Beer Against Tiredness from Traveling

I am still on the train back home from an amazing two days at a culinary history event hosted by the Instytut Polski in Düsseldorf where I was privileged to present a historic recipe, meet some leading culinary history researchers, and collaborate with a top-notch Polish kitchen team that turned out modern interpretations of historic foods from 1550 to 1983.

Still under way… image courtesy of wikimedia commons

There will be a fuller report with pictures in due time, but right now the train is late, I fear I will have to take a taxi for the last leg, and this piece of advice from Johannes Coler’s Oeconomia may yet come in handy:

If you wash a person’s skin with wheat beer, especially below the eyes, it turn fine and white (schoen und blanck). Item if you are traveling and tired from walking and you wash your legs and feet with warm beer and lay soaked cloths on them that were moistened with hot beer, this will help you very well. I tried this myself once when I was a young student and had walked for eight or nine miles in a day and beaten out my clothes in the evening.

It may need adding that the German mile to which Coler is probably referring measured around 7.5 km (about 3 statute miles), which makes his travel a very respectable distance indeed.

Johann Coler’s Oeconomia ruralis et domestica was a popular book on the topic of managing a wealthy household. It is based largely on previous writings by Coler and first appeared between 1596 and 1601. Repeatedly reprinted for decades, it became one of the most influential early works of Hausväterliteratur. I am working from a 1645 edition.

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