Boiled Vegetable Dishes from Cgm 384 I

These two recipes are for kraut, a catchall term that can refer to boiled greens in general as well as culinary herbs or pickled cabbage.

Grumpy-looking quail, courtesy of wikimedia commons

13 Quail kraut

Quail kraut: For this, take parsley and chard and cut it the length of a digit (aines gelides lang). And take a quail or more, and see that they are gutted, and strew them with spices. Lay in twice (zwierend) as much vegetables (krut) as there are quail in the pot together. That way, you will have a good kraut.

Leeks and chives courtesy of wikimedia commons

14 Kraut of leeks

Take leeks, greens (krutt) and cabbage and cut them the length of a digit (aines gelides lang). Sauté them in fat, pour on water, and let it boil up. Then put it into a sieve so that the water runs off. Lay it into a pot and pour on milk that has been passed through a cloth with white bread, and add fat.

The recipe for quail kraut has an almost verbatim parallel in recipe #24 of the Rheinfränkisches Kochbuch. It seems to have been a familiar dish. Cooking leeks with milk or, more commonly recorded, almond milk also appears to have been a popular thing to do. I am convinced that, the preponderance of the evidence notwithstanding, regular milk was more commonly used.

Both recipes here are interesting in their agreement on the size the greens are cut to: aines gelides lang, the length of a digit. This is the kind of guidance we rarely get from medieval sources and helps us envision the appearance and texture of the final dish.

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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