Pickling raw poultry from the Oeconomia

Another recipe for preserving raw meat, this time in vinegar

To keep large birds raw and good for a long time

(marginalia: To keep large birds good for a long time)

If you would keep large birds raw so that they stay good, take juniper berries and caraway, put them into a mortar and pound them small. Pluck the birds nicely clean, gut them, and lay them into a clean pot. Add the pounded caraway and juniper berries and pour in a quart (liquid measure) of wine vinegar, salt it and close it firmly so that no flies can get at it. And when you require the birds, soak them in clean water and wash them clean, pour on other water and when it pleases you (i.e. when they are cleaned and desalinated), roast them.

This recipe sounds very familiar because Coler describes much the same treatment for quadrupeds in another recipe. I am left baffled by the measure given for the vinegar (a Quart or Quartier would have measured roughly a litre). Since we have no refrence point for how much meat is preserved, it is entirely unclear what the relation is. As it is followed by the instruction to salt it, I am left wondering whether this is salted poultry flavoured with vinegar, or vinegar-pickled poultry flavoured with salt.

Johann Coler’s Oeconomia ruralis et domestica was a popular book on the topic of managing a wealthy household. It is based largely on previous writings by Coler and first appeared between 1596 and 1601. Repeatedly reprinted for decades, it became one of the most influential early works of Hausväterliteratur. I am working from a 1645 edition.

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