Sausages according to de Rontzier I

Apologies for the intermittent postings, I am still recovering from a nasty bug and dealing with fatigue. De Rontzier has a number of sausage recuipes conveniently grouped into a chapter, and I have decided they are interesting enough to post in their entirety. Today, I will start with the foreign, salami-style ones. That also clears up the mystery of what he means by the zozissen he serves with dried meat.

Of various sausages, and first how to make Zozissen Würste

Item, you chop together the fresh ham of a pig, bacon (Speck) and tender roasting-grade beef (Rindermoerbraten) and season it with whole and ground pepper, mace, and salt. Clean the large intestine of an ox with water and salt so that the fat comes off it cleanly, then fill it tightly (dichte). After they have hung in one place for three weeks where they have much air and little smoke, you shall take them down again and coat them with olive oil. Hang them up again in a place where they do not have too much smoke. This way, they can last (warten) two or three years.

Small Zozischen

1 You chop tender roasting-grade pork (Schweinemoerbraten) with the kidneys and bacon, season it with ground pepper and mace, and salt it. The guts into which you put these sausages must be scraped very thin and then filled. When the sausages have become dry, you roast them on a griddle and turn them often. Then you serve them at the table with mustard or wine vinegar.

2 You chop tender roasting-grade pork (Schweinemoerbraten) and veal together and season it with ground ginger, nutmeg, salt, and a little wine. Fill them into cleanly scraped guts, and when they are dry, your serve them after they are roasted, with dripping (bradfeist) and wine vinegar and strew them with salt and ginger.

(p. 270)

These are interesting, and close to recipes for what is called Italian sausages or sausages to serve with salads from earlier sources. There is nothing inherently different to the recipe, certainly no French innovation. De Rontzier merely calls them by another name.

To modern Germans, these are what we would call Mettwürste, durable air-dried or cold-smoked sausages made from high-grade meat and fat. Today, we mostly eat these as cold cuts on bread, though there are some that are meant for cooking. Historically, Mettwurst is merely a northern variant of the word Bratwurst, and both originally referred to a sausage made from meat that was suitable for roasting (mett in northern dialects, brät in southern), as opposed to organ meats or offal. Today, of course, a Bratwurst is for roasting fresh while a Mettwurst is durable and mostly eaten cold.

Franz de Rontzier, head cook to the bishop of Halberstadt and duke of Braunschweig, published his encyclopaedic Kunstbuch von mancherley Essen in 1598. He clearly looks to Marx Rumpolt’s New Kochbuch as the new gold standard, but fails to match it in engaging style or depth. He is thus overshadowed by the twin peaks of Marx Rumpolt and Anna Wecker. What makes his work interesting is the way in which he systematically lists versions of a class of dishes, illustrating the breadth or a court cook’s repertoire. He is also more modernly fashionable than Rumpolt. Looking to France rather than Italy and Spain for inspiration, and some of the dishes he first describes may be genuine innovations.

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