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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/709

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THE CHEMISTRY OF COOKERY.

giver or fattener, while the cheese is highly nitrogenous, and supplies the elements in which the potato is deficient, the two together forming a fair approach to the theoretically demanded balance of constituents.

I say baked potatoes rather than boiled, and perhaps should explain my reasons, though in doing so I anticipate what I intended to say when on the subject of vegetable food.

Raw potatoes contain potash salts which are easily soluble in water. I find that when the potato is boiled some of the potash comes out into the water, and thus the vegetable is robbed of a very valuable constituent. The baked potato contains all its original saline constituents which, as I have already stated, are specially demanded as an addition to cheese-food.

Hasty-pudding made, as usual, of wheat-flour, may be converted from an insipid to a savory and highly nutritious porridge by the addition of cheese in like manner.

The same with boiled rice, whether whole or ground, also sago, tapioca, and other forms of edible starch. Supposing whole rice is used, and I think this the best, the cheese may be sprinkled among the grains of rice and well stirred or mashed up with them. The addition of a little brown gravy to this gives us an Italian risotto.

Peas-pudding is not improved by cheese. The chemistry of this will come out when I explain the composition of peas, beans, etc.

I might enumerate other methods of cooking cheese by thus adding it in a finely divided state to other kinds of food, but if I were to express my own convictions on the subject I should stir up prejudice by naming some mixtures which some people would denounce. As an example I may refer to a dish which I invented more than twenty years ago viz., fish and cheese pudding, made by taking the remains from a dish of boiled codfish, haddock, or other white fish, mashing it with bread-crumbs, grated cheese, and ketchup, then warming in an oven and serving after the usual manner of scalloped fish. Any remains of oyster-sauce may be advantageously included.

I find this delicious, but others may not. I frequently add grated cheese to boiled fish as ordinarily served, and have lately made a fish sauce by dissolving grated cheese in milk with the aid of a little bicarbonate of potash. I suggest these cheese mixtures to others with some misgiving as regards palatability, after learning the revelations of Darwin on the persistence of heredity. It is quite possible that, being a compound of the Swiss Mattieu with the Welsh Williams, cheese on both sides, I may inherit an abnormal fondness for this staple food of the mountaineers.

Be this as it may, so far as the mere palate is concerned, I have full confidence in the chemistry of all my advocacy of cheese and its cookery. Rendered digestible by simple and suitable cookery, and added, with a little potash salt, to farinaceous food of all kinds, it