Boiled fritters from the Inntalkochbuch

Another gemüs recipe today, a complex side dish that I have yet to experiment with.

<<53>> Ein gemüs

A side dish

Make a batter with 6 eggs and fry it like strauben (a kind of leavened fritter). Chop it up small and boil it in hot wine. Season it with honey and spices.

To modern eyes, this is a strange recipe. Why would anyone go through the trouble and effort to produce a fritter with all the unctuous, crunchy tastiness that implies, only to boil it afterwards? This is clearly what the recipe says – we have enough good descriptions of strauben to make it unequivocal. These fritters were produced from a soft, but cohesive batter that was pulled into strings by hand and fried. Neither is it an unusual thing: there are similar recipes in several other sources. Clearly, this way of preparing egg batters was valued.

I have yet to try this out, and I wonder what the appeal was. It might possibly have been something akin to flaedle, pancake strips cooked in a soup, that are lighter and fluffier than noodles. Alternatively, if it is served with relatively little liquid, it might be more like the sryup-soaked softened fritters of the Middle East, with just the barest hint of crunchiness left. It will certainly bear experimenting.

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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