Lung Tart

I’m still extremely busy, but I could not withhold this gem from you:

22 If you want to prepare a lung tart

Take the lungs and chop them small. Grate bread into it and break eggs into it, and add a little cream, raisins, sugar, and all kinds of spices. Prepare a pastry base (bedalin) below and a cover above and put it into the tart pan. Let it bake and when it is just baked (schyr bachen), put in butter.

Stuck between milk and cream tarts on the one hand and apple tarts on the other, this recipe comes as a surprise to modern sensibilities. I am not sure it would have seemed as strange to contemporaries who, after all, enjoyed all manner of offal. We have numerous recipes for lung used in fritters, pancakes, and sausages. Nonetheless, this recipe stands out for being shorter and less detailed than most others in the collection. It may well have entered the compliation from a different source. I may yet try it, just to see what it actually tastes like.

Philippine Welser (1527-1580), a member of the prominent and extremely wealthy Welser banking family of Augsburg, was a famous beauty of her day. Scandalously, she secretly married Archduke Ferdinand II of Habsburg in 1557 and followed him first to Bohemia, then to Tyrol. A number of manuscripts are associated with her, most famously a collection of medicinal recipes and one of mainly culinary ones. The recipe collection, addressed as her Kochbuch in German, was most likely produced around 1550 when she was a young woman in Augsburg. It may have been made at the request of her mother and was written by an experienced scribe. Some later additions, though, are in Philippine Welser’s own hand, suggesting she used it.

The manuscript is currently held in the library of Ambras Castle near Innsbruck as PA 1473 and was edited by Gerold Hayer as Das Kochbuch der Philippine Welser (Innsbruck 1983).

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