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Mustard and Cress

Fruit and Vegetables

Young sprouts of Curly Cress (Lepidium sativum, 'Pepper Grass') and yellowseed mustard (Brassica hirta), harvested at about 5 days and used as a salad garnish. Much commercial 'cress' or 'growing salad' is not actually the peppery Mustard and Cress but the rather less tasty oilseed rape.

Mustard and Cress has long been known as an 'anti-scorbutic', that is, an effective agent against the disease scurvy. As such it was grown on board the 1819 Parry expedition to the Arctic, but it was only well into the 20th Century that its active principle, a high concentration of Vitamin C, was identified.

Original Receipt from 'A Shilling Cookery for The People' by Alexis Soyer (Soyer 1845)

433. Mustard and Cress.- -These, if eaten alone, make an excellent salad ; they should be quickly washed and used, dressed as lettuce. A little tarragon or chervil, or a few chives, may be used.

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