Mus recipes from Cgm 384 II

I’m looking at an upcoming holiday with my son, so I may not be able to post regularly for the coming days. Hence, have a fine selection of Mus recipes to tide you over the week:

39 Cheese Muoß

Also prepare a muoß of grated cheese and boil this and add milk and eggs and leave it white.

40 Muoß of fish roe

Also pass through raw fish roe, milk (probably the milt i.e. the fish’s sperm sac), and liver with white bread, and chop the innards (ingäder) into this very small, and make a muoß of this with almonds and with sugar, that will be the noblest muoß.

41 Muoß of brains

Pass through brain with bread and make a muoß of it with eggs and milk, and have it white or coloured, as you wish.

42 Muoß of peas

Pea muoß is made of white (peas) passed through without any addition or red peas and without other things, but you may make it sweet with honey.

43 Muoß (of) liver

Take a roe deer liver and boil it very well, then chop (czerhack) it very small in a mortar with the broth, with rye bread, wine, and vinegar. Afterwards, boil it in a pot, then it turns black. Also chop bacon into it in small pieces. When it has boiled, prepare a pancake (plat) with eggs in a pan, and when you wish to serve it, place the sheet on top.

44 Muoß of crawfish

For a crawfish muoß, take crawfish and cut off the bad (part) by the eyes and pound the rest in a mortar. Take the crumb of white bread into it and pass it through with milk afterward. Then put it into a pan and make a muoß of it. This will turn out red.

45 Muoß of pears

Pear muoß: Pass through pears that are well boiled and add grated spicy gingerbread (bimeczelten). Boil it well and add honey and spices.

The category of Mus (here spelled muoß) was a very broad one. It referred to the consistency of the finished dish – thicker than a liquid, but thin and homogenous enough to eat with a spoon. This could encompass grain and bread porridges, fruit and vegetable purees, chopped or mashed meat dishes, thickened soups, and custards. The recipe collection in Cgm 384 II is particularly rich in these recipes, and this selection is not yet all of them. Reducing food to a mush was not only practical for diners affected by dental problems (some recipes for Mus emphasise this), they were also thought to refine the food by homogenising its humoral qualities and, obviously, showed that the kitchen had labour to spare. They were thus desirable foods, especially if they were made with expensive ingredients like fresh fish, venison, sugar, honey, or spices.

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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