Proto-Backerbsen from the Inntalkochbuch

Today, a lovely recipe for a still-popular addition to soups.

Backerbsensuppe, Viennese style, courtesy of wikimedia commons

<<54>> Ein gmüs

A side dish

Make a batter with 3 eggs and pour (gews) the same batter through a strainer that has been heated in fat (into the pan). Done thus, it hardens like peas. Remove them from the pan, make an egg broth (aier prue), put them in this and season it.

Here is another gemüs dish, and this one is closely related to the Backerbsen we can still buy in any larger German supermarket. These small beads of crispy fried batter are usually served in soups today, and it seems that was also how they were appreciated in the fifteenth century. The aier prue referenced here very likely is an egg liaison made with meat broth, a basic, hearty soup we encounter more often in later sources. Suich a dish could have been whipped up fairly quickly, as we can see here.

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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