As alum and green vitriol were applied to a variety of substances in common, and as both are distinguished by a sweetish and astringent taste, writers, even after the discovery of alum, do not seem to have discriminated the two salts accurately from each other.
In times of scarcity the Norse peasant-farmer uses the sweetish inner bark, beaten in a mortar and ground in his primitive mill with oats or barley, to eke out a scanty supply of meal, the mixture yielding a tolerably palatable though somewhat resinous substitute for his ordinary flad-brod.
Beryllium salts are easily soluble and mostly have a sweetish taste (hence the name Glucinum, from yXv,dc, sweet); they are readily precipitated by alkaline sulphides with formation of the white hydroxide, and may be distinguished from salts of all other metals by the solubility of the oxide in ammonium carbonate.
Cupri rosa, the flower of copper), green vitriol, or ferrous sulphate, FeSO 4.7H 2 0, having a bluish-green colour and an astringent, inky and somewhat sweetish taste.
The wood is soft and nearly white, but contains much resin, which when fire has run through the forest exudes, and, having in this half-burnt condition a sweetish taste, has given the common name to the tree; the wood seems to be formed slowly; from its smooth grain it is valued for indoor carpentry; the saccharine burnt resin is used as a laxative in California.
It has a sweetish taste, much like that of a frost-bitten potato, and I found it better boiled than roasted.
It has a strong and characteristic odour, and a hot sweetish taste, is soluble in ten parts of water, and in all proportions in alcohol, and dissolves bromine, iodine, and, in small quantities, sulphur and phosphorus, also the volatile oils, most fatty and resinous substances, guncotton, caoutchouc and certain of the vegetable alkaloids.
The taste is mucilaginous, sweetish and slightly bitter and aromatic. The root is frequently forked, and it is probably owing to this circumstance that medicinal properties were in the first place attributed to it, its resemblance to the body of a man being supposed to indicate that it could restore virile power to the aged and impotent.
The fruit-stalk is very short, bearing a subglobose fruit an inch or rather more in diameter, of an orange-yellow colour, and with a sweetish astringent pulp. It is surrounded at the base by the persistent calyxlobes, which increase in size as the fruit ripens.
The milk of the cow, which may be taken as typical of all others, and is indeed by far the most important and valuable of all (see Dairy And Dairy Farming), is, when newly drawn, an opaque white fluid, with a yellowish tinge, soft, bland and sweetish to the taste, and possessed of a faintly animal odour.