A sauce from Cgm 384 I

Only a brief recipe today, but interesting:

2 Sauce

If you wish to make sauce, take parsley, sage, and rye bread and egg yolks and pear bread (birnen czelten) and pound it all small, and increase (mer) it with vinegar and let it macerate (czuichs durch)

Basically, this is a simple sauce: Herbs for flavour, vinegar as the liquid base, and bread for thickening. The recipe raises some interesting questions, though. First, the egg yolks could be boiled or raw, and thus either act as a crumbly thickener making a paste or enrich and colour the sauce. Secondly, the identity of the ‘pear bread’. A parallel recipe in the Reichenauer Kochbuch has bymenczelten, which may mean something else entirely, but if we can trust the reading as ‘pear’,this could be a reference to dried fruit puree, something like a sweetened electuary, or a gingerbread-like confection made with dried pears. I assume it is a flavour-bearing ingredient, but the interpretation surely makes a difference here.

Bound together with medicinal, veterinary, and magical texts, the culinary recipes of Munich Cgm 384 were partly published in 1865 as “Ein alemannisches Büchlein von guter Speise“. The manuscript dates to the second half of the fifteenth century. My translation follows the edition by Trude Ehlert in Münchner Kochbuchhandschriften aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, Tupperware Deutschland, Frankfurt 1999, which includes the first section of recipes not published earlier.

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