Faking “Roast Milk”

I don’t think my time situation will improve in the coming weeks, so there will be fewer and shorter recipe posts here, I’m afraid. This is from the Mondseer Kochbuch again.

Roast millet from a 2021 Lenten feast

43 How you can roast milk on a spit

Take fresh almond kernels, soak and blanch them as (described) before. Take millet, boiled eggs, and a little fine bread and herbs (gekreut) and grind this together as thick as you can. Pour it into a pan and let it boil until it turns thick. Colour it yellow with saffron and make it fat with butter. Then let it cool. Cut it into pieces (morsellen), that is into bites (bissen), stick it on a skewer and let it roast. Brush (beslach) it with eggs and with good herbs (gekreut) and serve it.

I suspect the recipe title got displaced. This could be read as a substitute for the roast milk dishes (coagulated or otherwise thickened milk skewered and roasted) we find in a number of places, including earlier in this manuscript, but it is not a terribly convincing one. It rather looks like a richer and more elaborate version of roast millet porridge. There is a parallel in the Buoch von Guoter Spise again (#47) which is titled simply “a dish” but ends with the instruction “serve it in lieu of roast milk”. Clearly, the similarity was seen.

The Mondseer Kochbuch is a recipe collection bound with a set of manuscript texts on grammar, dietetics, wine, and theology. There is a note inside that part of the book was completed in 1439 and, in a different place, that it was gifted to the abbot of the monastery at Mondsee (Austria). It is not certain whether the manuscript already included the recipes at that point, but it is likely. The entire codex was bound in leather in the second half of the fifteenth century, so at this point the recipe collection must have been part of it. The book was held at the monastery until it passed into the Vienna court library, now the national library of Austria, where it is now Cod 4995.

The collection shows clear parallels with the Buoch von guoter Spise. Many of its recipes are complex and call for expensive ingredients, and some give unusually precise quantities and measurements. It is edited in Doris Aichholzer’s “Wildu machen ayn guet essen…” Drei mittelhochdeutsche Kochbücher: Edition, Übersetzung, Quellenkommentar, Peter Lang, Berne et al. 1999

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