Reuschkuochen – An Interesting Recipe

From the Mondseer Kochbuch. I am not entirely sure what is going on here, but it involves plenty of eggs:

Eggs, eggs, eggs – sixteenth century here

48 How to prepare a Reußchkuochen

Chop equal amounts of parsley and sage and fry it in butter. Cook eggs soft and mix this together, and grate cheese and bread into it. Prepare a pancake (plat) of eggs and pour butter underneath. Set it over the fire and let it fry. These are Reuschkuochen.

Again, there is a parallel in the Buoch von Guoter Spise‘s ruzzige küechin (#52), but the comparison does not yield much clarity. The basic flavour profile is clear enough: eggs, butter, herbs and cheese cooked at a fairly high heat. It’s familiar to us from omelettes and quiches. What exactly the author envisions is hard to parse, though. Are we making a filled pancake, maybe something like the chicken recipes preceding it? Is this a pastry, a stiff egg dough with butter beneath and an egg filling inside, as we know them from later sources? Is it a kind of galette, a pancake with a savoury topping? I am not sure. Most likely each interpretation will yield something delicious, but I can’t really say which is the most likely. The name does not help – its interpretation is doubtful and the variation recorded casts doubt on its reliability. We are on our own here.

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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