An Odd Galantine Recipe

The recipe is not unusual in itself. In fact, it is quite similar to #19 in the same collection. The wording, though, is.

127 How to prepare a Galdrein

Take the meat and stomach of a pig and cut it into large cubes (großwürfflacht). Then take parsley, sage, mint, pennyroyal, hard eggs, bread, and caraway more than pepper. Grind this with vinegar and with good broth. Pour this on the galdrain. Add fat and let it boil up so it turns thick. If you do not have green herbs (grün ding), use different seasoning (condiment). Thus you prepare galran.

The dish described here seems to be fairly straightforward: Boiled pork and pig’s stomach, cut into large cubes (presumably bite-sized, possibly portion-sized) is served with a thick vinegar herb sauce bound with bread and enriched with eggs. The interestingh part is that is uses the word galdrein, galdrain or galran to describe it. We have encountered the word before, often spelled galrey or galray, a cognate of galantine and the modern German word Gallert. The modern word refers to a jelly, and the medieval term could mean that, too. However, it also opften referred to a thick, spicy sauce that was used to preserve meat in. This was often bound with bread or gingerbread and had to be thick enough to prevent meat from floating up while excluding outside air. There is no indication that this is the intention here, and it is hard to see how a sauce including egg and fresh herbs could serve the purpose. A galdrein here is clearly just a thick sauce.

In recipe #19, a very similar sauce is referred to as a condiment:

19 How to prepare pigs’ guts and stomachs in a condiment sauce

Take boiled pigs’ guts and stomachs. Cut the boiled guts into four parts. Also cut the stomachs narrow (smal – in strips?). And cut the stomach and the guts as small as you wish. Take parsley, pennyroyal, and mint, boiled (gesoten) sage, hard-boiled eggs, fine bread, the greatest quantity of caraway, not much pepper, and one egg to a dish. Grind (make) it with vinegar and with broth (söde) so it does not become too sour, and pour it on the condiment. Add fat and let it warm up, and take it up before it becomes too thick and serve it.

It is also interestingh how the wording of the cooking instruction parallelsa cdespite the actual outcome described being somewhat different. I wonder whether this is the result of a transmission chain that went from manuscript through oral interpretation to another written text at one point. It is certainly noteworthy, even more so in the original German. Incidenbtally, this makes it plausible again that most German recipe collections surviving were collated from various sources in circulation to meet individual needs. It is highly unlikely both these recipes were included into a single text deliberately.

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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