Fried crawfish cakes from the Kuchenmaistrey

Honey-spiced crawfish fritters in a saffron batter

1.xx. Item to make cakes of crawfish. Take crawfish, boil them with water and salt, and shell them nicely. Take the necks, claws and tails and more salt and spices. Chop that together strongly and nicely. Spread honey on the palms of your hands and knead the cakes into shape. Make a batter yellow (with saffron), coat the cakes in it and fry them brown. Serve them dry or in a fruit sauce (ziseündlein). If they are served dry, strew them nicely with sugar.

The recipe sounds very interesting, but also has the potential to go badly wrong. I think I would like to try it, but not anytime soon.

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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