Trigonella caerulea / Zevengetijdenklaver

Van Seven ghetijden cruyt.   Cap. xxxiii Dodonaeus
Trigonella caerulea - Zevengetijdenklaver
Cruijdeboeck deel 4 capitel 33 Bladzijde 536
Trifolium odoratum, Lotus sativa, Lotus urbana, Trifolium, Lotos hemeros, Tripodion, Tribloion, Seven ghetijden cruyt (Sevenghetijde cruyt)

1644 Vlaams: Sevenghetijdencruydt
1616 Latijn: Trifolium odoratum alterum sive Lotus sativa [571]
1554/1557: Lotus sativa, Lotus urbana, Seven ghetyde(n) cruyt, Siben gezeyt, Treffle odoriferant, Trifolium, Trifolium odoratum

Seven ghetijden cruyt heeft ronde hole steelen ontrent twee voeten oft meer hooch/ met vele tacxkens ende sijde scuetkens/ daer aen bladerkens wassen altijt drije by een ghelijck aen die Claveren/ maer wat langher ende rontsomme ghelijck een saghe ghekerft. Op dopperste van den stelen wassen die bloemen veel by een in een maniere van een are gelijck aen die ghemeyne Claveren/ maer die are van desen cruyde es veel minder dan die aren van den ghemeynen Claveren. Als dese bloemen vergaen/ zoo volghen daer ronde hoofdekens/ met stekende puntkens beset/ daer in dat saet leyt. Dit gheheel cruyt ende sonderlinghe alst sijn bloemen draecht es van eenen seer goeden rueck/ die/ alsmen seyt/ seven mael tsdaechs vergaet ende wedercoemt/ te wijle dattet noch groen es ende wast/ want alst drooghe es zoo behouwet sijnen rueck/ die nochtans meerder es als vochtich ende droef weer es/ dan alst schoon claer ende drooch weer es.

Plaetse
Sevenghetijdencruyt wordt hier te lande in die hoven ghesaeyet. Ende daert eens ghesaeyet gheweest es/ daer comet lichtelicken alle iaren voort van sijnen gheresen saet.

Tijt
Dit cruyt bloeyet in Hoymaent ende Ooghstmaent/ ende te wyle wordt oock sijn saet rijp.

Naem
Dit cruyt wordt gheheeten in Griecx Lotos hemeros. In Latijn Lotus urbana ende Lotus sativa/ van sommighen Trifolium, Tripodion ende Tribloion/ nu ter tijt Trifolium odoratum. In Hoochduytsch Siben gezeyt. Hier te lande Sevenghetijde cruyt om dattet seven mael tsdaechs sijnen reuck verliest ende wedercrijght als gheseyt es. In Franchois Treffle odoriserant.

Natuere
Sevenghetijde cruyt es middelmatich in wermte ende coude/ ende wat drooghe van natueren.

Cracht ende werckinghe
A   Sevenghetijde cruyt versuet ende doet rijp worden alle coude gheswillen daer op gheleyt.
B   Tsap van desen cruyde met huenich ghemenght neempt af die vlecken ende littekenen van den ooghen/ ende maeckt claer ghesichte in die ooghen ghedaen.
C   Olie daer die bloemen van Sevenghetijde cruyt in ghewonnen sijn heylt alle versche wonden/ ende oock die ghescoertheyt als sommighe segghen.



Zevengetijdenklaver zat of zit nog steeds in Schabzigerkaas. Schaben is Duits voor 'schaven', 'raspen', en Ziger betekent oorspronkelijk 'wittewrongel' (ricotta).
Tijdens de Middeleeuwen verspilden ze geen voedsel. Uit de wei die overbleef na het kaasmaken, haalde men nog een tweede maal eiwitten en suikers door ze opnieuw te verhitten en te zuren. Dat leverde een vetloze, witte kaas - wittewrongel - op. De Italiaanse term hiervoor, ricotta, betekent letterlijk 'opnieuw gekookt'.

Ziger-productie was in Zwitserland al bekend in de achtste eeuw. Het feodaal recht in het kanton Glarus verplichtte de Glarner boeren ertoe al hun wittewrongel aan het plaatselijke klooster te leveren. Daar werd die basiskaas verder verwerkt. Men liet hem rijpen, persen en drogen en om de smaak wat spannender te maken, mengden de monniken er een vermalen kruid door: 'Blauklee' ofte Trigonella caerulea L. Sommige bronnen noemen Melilotus caeruleus, maar dat is hetzelfde. Mijn oude Flora van Nederland vermeldt als Nederlandse naam zevengetijdenklaver, een hoornklaver­soort die in onze Lage Lan­den niet in de natuur voorkomt, enkel als aanplant in tuinen.



Blue Fenugreek (Trigonella caerulea [Desr. ex Lam.] Ser.)

Synonyms
(View the names of this plant in 19 languages)
botanical Trigonella coerulea, Trigonella melilotus-caerulea, Melilotus caeruleus, Trifolium caeruleum, Grammocarpus caeruleus
English Blue–white clover, Blue–white trigonella, Sweet trefoil, Curd herb, Blue melilot
French Trigonelle bleue, Mélilot bleu, Baumier, Trèfle musque, Trèfle bleu, Lotier odorant, Mélilot d’Allemagne
Georgian უცხო სუნელი
Utskho suneli, Utsxo suneli
German Schabziegerklee, Blauer Steinklee, Blauklee, Bisamklee, Brotklee, Hexenkraut, Ziegerkraut, Zigerchrut, Ziegerklee, Käseklee, Blauer Honigklee
 Trigonella caerulea: Blue clover plants in full flower
Flowering blue fenugreek plants
www.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de
 Trigonella caerulea: Blue fenugreek plant
Blue fenugreek plant
 Trigonella caerulea: Blue fenugreek pods and seeds
The pods of blue fenugreek are short and contain only a few brown seeds
Used plant part
In the Euro­pean Alps (Switzer­land, Italy), all aerial parts are har­vested at flowering time and always used dried, as a light green powder. Yet, in the Cau­casus (Georgia), the dried seeds are used as a spice; they are ground to­gether with their pods to yield a tan powder.

