Hart and stag both refer to an adult male deer, which has antlers, yielding horn. Hartshorn was formerly the main source of ammonia, and its principal use was in the production of smelling salts. But hartshorn shavings were used to produce a special, edible jelly used in English cookery in the 17th and 18th centuries. In her recipe for ‘Hedge-Hog’, Hannah Glasse (1747) assumes that her readers will know how to make this jelly, and suggests taking wine and sugar with it.
© the Estate of Alan Davidson 1999, 2006, 2014 © in the Editor’s contribution to the second and third editions, Oxford University Press 2006, 2014.