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Friday, November 25, 2011


(The lover Nell Gwyn to whom Charles II gave “health peas” to prevent her from getting plump.)
From: lacuevadesusana.blogspot.com

Vicia ervilia
From: wikipedia.org

forrajera, semillas de algarroba, veza, L. Vicia ervilia, Eng. 1. bitter vetch, health pea. It grows profusely throughout Spain. It is cultivated there. In the Middle Ages, peasants and the poor added these greens to pottages and soups like chickpeas. When the grain is split it looks like a red lentil. It is not confused as it is so bitter it must be boiled several times to remove its bitterness. Flour was made from the seeds. Vetch did not reach noble tables except for those of Charles II of England's mistresses. It is said that he gave them the "health pea" to prevent them from getting plump! The tubers were cut up to make a potion. In general vetch was included in Lenten menus and monastic diets. Both the plant and the bean have proved to be excellent feed for livestock and pigeons for their nutritious value and because they are easily digestible. Commonly, it has been used as an emollient. 2. L. Pisum sativum, Chile arveja, Eng pea, see guisante. [Covarrubias. 1998:154:b:46; Espasa. 1996:6:ARD:616-617; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:67:93-94; Laza. 2002:100; and Ruíz/Brey.1965:1164b:185]

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