amaretto and ratafia

All these food posts are of course displacement activity to stop me getting on with any actual poetry.

I’ve made a cheesecake (haven’t tried it yet) from Jane Grigson’s English Food. The recipe originally comes from The London Art of Cookery, and Housekeeper’s Complete Assistant, by John Farley (1783). It’s flavoured with, amongst other things, crushed macaroons. I used Italian ratafia biscuits. What I was thinking was: it’s curious that almost everyone you ask thinks that Amaretto (the liqueur or the biscuits) is made from almonds, whereas, like my ratafias, it’s actually made from apricot kernels. Now, if Georgette Heyer is to be believed, ratafia (a drink – I’m not sure whether alcoholic or not) was a popular choice for genteel young ladies in the Regency period. So when did the taste of apricot kernels drop from Britain’s collective memory?