Sweet potato with fruit and sparrow brains. The phrase "to provoke courage" is almost certainly a euphamism for presumed aphrodisiac qualities.
This is probably the first reference to a potato in an English cookbook, only about ten years after its first appearance in Europe. The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) seems to have taken off first, only being supplanted by the common white Virginia potato (Solanum tuberosum) about a century later.
Original Receipt in 'The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin' 1594 by Thomas Dawson, (Huswife 1594)
A Tarte to prouoke courage either in man or Woman.
TAKE a quart of good wine, and boyle therein two Burre rootes scraped cleane, two good Quinces, and a Potaton roote well pared and an ounce of Dates, and when all these are boyled verie tender, let them be drawne throgh a strainer wine and al, and then put in the yolks of eight Egs, and the braines of three or foure cocke Sparrowes, and straine them into the other, and a litle Rosewater, and seeth them all with Sugar, Sinamon and Ginger, and cloues and Mace, and put in a litle sweet Butter, and set it vpon a chafingdish of coales betweene two platters, and so let it boyle till it be something big.
See: Small Birds
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