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Among the juices, those of a vinous1 flavour belong to the pear, the mulberry, and the myrtle, and not to the grape, a very singular fact. An unctuous taste is detected in the olive,2 the laurel, the walnut, and the almond; sweetness exists in the grape, the fig, and the date; while in the plum class we find a watery3 juice. There is a considerable difference, too, in the colours assumed by the various juices. That of the mulberry, the cherry, the cornel, and the black grape resembles the colour of blood, while in the white grape the juice is white. The humour found in the summit of the fig4 is of a milky nature, but not so with the juice found in the body of the fruit. In the apple it is the colour of foam,5 while in the peach it is perfectly colourless, and this is the case, too, with the duracinus,6 which abounds in juice; for who can say that he has ever detected any colour in it?

Smell, too, presents its own peculiar marvels; in the apple it is pungent,7 and it is weak in the peach, while in the sweet8 fruits we perceive none at all: so, too, the sweet wines are inodorous, while the thinner ones have more aroma, and are much sooner fit for use than those of a thicker nature.9 The odoriferous fruits are not pleasing to the palate in the same degree, seeing that the flavour10 of them does not come up to their smell: hence it is that in the citron we find the smell so extremely penetrating,11 and the taste sour in the highest degree. Sometimes the smell is of a more delicate12 nature, as in the quince, for instance; while the fig has no odour whatever.

1 All fruits that are rich in sugar and amidine, Fée says, either have, or acquire in time, a vinous flavour, by the development of a certain quantity of alcohol.

2 In the fruit with a fixed oil, this principle succeeds, when they are ripe, to the mucilaginous.

3 He must mean a thinner juice, though still sweet.

4 About the peduncle or stalk of the fig. The juice here, Fée says, is a real sugar, of the same nature as that which circulates throughout the whole fruit: the juice in the interior of which is produced by another order of vessels.

5 The juice is only foamy when the vinous fermentation is established. It has that appearance, however, when the fruit is bitten with the teeth.

6 The "hard-berry," or nectarine.

7 In the sense of aromatic, or penetrating.

8 He probably means those of a luscious or sirupy nature, without any acidity whatever.

9 He seems to mean that the thick, luscious wines require longer keeping, before they will gain any aroma at all. This would be done, probably, at the expense of their sweetness.

10 Or he may mean, that a fine flavour and a fine smell cannot co-exist.

11 The reading here should be "acutissimus," probably, instead of "acerrimus." The odour exists in the rind of the citron and in the outer coat of the quince; if these are removed, the fruit becomes inodorous.

12 "Tenuis." He may possibly mean "faint."

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load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), ACAPNA
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), CADUS
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (4):
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