Roast Pease Pudding from the Inntalkochbuch

Another iteration of a familiar (and challenging) commonplace dish.

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Roasted peas

Prepare a lye (chaltguss) and boil the peas in that, remove the skins and then boil them until they are done. Pound them in a mortar, add honey, and add grated bread with 6 egg yolks and fat. Take a wooden skewer and shape (the mass into) a roast. Lay it by (the fire) and roast it until its is done. Baste it with hot fat.

This recipe is not conceptually difficult: Peas are shelled using lye (a commonly mentioned method), then boiled in fresh water (the recipe omits this commonplace instruction, but it should probably be mentioned), mashed, worked into a dough, and spit-roasted. Actually getting it to work is not that easy, though, and while I do not doubt medieval cooks were able to turn this into a worthwhile dish, I have yet to figure out how.

Unequivocal failure: roasted peas according to Meister Hans

The Inntalkochbuch is from a monastic library in Bavaria’s Inntal region (the Inn is a tributary of the Danube), dating to the late 15th/early 16th century. It is written in Upper German and strongly reflects local culinary traditions, though some of its recipes are commonplaces found elsewhere.

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