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The Schalot, or Eschalotte, is another variety of the onion tribe, which was introduced into England by the Crusaders, who found it growing at Ascalon. And Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are an ever green perennial herb of the onion tribe, having only a mild, alliaceous flavour. Epicures consider the Schalot to be the best seasoning for beef steaks, either by taking the actual bulb, or by rubbing the plates therewith.
Again, as a most common plant in all our hedgerows, is found the Poor Man's Garlic, or Sauce-alone (Erisymum alliaria), from eruo, to cure, a somewhat coarse and most ordinary member of the onion tribe, which goes also by the names of "Jack by the hedge" and "Garlick-wort," and belongs to the cruciferous order of plants. When bruised, it gives out a strong smell of garlic, and when eaten by cows it makes their milk taste powerfully of onions. The Ancients, says John Evelyn, used "Jack by the hedge" as a succedaneum to their Scordium, or cultivated Garlic.
This herb grows luxuriantly, bearing green, shining, heart-shaped leaves, and headpieces of small, white-flowering bunches. It was named "Saucealone," from being eaten in the Springtime with meat, whilst having so strong a flavour of onions, that it served alone of itself for sauce. Perhaps (says Dr. Prior) the title "Jack by the hedge" is derived from "jack," or "jakes," an old English word denoting a privy, or house of office, and this in allusion to the fetid smell of the plant, and the usual place of its growth.
When gathered and eaten with boiled mutton, after having been first separately boiled, it makes an excellent vegetable, if picked as it approaches the flowering state. Formerly this herb was highly valued as an antiscorbutic, and was thought a most desirable pot herb.
(The Erysimum officinale (Hedge Mustard) and the Vervain (Verbena) make Count Mattaei's empirical nostrum Febrifugo: but this Erysimum is not the same plant as the Jack by the hedge.)