Does the Canon contain references to herbs?
Watson does not seem to be a man concerned with practical culinary matters. Not a lot of hers in his cupboard.
Holmes shot his syringe full of aniseed over the hind wheel of Dr. Armstrong’s carriage for Pompey’s benefit. MISS
Straker put curry on the stable boy’s dinner to cover the taste of powdered opium. SILV
There is the famous, to us Sherlockians, dreadful business of the Abernetty family was first brought to Holmes’ notice by the depth which the parsley had sunk into the butter upon a hot day. SIXN
There’s the thyme-scented Downs of Holmes’ retirement. LION
And plenty of salt. From the great salt plain John and Lucy Ferrier saw stretched before them at death’s door and the Great Salt Lake they went to STUD; the coarse salt in the cardboard box with the severed ears CARD; the salt meat that Hudson was picking out of the harness cask GLOR; Alexis was toiling in the salt mines of Siberia GOLD; Altamont wanted “to get over the salt water” LAST.
Herbs can be used as a descriptive, whether for color or inherent property: Ralph, the elderly butler, was in the conventional costume of black coat and pepper-and-salt trousers BLAN; Mr. Heath Newton’s The Negro (red cap, cinnamon jacket) SILV: Colonel Sir James Damery according to Watson: “His lucent top-hat, his dark frock-coat, indeed, every detail, from the pearl pin in the black satin cravat to the lavender spats over the varnished shoes, spoke of the meticulous care in dress for which he was famous.” ILLU; starving Carlo the mastiff kept him “keen as mustard” COPP; Holmes was “conscious of a faint smell of the scent known as white jessamine’ on the warning to Sir Henry HOUN; the Yard had an “inspector who makes a speciality of Saffron Hill and the Italian quarter” SIXN
Late addition: another mention of curry. “Mrs. Hudson has risen to the occasion,” said Holmes, uncovering a dish of curried chicken. NAVA
… and Piquant!
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