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“But the raw pickle called omotarichum,” says Diphilus, “is called by some people cetema. It is a heavy sticky food, and moreover very indigestible. But the river coracinus, which some people call the peltes, the one from the Nile, I mean, which the people at Alexandria have a peculiar name for, and call the heminerus, is rather fat, and has a juice which is far from disagreeable; it is fleshy, nutritious, easily digestible, not apt to disagree with one, and in every respect superior to the mullet. Now the roe of every fish, whether fresh or dried and salted, is indigestible and apt to disagree. And the most so of all is the roe of the more oily and larger fish; for that remains harder for a long time, and is not decomposed. But it is not disagreeable to the taste when seasoned with salt and roasted. Every one, however, ought to soak dried and salted fish until the water becomes free from smell, and sweet. But dried sea-fish when boiled becomes sweeter; and they are sweeter too when eaten hot than cold.” And Mnesitheus the Athenian, in his treatise on Comestibles, says, “Those juices which are salt, and those which are sweet, all have an effect in relaxing the bowels; but those which are sharp and harsh are strongly diuretic. Those too which are bitter are generally diuretic, but some of them also relax the bowels. Those which are sour, however, check the secretions.” And Xenophon, that most accomplished of writers, in his treatise entitled Hiero, or the Tyrant, abuses all such food, and says, “For what, said Hiero, have you never noticed all the multitudinous contrivances which are set before tyrants, acid, and harsh, and sour; and whatever else there can be of the same kind?—To be sure I have, said Simonides, and all those things appeared to me to be very contrary to the natural taste of any man. And do you think, said Hiero, that these dishes are anything else but the fancies of a diseased and vitiated taste; since those who eat with appetite, you [p. 201] well know, have no need of these contrivances and provo- catives.”
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