Plant family
Fabaceae (bean family)

Sensory quality
Dried blue fenugreek leaves have an aromatic, spicy flavour, similar to dried fenugreek herb, but somewhat milder. Also the dried seeds somehow remind to lightly toasted fenu­greek seeds, although they are less bitter and more pleasant.

Main constituents
According to a some­what older publication, α‑keto-acids are respon­sible for the flavour of blue fenu­greek: pyruvic acid, α‑keto glutaric acid, α‑keto isovalerianic acid and even α‑keto isocapronic acid. (Gordian, 86, 9, 1986)

This is astonishing: From considering related plants, one would have expected five-membered hetero­cycles (as in the closely related fenugreek) or coumarins (as in the related genus Melilotus, honey clover). On the other side, reaction of α‑ketocarboxylic acids towards heterocycles has been observed during wine storage. (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 43, 2616, 1995)

Unfortunately, there appears to be no newer scientific work on the flavour components of this spice.

In the seeds of blue fenu­greek, dios­genin glyco­sides were found which also ap­pear in fenu­greek​ seeds. Ap­parent­ly, they have yet found any pharma­ceutical application.

Origin
Blue fenu­greek is found in the Alps, in the moun­tains of East­ern and South East­ern Europe and in the Cau­casus.

Etymology
The German name Schabzieger­klee​ (usually spelt Schabziger­klee​ in Swiss German) alludes to the herb’s usage in cheese making, for Ziger is a regional, mostly Swiss, word for the milk proteins (casein) that remain after the whey has been separated. Cf. Zigerkraut herb for Ziger.

Most other names allude to the characteristic blue flowers, which distinguishes blue fenugreek from its relatives of genera Trigonella, Trifolium and Melilotus. The following table gives a summary; a dagger indicates that the colour adjective specifically describes a light or pale hue of blue.

  • Latin Trigonella caerulea caeruleus †
  • German Blauklee blau
  • Swedish blåväppling blå
  • French mélilot bleu bleu
  • Portuguese trevo-azul azul
  • Italian meliloto azzurro azzurro †
  • Italian fieno-greco ceruleo ceruleo †
  • Czech pískavice modrá modrý
  • Polish kozieradka błękitna błękitny †
  • Belarusian pažytnik blakitny [пажытнік блакітны] ???
  • Russian pazhitnik goluboj [пажитник голубой] goluboj [голубой] †
  • Bulgarian smindukh sin [сминдух син] sinyo [синьо]
  • Latvian zilais sierāboliņš zils
  • Estonian sinine lambalääts sinine
  • Finnish sinisarviapila sininen

Yet some other names are moti­vated by the aro­matic fra­grance of blue fenu­greek: Italian balsamo (see lemon balm for more ex­plana­tions on balsam) and French trèfle musque musky trefoil (see also nut­meg) or lotier odorant fragrant trefoil.

English blue has cognates in many Germanic languages, e. g. German blau, Icelandic blár, Swedish blå and Yiddish bloy [בלױ]. The English word took a more complicated route: It was borrowed from Old French bleu, which itself was taken from a Germanic source (root blēwa blue). The Proto-Indo–European root behind these names was reconstructed as bʰel and is the progenitor of a number of adjectives for various, typically bright, colours: Latin flavus golden yellow (cf. English blond), Russian bielyj [белый] white (see white mustard) and Welsh blawar grey. English bleach and black are also part of that group (see nigella).

Romance lan­guages have two terms for blue: Italian ceruleo derives from Latin coelum sky. On the other hand, French azure, Italian azzurro and Spanish azul have a more com­plicated history that relates to the semi-precious stone lapis lazuli. The stone is named for an ancient mine location in today’s North­ern Afghani­stan and was trans­ferred west­wards as Persian lazhward [لاژورد] and Arabic lazward [لازورد]; there, the name of the stone was to denote the colour, and the initial L was mis­identified as the Arabic definite article and removed. 

The term clover is in use for the several species species of the pea family, especially such with three-partite leaves. It is restricted to Germanic languages, e. g., German Klee, Dutch klaver, Danish kløver. The origin of that name is unknown, although it is attested in the oldest Germanic tongues, as Old English clafre and Old High German klēo (genitive case: klewes).

English has an­other general name for clover-like plants, tre­foil. This is of Ro­mance origin (cf. French trèfle, Catalan trèvol, Ro­manian trifoi) and ulti­mately de­rives from Latin tri­folium​ clover, tre­foil, which literally means three-leaf. See lemon verbena for the etymo­logy of Latin folium leaf.

Some European languages have yet another name for cloves which derives from Latin lotus; examples are French lotier and English melilot for the related genus Melilotus, which means honey-clover (see bear’s garlic for the first part of that name). The Ancient Greek name lotos [λωτός] denoted several different plants, not only clovers (also the related fenugreek) but also the lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera) which is a sacred flower in Hinduism and Buddhism.
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