flat bottommed Pompion.
4 Pepo maximus clypeatus. The great buckler Pompion.
5 Pepo Indicus minor rotundus. The small round Indian Pompion.
6 Pepo Indicus angulosus. The cornered Indian Pompion.
Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America states
"Pumpkins The pumpkin (Curcurbita pepo) is thought to have originated
in Central America about 5500 b.c.e. It was widely disseminated
throughout North America in pre-Columbian times. With its thick shell
and solid flesh, the pumpkin can be stored through the winter. Native
Americans also preserved pumpkin by slicing and drying it.
Pumpkins were introduced into the Old World shortly after the first
European explorations of the New World. They are mentioned in European
works beginning in 1536. They were originally called pompions, or
large gourds, and they were cultivated in England by the mid-sixteenth
century, well before Thomas Hariot mentioned them in his Briefe and
True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (1588). Hence, English
colonists were familiar with pumpkins prior to settling in North
America and immediately began growing them when they arrived. Although
pumpkins are related to squash, American colonists carefully
distinguished between them and used them culinarily in different ways."
44 - Doce de abóbora. from A Treatise of Portuguese Cuisine from the
(Portugal, 15th c. - Fernanda Gomes, trans.)
The original source can be found at Lochac Cooks' Guild Website
begins in translation "Pumpkin Compote. Obtain a very hard pumpkin,
and cut it into pieces, whatever size and shape you like, peeling and
cleaning them very well inside."
Pompion seeds or kernels are called for in the 1659 The Queens closet
The queen-like closet; By Hannah Wolley or Woolley. 1670.
XCIII. To make a Pompion-Pie.
Having your Paste ready in your Pan, put in your Pompion pared and cut
in thin slices, then fill up your Pie with sharp Apples, and a little
Pepper, and a little salt, then close it, and bake it, then butter it,
and serve it in hot to the Table.
XCIV. To fry Pompion.
Cut it in thin Slices when it is pared, and steep it in Sack a while,
then dip it in Eggs, and fry it in Butter, and put some Sack and
Butter for Sauce, so serve it in with salt about the Dish Brims.
I worked on this entry, corrected it and supplied recipes to the entry
a couple years ago. At one point they had credited Countess Alys with
the 1655 Compleat Cook.
On Nov 1, 2009, at 11:18 PM, lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:
> 'Tis the season... for this to come around again on the gee-tar: On
> our local cooks list, people have been asking for both period and
> non-period pumpkin recipes.
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