[Sca-cooks] Cassenadt

Gretchen Beck grm at andrew.cmu.edu
Tue Jan 12 09:28:29 PST 2010

--On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 9:53 AM -0700 edoard at medievalcookery.com

> Yes, I know that "cypress" originally referred to the source of the
> sugar, however I strongly suspect that cooks didn't always use sugar
> from Cypress to make "viand cypress of salmon", and that (as time
> passed) the word "cypress" in the title of a recipe came to sort of mean
> "sweet dish".  I simply wondered if this was the case with "cassenadt"
> as well, that the word had become an indicator for a type of sweet dish.

The OED says that cypress refers not to sugar, but to galengale:

[A corruption of L. cyperus, cyperos, app. confounded with CYPRESS1.] 

    The Sweet Cyperus or Galingale. 

c1430 Two Cookery-bks. 21 Vyaund de cyprys bastarde..take whyte Gyngere,
and Galyngale, and Canel fayre y-mynced. 1549 Compl. Scot. vi. 67, I sau
cipresses, that is gude for the fluxis of the bellye. 1607 TOPSELL Four-f.
Beasts (1673) 143 Against tikes, lice, and fleas, anoint the dog with
bitter almonds..or roots of maple, or cipers. 1712 tr. Pomet's Hist. Drugs
I. 35 Long Cypress..is a knotty Root. 1799 C. SMITH Laboratory II. 400 Add
one drachm of the powder of cypress.
    b. Comb., as cypress-powder, cypress-root. 

1634 W. TIRWHYT tr. Balzac's Lett. 99 Enjoyning me never to goe to the
Warres, but when Muskets are charged with Cypres-powder. 1652 URQUHART
Jewel Wks. (1834) 229 Like another Sejanus, with a periwig daubed with
Cypres powder. 1790 W. WOODVILLE Med. Bot. I. 75 note, The root [of Arum
maculatum] is used by the French to wash the skin with..under the name of
Cypress Powder. 1879 PRIOR Plant-n. 61 Cypress-root, or Sweet Cypress..a
plant the aromatic roots of which are known as English galingale, Cyperus

toodles, gretchen

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