The Ancestry of Kuttelfleck

Another short recipe from the Innsbruck MS:

104 If you would fry tripe (wammppenflekh), boil them very well and prepare a strauben batter, dredge them in it and fry them. But you may also first fry (rosten) them in fat if you wish, and salt them etc.

This is an interesting recipe, firstly because it linguistically ties a medieval dish to a thoroughly modern practice. The word wammppenflekh clearly relates to what we call Kuttelfleck today. The word wammppen Wampe in modern German – refers to the belly in general and in culinary terms to the stomachs of cattle. Fleck at this point can refer to a piece or patch which suggests the stomach was cut into small squares. That is what Kuttelfleck is to this day, to the extent that it still is made. Like most offal dishes, it has lost popularity.

The recipe suggests that there are different ways of preparing the dish. The first approach seems to be to parboil the sliced tripe, then batter and deep-fry it. As an aside, this recipe also illustrates the difference in culinary vocabulary: The word used to describe shallow-frying in a pan is rösten, and this is also used to describe cooking something in a small amount of liquid or over coals. Today, it usually means grilling or toasting over direct heat. Deep-frying, on the other hand, is called backen, the same word that also describes baking things in ovens or closed containers. I suspect that there is something conceptual going on here I am not fully on to yet.

Now, the dish clearly has a long tradition, and we can find what it looks like in classical modernity from Katharina Prato’s Süddeutsche Küche first published in 1858 (here from the 1912 printing of the 1896 revised edition):

Kuttelflecke or Kaldaunen.


Fried (Gebacken). You leave the boiled pieces (Flecke) to cool, cut them into squares, turn them over in egg and breadcrumbs, and fry them in fat. They can be served as a topping to vegetable dishes or as a separate dish. In the latter case, they can be boiled up before serving with lemon juice or with meat jus.

As they liked to title every other book when I was in university: Continuity and Change in Tripe.

The Innsbrucker Rezeptbuch is a manuscript recipe collection from a South German/Austrian context. It dates to the mid-fifteenth century and survives as part of a set of medical and culinary texts bound together. The editor Doris Aichholzer published it together with two related manuscripts and drew attention to the less elaborate, more practical recipes. The manuscript is of unknown provenance, but has been owned by the Habsburg emperors since at least the early sixteenth century. It is now held at the Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. An edition, German translation and commentary can be found in Doris Aichholzer: Wildu machen ayn guet essen… Drei mittelhochdeutsche Kochbücher, Peter Lang Verlag Berne et al. 1999

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