Fish fladen – and another parallel

The next recipe in Meister Eberhard again has a parallel in Cod Pal Germ 551, though this time only in section two.

<<R11>> Item einen fladenn zu machenn von fischenn, welcherlej sie sind.

To make a fladen of fish, whatever kind they be

Take thick almond milk well mixed with rice flour and add to it an apple or two and a little spice. Boil (seud) it in an oven and let it bake, and do not oversalt it.

Again, the recipe is almost verbnatim identical, and all the questions voiced in the earlier blog post also apply here. we do not know where the fish goes (it is missing in the body of the recipe), not do we know whether this is a topping for a crust or whether it is supposed to be thickened to the point of baking to a solid consistency by itself. Almond milk with aples and spices makes a plausible environment for fish to be baked in a tart, but this is speculative.

One interesting is the instruction to boil (seud) the dish in an oven. I assume a copyists’ error here, with the intention being scheub, to slide or push into the oven. That is the reading in Cod Pal Germ 551, and it seems a lot more plausible. However, if the dating of the manuscripts is correct, it suggests that both (as well as the Königsberg MS) descend from a common source that was copied very closely in transmission.

Meister Eberhard is a recipe collection that belongs into a south German context, most likely associated with the court of Bayern-Landshut during its ascendancy in the first half of the 15th century. We know nothing about the putative author other than that he claims he was part of the kitchen staff there. The text contains an eclectic mix of recipes and dietetic advice heavily cribbed from a variety of sources, including the (unattributed) writings of St Hildegardis Bingensis. The text is published in A. Feyl: Das Kochbuch Meister Eberhards. Diss. Freiburg i.B. 1963 and online on the website of Thomas Gloning.

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