A crawfish dish from Cod Pal Germ 551, section two

16 You find a dish of crawfish shells written here

If you would make a dish of crawfish, boil the crawfish nicely and take their shells and take the claws and lay them aside. Then pound the shells very small and pass them through a cloth with a grated white wheat bread loaf (semel) and with a little wine or vinegar. Then boil it with a little gingerbread so that it thickens, season it well, and leave it in its colour. Fry the claws and the necks (bodies?) in fat and lay them in a bowl and pour the sauce over it so that the necks stick out, and do not oversalt it etc.

Again, this recipe has a parallel in section one, though in this case the earlier version is less detailed:

32 A dish of crawfish, (called?) a rendel

Boil the crawfish nicely and take the claws and the necks (tails?) separately. Then grind the shells very small and pass them through a cloth with grated white wheaten bread and a little vinegar and boil it with gingerbread so that it thickens and season it well. Leave it to its own colour. Put the claws and necks into it and let them stick out of the liquid and do not oversalt it.

I wonder how red crawfish shells can make a bread-thickened sauce since I suspect that is what the recipe aims for.

I owe thanks to my friend Libby Cripps for pointing me to the as yet untranslated fifteenth-century culinary recipe collection that is bound with similar works on fabric dyes and on medicine in the Heidelberg Cod Pal Germ 551. It looks, at first glance, unexceptional, but I will try to keep up a flow of recipes and see whether it has anything of particular interest to offer.

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