Galray recipes from Cgm 384 II

These recipes are interesting in a broader context more than in themselves. In German recipes, the word galray (cognate of galantine or gelatina) as well as its synonym sultz can refer to both a jelly and a thickened sauce, in both cases served cold, covering or enclosing meat or fish. I suspect that this type of dish has its origins with sauces used to preserve and season cooked meats, like the salsa dominorum of the Harpestreng tradition. Using strong meat broth in such a sauce would have produced a desirable gelling effect, and at some point cooks figured out that if they could encourage this, they could dispense with the bread thickening. That is why a gallert or sülze today is a clear aspic. However, there is no clear changeover point. Some recipes as early as the fifteenth century use galray and sultz to refer to a clear jelly, but as late as the 1590s, it is also used for a bread-thickened sauce. In Cgm 384 II, a series of galray recipes all describe sauces thickened with gingerbread.

lebkuchen baker, courtesy of wikimedia commons

16 A Galantine (Galray)

You may also take a passed-through pepper bread (durchslagen pfeffer brott) and colour and spice that. Add plenty of vinegar and apples cut up small and chopped. Let it boil up a little and pour it out on the head and serve it with that.

17 Take a deer liver and roast it. Then cut off the outside and pound it in a mortar with rye bread and honey and wine, pass it through a cloth, and spice it. Then boil the liver and serve it to be eaten cold, that is a galantine of liver (ain lever galray).


19 Galantine (galray)

For a galantine, take wine, vinegar, honey, and gingerbread (lepczelten) and pound it together and pass it through a cloth. Boil it and then pour it into a container (guiss es denn etwar in) and let it cool. It will be good.

20 Galantine (galray)

A galantine, take vinegar, wine , honey, and pepper bread (pfeffer brott) and pound it all together. Pass it through and make it thin (machs danndünn in the parallel) and spice it. Boil it and serve it cold, if you wish, with fish or meat (or with) venison, boiled or roasted.

21 Galantine (Galray)

Also prepare a galantine of wine, vinegar, and fish broth, spiced, coloured, with honey and with pepper bread (pfefferbrott) and just boiled. Serve this cold along with fish, roasted or boiled, as a sauce.

22 Galantine (galray)

A galantine for a hare liver or some other liver, roasted, and cut off the outer part and pound it well with rye bread, honey, and vinegar. Pass it through, season it, and boil it, then it will turn black. Serve it cold with the liver. You should also boil up the liver in it.

These are not very interesting recipes in themselves. The frequent mention of lepczelten and pfefferbrott (here used interchangeably), presumably a precursor of Soßenlebkuchen, may be a pointer to what the author sees as characteristic of a galray. It is hard to see how it differs from a pfeffer otherwise, especially in recipes 17 and 22. Several recipes also point out that the dish is served cold, which also seems to be typical of a galray or sultz. I do not feel any particular urge to replicate any of them, I must admit.

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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