Very brief instructions today
1. xxvii. Item you must beat and soak stockfish. Boiled in wine and water, they are good seasoned or prepared (ab bereit oder gemacht) with spices.
This is about as short as a recipe can be. Stockfish was likely an unprepossessing ingredient and did not exactly excite the culinary imagination. The one interesting thing about this text is the specification of “ab bereit oder gemacht”, which I suspect may be the distinction between spicing during or after cooking.
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.