Sunday, May 15, 2011

Boot Jelly and Shirt Coffee -- May 15, 2011

Doctor Peter Henri Van Der Weyde wrote the series of articles which gave this blog its name. This article, excerpted from the 17-October-1874 Scientific American mentions an unusual culinary experiment.

Boot Jelly And Shirt Coffee.

Some time ago, Dr. Vander Weyde, of New-York City, regaled some friends not merely with boot jelly, but with shirt coffee, and the repast was pronounced by all partakers excellent. The doctor tells us that he made the jelly by first cleaning the boot, and subsequently boiling it with soda, under a pressure of about two atmospheres. The tannic acid in the leather, combined with salt, made tannate of soda, and the gelatin rose to the top, whence it was removed and dried. From this last, with suitable flavoring material, the jelly was readily concocted. The shirt coffee, which we incidentally mentioned above, was sweetened with cuff and collar sugar, both coffee and sugar being produced in the same way. The linen (after, of course, washing) was treated with nitric acid, which, acting on the lignite contained in the fibre, produced glucose, or grape sugar. This, roasted, made an excellent imitation coffee, which an addition of unroasted glucose readily sweetened.

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