This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
A correspondent says that he can from experience safely recommend a hedgehog stewed in milk as a real delicacy. It is well known that roast hedgehog is a favorite dish with English gypsies. "Hedgehog is good, at least for a change, and it used to be well cooked in a small tavern in the Ghetto of Rome, to which artists frequently resorted when their spirits were high and their funds low. According to an aged South Italian sportsman, they should be killed in the woods and immediately skinned, then allowed to hang for a few hours, and, after being trussed with their own quills, be roasted before a sharp fire. The stuffing should be made of their own fat, finely chopped with bread-crumbs and such seasoning as suits the cook's taste".
A rich bread-custard pudding baked with jam in the bottom of the dish.
The hell-bender was first on the list of piscatorial delicacies at a fish dinner. It was pronounced equal to the finest salmon, but only the President and the favored few had a chance to eat of it. It is a higher form of lizard, is about a foot long, is as flat as a pancake, and of a dirty mud color, while a funny little fringe that stands out horizontally runs all the way lengthwise around its body. The head is heart-shaped, and it has wicked little black eyes like beads. Its four stumpy legs end in white toes. It is called by scientific gentlemen the Menapoma Allegheuiensis, and is a salamander. When you plague it with a stick ever so gently, it humps its back like a Mexican mustang, standing perfectly still on the tips of its white toes. It is said that a hell-bender will seize a stick in a person's hand, and will hang on while it is carried a mile.
Hippopotamus fat is considered a treat; when cured it is thought superior to our best breakfast bacon; and the flesh is both palatable and nutritious, the fat being used for all the ordinary uses of butter.
Decorated with small figures.
A yellow sauce served with boiled fish, cauliflower and asparagus, made by boiling 3 tablespoons vienegar with salt and white pepper till half reduced; cooled with a spoonful of cold water, 4 yolks beaten in, then 1/2 lb. butter in bits, stirred over the fire till the yolks thicken it but not boil.
Needed by the baker to make yeast with. They will not make yeast alone but mixed with mashed potatoes and scalded flour or any kind of meal they strengthen the fermentation and prevent sourness. Can be purchased in packages pressed. About 4 oz. to each pailful is required.
I lops boiled in water and molasses or sugar added to the water after straining, some yeast stirred in when cool, ferments and makes beer in a few days.