Bistort

(Polygonum bistorta) "Herb Pudding", or "Yarby Pudding" (Vickery. 1995), was made from Bistort leaves on Easter Day, or more properly, at Passion-tide. The leaves were boiled in broth, with barley, chives, etc., and served to accompany veal and bacon. Easter Giants, or Easter Mangiants, both from the French manger, to eat, are other names, and there is Ledger Pudding, as well. Mabey. 1972 says that the last two weeks of Lent was the proper time to eat this pudding, but many people make enough to freeze, to have for breakfast on Christmas Day (J Smith. 1989). The Yorkshire and Cumbria Dock Pudding is not apparently connected with Easter, but is simply a cheap meal. It contains bistort, young nettles, onions and oatmeal. The mixture would be simmered till cooked, strained and allowed to go cold. Then slices would be fried, with bacon. The Cumbrian version was more elaborate, with a lot more different spring leaves (Schofield). Bistort leaves contain starch, and have been used as a marginal food (Browning), in fact they can provide a form of flour once the tannin has been steeped out (Dimbleby).

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