Fish galrat from the Kuchenmaistrey

A spicy sauce for keeping fish

1.vi Item a masterful galantine (galrat) over fish such as salmon and other large clean(?) fish (rein visch). Make good-sized pieces of the fish and stick two or three of them each on a wooden skewer. Boil them with wine and vinegar, salt and spices. Keep the broth as written above. Toast the bread and treat it as above. If it were that the galantine turns out too thin. Take bay leaves or the shells or about half a bay berry, pound them with the toasted bread and the fish broth, pass that through (a cloth) and temper (i.e. season) it and try if it is made properly with spices and salt. Lay in the fish pieces and pour the galantine over them and let it firm up (gesteen).

And if you will, strew ginger over it or cinnamon or nutmeg and make it yellow (with saffron).

This is an interesting recipe not least because it refers to a previous description that does not exist in this version of the collection. That suggests the Kuchenmaistrey circulated and was altered prior to being printed. It is also interesting because it describes a bread-thickened, spicy sauce used to preserve cooked fish as a galrat. These sauces are known from the 13th century onwards, but in German, they are usually called a sul(c)z. A galrat or galrey normally describes a jelly.

My current project are 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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