- James Orchard Halliwell* (1842)
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy
*Note - Halliwell had a habit, detested by bibliophiles, of cutting up seventeenth-century books and pasting parts he liked into scrapbooks. During his life he destroyed eight hundred books and made thirty-six hundred scraps.
The word salmagundi is derived from the French word salmigondis which means disparate assembly of things, ideas or people, forming an incoherent whole. Salmagundi is used figuratively in modern English to mean a mixture or assortment of things.
The name later evolved to Solomon Gundy in the eighteenth century. It seems likely that the name is connected with the children’s rhyme, Solomon Grundy. Solomon Gundy retains its food connotation today as the name given to a **spicy Caribbean paste made of mashed, pickled herrings, peppers and onions.**Note - Salmagundi (sometimes abbreviated as salmi) is also a salad dish, originating in the early 17th century in England, comprising cooked meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, leaves, nuts and flowers and dressed with oil, vinegar and spices. There is some debate over the meaning and origin of the word. The French word "salmagondis" means a hodgepodge or mix of widely disparate things.
In English culture the term does not refer to a single recipe, but describes the grand presentation of a large plated salad comprising many disparate ingredients. These can be arranged in layers or geometrical designs on a plate or mixed. The ingredients are then drizzled with a dressing. The dish aims to produce wide range of flavours and colours and textures on a single plate. Often recipes allow the cook to add various ingredients which may be available at hand, producing many variations of the dish. Flowers from broom and sweet violet were often used.
In Jamaica, Solomon gundy refers more specifically to a dish made of salt herring and spices
Salmagundi is also purportedly a meal served on pirate ships. It is a stew of anything the cook had on hand, usually consisting of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, and onions, often arranged in rows on lettuce and served with vinegar and oil, and spiced with anything available. The following is taken from a reprint of Mrs. Hill's New Cook Book, originally published in 1867 and republished by Applewood Books of Bedford, Massachusetts.