Lenten roast from the Kuchenmaistrey

Expensive imported figs and raisins with spices and sugar – luxury compounded for fast day tables.

1.ii Item if you would make a hollow roast (holbrotten – a term used for roast meatloafs) that is also called a roe deer roast in Lent. Take figs (and) raisins and boil them in good wine. Chop them and strew flour in them. Mix it well. Season it with salt and with spices. Wet your hands in teigwasser (lit. dough water, which may mean water with flour in it or be a scribal error for pond water?). Wrap the figs around a spit and press them on well. Lay this by the fire. When it roasts, cut it open lengthwise along the spit on both sides and make nice pieces of it. Stick them with almonds (that are) yellow or coloured and serve it. You may strew sugar or ginger on this. You baste this roast with butter.

With Cod Pal Germ 551 finished, my next (temporary) project will be recipes from the Nuremberg Kuchenmaistrey produced around 1490. This was the earliest printed cookbook in German (and only missed being the earliest printed cookbook in any language by a few years). The Kuchenmaistrey (mastery of the kitchen) gave rise to a vibrant culture of amended and expanded manuscript copies as well as reprints spanning almost a century. The recipes seem designed to appeal to a wealthy, literate and cosmopolitan clientele.

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