List of Dishes from Tegernsee

I am not done yet with the Tegernsee lists. The calendar is particularly interesting, but also difficult to translate. One thing I have mostly complete by now is the list of dishes that would be served at different times throughout the year. This then reflects the repertoire of a large, well-appointed kitchen:

Tegernsee monastery, 1560 print courtesy of wikimedia commons

Offe (to serve?): onion soup, kraut (potherb) soup, rueben (root vegetable) soup, haubet or zisindel soup (soup with a specifically cut piece of bread and a fruit relish) , chickpea (or lentil) soup, pea soup, fig soup, cress (kreussen) soup, fish soup, almond soup, hemp soup, cheese soup, water soup, fat soup (smalzsuppen), wine soup, egg soup, pea soup with fritters, hadersuppen (a type of noodle?), dumpling soup, ziserne (?) soup, milk soup, cheese curd soup (zygersuppen), oat soup, tripe soup (kitlflecksuppen – maybe a pancake soup), horseradish soup, chickpea (or lentil?) soup, stabsuppen (?)

Mus dishes: pea Mus, yellow or brown, apple Mus, fig Mus, dried pear Mus, rice Mus, raisin or wine Mus, fish Mus, tart cherry Mus, wine Mus made with semel bread, common semel bread Mus, choux (?anprentz) semel bread Mus, wine Mus with semel bread and eggs, semolina Mus (griesmues), fritter Mus (straubenmueß), chopped Mus (?), cut Mus (?), wheat, emmer Mus, starch Mus (krafftmueß), porridge Mus (?preynmues), barley Mus, barley cooked whole or as groats, porridge Mus (preinmueß), bread Mus or gsellenbrot, elderflower Mus.

Kraut (greens): beet greens (rubenis), chopped, “pounded in “(eingestoßens), pureed (durchdribens kraut), gabassens (cabbage?), chopped, torn (zotls), split, pickled and sour cabbage (gepaißts und saures kraut), Bavarian, scherubenkraut (?), carrot greens (gelb ruebenkraut), green kraut, pießen (chard) of nettles and salad

Fish: boiled fish, fried fish, roast fish, tygen (?) fish, jellied fish, filled fish, pike, trout, renken (Coregonus spp), roach (rötl), salmon, ash, sturgeon (huechen), burbot (rutte), eel (alten), hasl (?), lauben anpeys (?), gobies (koppen), tench (schleyn), carp, bream (präxen), stockfish, herring, dried flatfish (platys), salmon (laxen), sturgeon (hausen), crawfish (chrebsen)

Fritters (the final course): einzogen küechl (?), pancakes (pfannzelten), hasenörl (hares’ ears), krapfen with apple filling, semelstrüczl, fried sheets (pachen pleter), fried sage, choux fritters (prante küechl), pounded fritters (?gestoßens pachen), boiled fritters (gesottens pachens), milk fritters, cheese fritters, effemdt (?), fried apples, floated (geswembt) apples, struppf (?), wafers, filled semel bread, mulberries (?maulbers), wreaths (krenntz), strauben fritters, fried bread slices (pachen schnittl), French toast (guldene schnittl), haubete kiechl (?), monks (münch – donuts?), smolznudl (?), almond cheese

Various dishes for the final course: cut (?eingeschnitten) pears, also apples, fried (geröst) tart or sweet cherries, shelled peas or peas in their pods, pea Mus, apple Mus, Bohemian peas, vicztumb (a type of soup) of barley and peas, steamed peas, rutschart (a type of porridge), rezl (?) of apples or milk, boiled oat dumplings, black dumplings in a pepper sauce or zizendl (fruit) sauce, whole or halved filled eggs in pfeffer or zisendl (fruit) sauce, fritters (kuechen) in süppl sauce or zizendl (fruit) sauce, pressed milk (hard custard), also grated milk (geribne milch), rfalbe (?) milk, voglspeis (a soft custard), “ox eyes” (fried eggs) in pfeffer or zizendl (fruit) sauce, also roast eggs, eggs in vinegar, barley in cheese broth, scrambled eggs (eingerüertz), retzen (?) of eggs and milk.

