Cheese-Bacon Fritters

Another recipe from the Mondseer Kochbuch. The formula is plain, but the instructions are interesting:

fladen-style fritters, though with a different filling

143 Krapfen fried with a filling (sältz)

A filling (saltz) for krapfen. Prepare a filling (füll saltzen) with grated cheese and with eggs and also with chopped bacon, and spread (kleib) it on the (dough) sheet and (stick) the other part on top of it. Shape flat fritters (fladen) and fry them in fat. You can also fill the same fritters with eggs and with apples.

The first thing to note is that the filling of the fritters is referred to as a saltz or sältz. That word more usually means a sauce, and while it is not unknown to use condiment sauces to fill fritters, this clearly is not one. Rather, this usage reminds us that words like saltz, sultz, and (in this manuscript) condiment refer more to the function – adding flavour – than to the place or consistency.

The filling itself is straightforward: hard grated cheese, bacon, and egg. The instruction to stick it to the bottom dough sheet suggests a thick consistency, not liquid, but also not too chunky. The fritters themselves are formed by putting the filling between a bottom and a top sheet of dough, and I wonder whether they were produced in batches like ravioli. The reference to fladen suggests they were round, and while we cannot be sure of the size, I assume they were not very large. Whenever we find a size mentioned, krapfen are bite- or portion-sized. So basically, we have fried round cheese-and-bacon ravioli. This is probably not bad, especially in winter, and easy for newcomers to medieval cuisine to enjoy.

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

This entry was posted in Uncategorised and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *