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Friday, 13 February 2015

Rusty nails

Aunt Phasie, who since the morning had not taken her eyes from the pot where the soupe-aux-choux was simmering, accepted a plateful. But her husband having risen to give her the iron-water forgotten by Flore, a decanter in which a few nails were rusting, she did not touch it.

Émile Zola - La Bête Humaine (1890)

Did people really put a few nails in a decanter of water and drink it as some kind of tonic to ward off anaemia? 

Maybe some still do. Maybe it works. Maybe I'll stick to red wine.

5 comments:

Sackerson said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rusty_Nail_(cocktail)

Demetrius said...

Try this academic thingy:
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=282394

Seems very likely, cheap and easy.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - pleasantly potent with not the slightest hint of rust.

Demetrius - I think Zola had some knowledge of this field. He sometimes wrote of minor characters having a chlorotic complexion.

Michael said...

They're good for blue hydrangeas as well...

A K Haart said...

Michael - I didn't know that. Ours is white.