Oranges, Lemons, And Limes. - Unfortunately these delicious cooling productions of warmer climes come in season here during the winter, when their fragrant and refreshing qualities cannot be so well appreciated as in sultry weather. They all abound in water, acid, mucilage, and woody fibre, with a very variable proportion of saccharine. The peel, or rind, besides woody fibre, contains a strong indigestible oil, the basis apparently of their line aroma. The inner, or white rind, as well as the outer, should be carefully removed before eating, for it is proved to be highly deleterious to weak stomachs. The acids of these fruits, properly corrected with sugar, are light, cooling, and wholesome. Like other acid and saccharine vegetables, they are also of a laxative nature. The weak stomach, however, may very readily be injured by too copious a use of them. When eaten in too great quantity after dinner, they impede and sometimes stop digestion. In fever, these fruits are very grateful and advantageous. In scorbutic cases they are good, and in the sea-scurvy invaluable, as a certain remedy. Oranges have been said to produce a cure in some case of consumption, when eaten in the proportion of at least half a dozen a day, acting on the stomach as a mild tonic, when too Weak to bear elixir of vitriol.
Raisins, Currants, Figs, French Plum, and other fruits, imported in a dry state, should be indulged in with moderation, and the skins invariably rejected, being highly indigestible, and producing flatulency.
Walnuts, Almonds, Nuts. The chemical elements of the various species of nuts differ considerably from that of other fruits. Id these we have the farinaceous principle of the grains, with an oil which is rare in other vegetable productions. Roth the farina and the oil, besides a small portion of saccharine, are nutritive; but the oil renders them hard of digestion, and fatal consequences occur from eating quantities of nuts. All nuts ought to be used as fresh as possible, for the oil becomes rancid by keeping. It is of great importance thai the kernel should be well chewed, for the unbroken portion cannot be digested by the strongest stomach. Salt is a good condiment, and improves the flavour. The French use pepper and verjuice with new walnuts.
Almonds, more especially the bitter, and all nuts which possess the peach-blossom or bay-leaf flavour, contain a portion of that deadly poison prussic acid, and should therefore be eaten with extreme caution. In persons of weak digestion, they frequently produce griping, cramp, nausea, and sometimes fainting. Sugar taken with them is supposed to counteract this to a certain degree, but the best way is to avoid eating substances of so questionable a character.
Pine-Apple. The flavour of this fruit is confessedly exquisite, but its acidity and astringent qualities make it unfit for the delicate; although, on account of its rarity, most persons are tempted to eat it when attainable. Its acrid juices are mellowed by dipping the slices in wine or brandy, saturated with sugar; but it is generally eaten fresh, seasoned with the finest sugar en poudre.