Mus Dishes from the Tegernsee List

Another piece of the Tegernsee list. This is a section on Gmüeß, a word that at the time usually refers to side dishes. Its modern cognate, Gemüse, means vegetables, but its origin is with the word Mus, a dish of spoonable consistency, and I think that is broadly what it means here:

Tegernsee monastery, 1560 print courtesy of wikimedia commons

12 Side dishes (Gmüeß) for 40 persons

Rice Mus (Reismueß): For rice, ane large heaped bowl (näpfel) of rice and one level one, that makes six pounds, and of almonds one small heaped bowl (näpfel) and one level one, that makes two pounds of almonds.

Fig Mus: 4 Maß of wine, 6 figs to go into it whole for each and 3 lbs to mix into it, 7 (pieces of) bread and 7 semel loaves go into it, toasted and passed though, 1 lb of raisins, and spices.

Wine Mus: 6 Maß of wine, 8 (pieces of) bread, 3 or 4 lbs of figs mixed in it, 1 lb of raisins, and spices.

Stockfish: From a yellow sauce (süpplin) 3 or 4, depending on how large they are, 3 drinks of wine, 1 lb raisins, pounded apples and onions, and very well spiced, 2 spoonfuls of ginger, 2 spoonfuls of pepper.

Stockfish from a pfeffer or black sauce (suppl): 3 stockfish, 3 Maß of wine, 4 or 5 semel loaves, 4 or 5 (pieces of) bread, 1 lb raisins, 2 good spoonfuls of ginger, 2 good spoonfuls of pepper, and honey.

Apple Mus: When it is served as a second dish (andert richt), 2 Maß of wine, 4 semel loaves, 4 (pieces of) bread, and spices.

Apple Mus as the final dish (pro ultimo ferculo): 3 drinks of wine, 4 (pieces of) bread, and pepper.

Pear Mus: 3 drinks of wine, 4 (pieces of) bread, and spices, pears cut into it, 4 (pieces of) bread underneath (in the bowl).

Black tart cherry Mus: 3 well heaped refentschüssel (a type of bowl, probably small), 3 Maß of wine, 12 (pieces of) bread, honey, and spices.

Cracked barley (prochen gersten): 3 bowls of barley, 2 lbs of almonds, that is the small bowl (näpfl) heaped.

Barley from a clear broth (auß ainer lautteren prie): Take 2 scheffel.

Rutschhart: 3 scheffel of barley and pea broth, coloured yellow and spiced.

White or Bohemian peas: One vat (kar) full of peas, 1 Maß of wine, 3 Maß of mead, and honey.

Brown pea Mus: 2 drinks of wine, 4 (pieces of) bread, pepper, spices.

Yellow pea mus: 2 Maß of wine, 4 semel loaves, 4 (pieces of) bread, spices.

Dried pear Mus: 1 good large vat (großkar) full of dried pears, 3 drinks of wine, 5 semel loaves, 5 (pieces of) bread, spices.

Galtrechel with fish: 3 Maß of wine, 5 semel loaves, 5 (pieces of) bread, spices.

Apple sauce (öpfelziseindel): 3 drinks of wine and spices.

Tart cherry sauce: (served) on the table in the mustard bowl, 2 refentschüssel (a type of bowl) full of electuary, three drinks of wine, and pepper.

Fish Mus: 4 or 5 semel loaves or 9 (pieces of) bread, 3 or 4 Maß of wine, spices, the fish that must be roasted in advance are (can be) large or small.

Again, these are not recipes, they are quantities of stores to be issued. It is likely, in some cases certain, that other ingredients were involved. However, the quantities and relations can tell us some things about how these dishes were prepared. Let us look at a few here:

Rice is cooked to a porridge, a universal practice in Germany then. The idea of having individual grains as we do today was seen as a foreign, specifically Ottoman, habit. The almonds are most likely intended to prepare almond milk which is added to the pre-cooked rice for a final round of boiling. This is a luxurious dish.

The second recipe for a puree of dried figs is equally lavish, a massive expenditure on imported dried fruit – figs do not grow well in Austria. Interestingly, along with the cooked fruit, there is an allocation of six whole fruit for each portion. These were most likely cooked individually, as we find it done in other recipes. Note that the actual dish most likely was closer to a bread porridge flavoured with figs rather than a fig puree thickened with bread. Prepared with wine and spices, it must have been rich and intense. The black cherry Mus, too, most liukelyy functioned this way and I suspect it was prepared with dried cherries that would give it a dark colour.

The varieties of serving stockfish are interesting. The yellow süpplin is found in other sources, a sauce coloured with saffron, but the addition of apples is interesting here. The other recipe calls for a pfeffer sauce, a spicy, thick sauce, or a black one. The latter probably is a variety of bread-thickened sauce made with darkly toasted bread. Black sauces can also be bound with blood, but that is not likely in a Benedictine house where meat was served only to the sick.

The apple and pear Mus, too, are fairly common across Europe. We find a wide variety of recipes, some seemingly meant for dried fruit. Here, I suspect the pear puree is meant to be prepared from dried pears. With the apples, I am not sure. The dish itself was quite humble, but the version prepared here likely was ennobled by other ingredients and elaborate preparation. Note that apple puree is not necessarily a sweet dish. The same goes for the apple sauce, the öpfelziseindel. These types of sauce were made from apples and/or onions and usually highly spiced. I included a modern redaction for the apple version in my Landsknecht Cookbook.

The various preparations of barley are interesting. This seems to be a regional habit, as we rarely find barley recipes feature prominently in recipe collections. There is not much I can say about them – I suspect that the cracked barley is prepoared like rice, cooked to a porridge with almond milk, while the barley served in clear broth would look more like a soup with whole grains in it. The recipe name rutschhart actually is the first recorded mention of Ritschert which described a rich, meaty barley stew traditionally served in the eastern Alpine areas of Bavaria, Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia.

Peas, too, are a common dish prepared in many ways, usually mashed, and especially Bohemian peas are found in other sources. the dish seems to have been quite popular.

The tart cherry sauce is one of the most common condiments in our recipe corpus. It was prepared by cooking down cherries with honey and spices, often including bread or gingerbread for thickening, and reduced to a paste. This was then reconstituted to a liquid when required at the table. The list here refers to the paste – the electuary – issued from stores to be dissolved in wine.

The recipe collection from the monastery at Tegernsee (Bavaria) is an unusual source. It seems to have been produced to serve very specific practical purposes in the administration of that particular monastery, giving quantities for dishes and instructing the reader on which days what is to be served. A calendar and a short treatise on fishes are written in the same manuscript, the whole produced around 1500 and in use until at least 1534. The text was partially edited by Anton Birlinger in Germania 9/1864 ( pp. 192-207) who regarded it as a resource for linguistic study. I am relying on his edition for this translation.

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