This is an interesting list, not least because, coming from a Benedictine monastery, it omits meat dishes completely (or at least almost completely). Nonetheless, it is more comprehensive than the one we know from the court of Hessen-Kassel in the 1590s (see Bach 2016, p. 79). This was a versatile kitchen demanding of its staff’s skills. A vegetarian diet, or as contemporaries would have called it, Lenten food did not have to be deprived if you had enough money. To the extremely wealthy house of Tegernsee, that would not have been an issue.

The first part of the list makes reference to soups, a topic treated in greater detail in the instructions for provisions issued for each kind. The two lists do not match exactly, but the only soup from the provisions list not included here is the crawfish soup. There are several soups mentioned here and in the calendar that are not in the provisions list, though. With entries like water soup (likely a vegetable broth served over bread), fat soup, and curd cheese soup that is because no ingredients for these were drawn from stores. In other cases, the reason is less clear.

Most soups are readily identifiable by their primary ingredient, so we have a rough idea of what they were like. Some names are not entirely transparent, though. We have seen that haubet soup depended on a specific manner of cutting the bread served in it. It is also called zisindel soup here which indicates that the fruit sauce of that name played a role, likely dabbed on the bread in the soup bowl as a relish. There is also hadersuppen, which may be a soup with egg or pieces of pancake served in it. Hader is a word for rag, and such pieces might have recalled the appearance. Stabsuppen is less clear to me, so I will hope to stumble over a recipe at some point. Finally, while kitlfleck clearly would translate as tripe, it can’t really mean that. Benedictines did not eat meat, at least not overtly.

Next, there is Mus, a term that includes anything soft enough to eat with a spoon, but not liquid enough to be a soup. Again, there is a parallel list of provisions to be issued for the various types, and the overlap is considerable. A few dishes listed here are not found there, and in some cases their identity is not clear. The two mentions of prein or preyn Mus are odd because they seem repetitive and because they seem to just mean “porridge Mus”. There probably was something specific to its consistency or preparation. The chopped and cut Mus may be references to a kind of pasta dish that was variously prepared from torn pieces of fresh dough or from cut or chopped noodles. Krafft Mus is interesting for using starch. I have not found many other references for this. Finally the gsellenbrot may well be the kind of bread porridge you would prepare from hard bread and hot broth, a common dish that a poor Geselle (journeyman) might well eat at the table of a tight-fisted master.

Kraut is an interesting section without any parallel in the other part. Kraut was a catchall term for all kinds of leafy greens, and the way several entrries just refer to the way this is prepared – chopped, torn, split, or pureed – suggests that cabbage, and specifically head cabbage, was the most common kind. That is what you would expect at the time. I do not know what exactly set apart some named plants – Bavarian kraut, kabassen, or scherubenkraut – but I suspect they were variants of cabbage or beet greens. Pießen is a bit unclear; The word usually refers to chard, but the way it is linked with nettles and salad (most likely meaning lettuce, the primary salad herb) here suggests it may refer to a dish made of these plants.

Next we have a fairly comprehensive list of fish, distinguished by their method of preparation and their species. Fish was a luxurious dish that the monks obviously enjoyed greatly. The kitchen prepared not just locally caught freshwater fish, but also imported stockfish dried Atlantic cod – herring, and dried flatfish. The distinction between salm and laxen (salmon) and huechen and hausen (sturgeon) also likely refers to fresh-caught regional fish versus the preserved imported kind.

The list of fried foods has a parallel in the provisions section again. The overlap is considerable and I explored most names and linked them to recipes in the discussion of that. What I am not clear on is the maulbers (mulberries) and the smolznudl. Today, Schmalznudel refers to a kind of leavened fritter, but it is not clear what, if anything, distinguished them from strauben here.

Finally, there is a list of miscellaneous dishes – various kinds of cooked fruit, legumes, dairy, and others – that accompany ritters as the final course. They are not dessert food in the modern sense, that habit only develops in the course of the sixteenth century. Again, we find some of them in the dairy and egg dishes in the provisions list. Aside from some potentially interesting dishes – what are those black dumplings made with if not blood? – we have two named dishes, rutschart and vitztumb. Both likely refer to a kind of thick soup, but I have not found contemporary recipes for either.

Altogether, the range of dishes is notable. Clearly, this monastic community enjoyed variety and was not willing to let expense or considerations of asceticism get in the way of a good meal.

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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