Another Parallel – Chicken Liver Fritters

Another parallel recipe from the Mondseer Kochbuch and Meister Hans. This one is also interesting culinarily:

133 To prepare Larus from chicken livers and stomachs

Of chicken livers and stomachs: Slice them thin (?tüm) and fry them in fat, and add eggs, pepper, salt, and caraway. Stir it together like scrambled (getüfftelnt) soft eggs. Slide (streich) them into boiling hot fat in a cooking vessel (schaff) so they stay in one piece. This is called Laurus. Item also prepare the meat of young chickens or lamb this way.

Again, the recipe is clearly paralleled in Meister Hans, and the incomprehensible name he gives it may become a little clearer this way:

A dish of chickens that is called lanncz

Item take chicken livers and stomachs and cut them thinly and deep-fry (pachs) them in fat. Add to them fat, pepper, eggs, caraway, and salt. Stir it together as soft as (the filling for) filled eggs (and) push (streich) them into boiling fat in a pot so that they stay whole. That way they are fried until done. Then serve it, this is called lanncz. In the same way, you can prepare young chickens or lamb.

It is still not clear why the dish would be called La(u)rus, but a Latin borrowing seems more convincing than the unclear word Meister Hans gives us. The dish itself is also interesting and potentially attractive, a rich, meaty and strongly seasoned fritter to serve with a fruity, sweet-sour sauce. As to the second clear parallel between the probably pre-1439 Mondseer Kochbuch and the 1460 Meister Hans manuscript, there clearly is a shared source there. I already commented on this on more detail yesterday.

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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