Crawfish in Crawfish Sauce from Cgm 384 II

Another crawfish dish with a spicy sauce.

12 Crawfish in Pepper Sauce (kreps pfeffer)

Take crawfish, boil them and shell them so that their necks are bare and the shells come off. Then take raw crawfish, gut them up to the eyes and discard what is bad (das kaut). Then pound them in a mortar and pass them through a cloth or through a sieve with wine or with vinegar, and season them, and make a pepper sauce to go with the shelled crawfish.

The red of cooked crawfish shells

The idea is fairly straighforward: You use crawfish, pounded and mixed with liquid, to make a sauce for serving boiled crawfish in. We have some similar recipes in later sources, though they differ in detail. Here, I would expect the sauce is thickened with ground bread or gingerbread and boiled, as the other pfeffer type sauces are. What is not sure is whether the shells are ground into the sauce or not. This is sometimes explicitly stated in other recipes as it produces a red colour after cooking.

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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