Category Archives: German

Passover Pre-17th Century


This is one of those cuisines that is a real challenge to research before the 18th century: Jewish food.  It’s been a bit of a struggle for me to find what little I have over the years.  As I network with other people that are interested in the same historical roots, I’ve been able to find more and more details to my files.

Within the SCA, there was a very resourceful and dedicated researcher (Mistress Judith bas Rabbi Mendel) that put together this document on various types of Passovers throughout the SCA period.  It is hosted currently on  Stefan’s Florilegium over here.  Since it is that time of the season, I thought it would be a good idea to post this to help anyone out there looking for details like these for pesach.

Rumpolt Salads for Summer

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Ein new Kochbuch (lit. “A New Cookbook”), written in 1581 by Marx Rumpolt, was the first textbook for professional chefs in training. He was head cook to Elector of Mainz, Daniel Brendel of Homburg. Currently this is being translated by Sharon Ann Palmer on her lovely blog over here.

I found a few easy salads that are perfect for the Summer.

Salat 20. Schel die Murcken/ vnd schneidt sie breit vnnd dünn/ mach sie an mit Oel/ Pfeffer vnd Saltz. Seind sie aber eyngesaltzen/ so seind sie auch nit böß/ seind besser als roh/ denn man kans eynsaltzen mit Fenchel vnd mit Kümel/ daß man sie vber ein Jar kan behalten. Vnnd am Rheinstrom nennet man es Cucummern.

20. Peel the Cucumbers/ and cut them wide and thin/ mix them with oil/ pepper and salt. If they are salted/ then they are also not bad/ they are better than raw/ for one can salt them down with fennel and with caraway/ that one can keep over a year. And on the Rhine river (in the Rhine valley) one calls it Cucummern.

Cucumber Salad

3 Medium Cucumbers, English or whatever you prefer
1 Small Bulb of Fennel
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
1/4 Tsp Pepper (adjust to taste)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/8 Tsp Caraway Seeds

Take skin off and then thinly slice cucumbers. Clean and slice fennel as well. Place in bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Combine everything evenly. Serve.

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Salat 33. Nimm ein rot Häuptkraut/ schneidts fein klein/ vnd quells ein wenig in warmen Wasser/ küls darnach geschwindt auß/ machs mit Essig vnd Oel ab/ vnd wenn es ein weil im Essig ligt/ so wirt es schön rot.

33. Take a red cabbage/ cut it very small/ parboil it a little in warm water/ cool it rapidly/ mix with vinegar and oil/ and when it lays awhile in the vinegar/ then it will be beautiful red.

Red Cabbage Salad

1 large Red Cabbage
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp Salt

In a large pot fill with water, leaving at least 3″ from the rim. Boil water.

Get another large bowl and fill with an ice bath.

Shred cabbage.

Once water is boiling, take off heat and strain off liquid.

Drop hot cabbage carefully into ice bath. Let stand for a few minutes until cabbage is cool to touch.

Drain water. Squeeze cabbage loosely to get as much water off as you can.

Place in clean, dry bowl cabbage and add the rest of the ingredients. Toss cabbage to make sure everything is well mixed.

Sausages in Pottage

Sausages in Pottage

Recipes within our period (pre-1650) in the use of sausage in dishes are sprinkled across the various cultures and time periods. The original German recipe for the sausage itself was hinting that the sausage would be made for a salad. I decided to look deeper to try to find another recipe that would be cooked. Apples and Sausages are still very much eaten in Europe and finding this version on that dish which is period, is a great find. The mix of salty and sweet is a classic temptation of the palate.

Here is some background on the original two cook book authors. My sausage recipe was written by Sabina Welserin, otherwise unknown, was the author of a German cookbook, Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, which she dated 1553 in her brief epigraph. The manuscript was edited by Hugo Stopp and published as Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin. (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag) 1980. It is one of a very few primary sources for the history of German cuisine. The main recipe for the Sausage and Pottage dish was resourced from Lancelot de Casteau or de Chasteau or de Chestea, also known as Anseau de Chestea (1500s – 1613) was the master chef for three prince-bishops of Liège in the 16th century: Robert de Berghes, Gérard de Groesbeek, and Ernest of Bavaria and the author of a cookbook, the Ouverture de cuisine, often considered the first cookbook to go beyond medieval recipes and to codify haute cuisine.


Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, 1553

23 If you would make a good sausage for a salad 

Then take ten pounds of pork and five pounds of beef, always two parts pork to one part of beef. That would be fifteen pounds. To that one should take eight ounces of salt and two and one half ounces of pepper, which should be coarsely ground, and when the meat is chopped, put into it at first two pounds of bacon, diced. According to how fat the pork is, one can use less or more, take the bacon from the back and not from the belly. And the sausages should be firmly stuffed. The sooner they are dried the better. Hang them in the parlor or in the kitchen, but not in the smoke and not near the oven, so that the bacon does not melt. This should be done during the crescent moon, and fill with the minced meat well and firmly, then the sausages will remain good for a long while. Each sausage should be tied above and below and also fasten a ribbon on both ends with which they should be hung up, and every two days they should be turned, upside down, and when they are fully dried out, wrap them in a cloth and lay them in a box. 

If you would make a good sausage for a salad – Redaction:
As I was wishing to do a test batch, I decided to cut the directions in half. I still had a ton of meat to stuff. For ease (and to spare my hands) I purchased the meat ground up. In period they would have chopped/ground it up themselves. The texture changes when you do that. In the future I may try that and see if there is much difference.

5lbs Ground Pork
2.5lbs Ground Beef
1lb Bacon
4oz of Salt
1.2oz Ground Pepper
1/3 pound of Pork Fat
25 standard sausage casings

I took all the meat, salt and pepper, and mixed it together by hand in a huge bowl. Testing the flavor by frying up a small 1 inch patty and tasted it. I left the seasonings as is, but this is a great way to make sure the flavorings are good before stuffing. Using a Kitchen aid with a sausage stuffer attachment, I threaded the casing on the tip of the food extruder (knotting the one end once the casing is fully on) and began to feed the stuffer with the mixture. The attachment filled the casings and when I felt the sausage was big enough and stuffed tightly (about five inches long roughly), I would twist the casing to close off that sausage, trying to keep them roughly the same shape. They were placed in the refrigerator for storage before use.

Next part of the sausage dish cooking project is the main recipe for the Tourney Dish. The recipe is called Sausages with apples, cinnamon and nutmeg from Saulcisses en potage, Lancelot de Casteau, Ouverture de cuisine, 1585 (France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans.).


Saulcisses en potage.

Prennez les saulsisses, & les fricassez en beurre, puis prennez quartre ou cinq pommes pellées & couppées par petits quartiers, & quartre ou cinq oignons couppez par rondes tranches, & les fricassez en beurre, & les mettez tout dedans vn pot auec les saulsisses, & mettez dedans noix muscade, canelle, auec vin blanc ou rouge, du succre, & le faictes ainsi esteuuer.


Sausages in pottage.

Sausages in Pottage. Take sausages, & fry them in butter, then take four or five peeled apples & cut into small quarters, & four or five onions cut into rings, & fry them in butter, & put all of them into a pot with the sausages, & put therein nutmeg, cinnamon, with red or white wine, sugar, & let them then all stew.

Sausages in Pottage – Redaction:

2lbs of sausages
four medium apples
4-5 medium onions
butter for frying
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups semi-dry white wine
sugar to taste

Brown the sausages in a little butter. They need not be fully cooked through because you will be stewing them. Remove them to a heavy, high-sided stewing pot. Peel and core the apples, cut them into small chunks and brown them in the same pan you just browned the sausages in. When they have browned, remove them to the stew pot. Cut the onions into wide rounds about ¼” thick. Brown them in the apple/sausage pan until they are well browned, remove to the stew pot. Let the browning pan cool a little and take about ½ cup of the wine and reconstitute the pan drippings. Try to get off as much as you can because it will add flavor to the pottage, then add it to the stew pot. Add the remainder of the wine, spices and sugar. Let the pottage cook covered over a low heat for an hour. Check it at that time for doneness(allow to stew a little longer if it is not done). If so make sure that it has enough liquid. You don’t want all the liquid to cook away.

Some cheese research in period…

From Ein Buch von guter Spice is the earliest known German language cookbook. It is dated from between 1345 to 1354. My translations were taken from this website over here.

q Ein gut fülle (A good filling)
Nim mandel kern. mache in schoene in siedem wazzer. und wirf sie kalt wazzer. loese die garsten und stoz die besten in einem mörser. Alse sie veiste beginnen. so sprenge dor uf ein kalt wazzer. und stoz sie vaste und menge sie mit kaldem wazzere eben dicke. und rink sie durch ein schoen tuch. und tu die kafen wider in den mörser. stoz sie und rink sie uz. schütez allez in ein phannen. und halt sie über daz fiur. und tu darzu ein eyer schaln vol wines. und rüerez wol untz daz ez gesiede. nim ein schün büteltuch und lege ez uf reine stro. und giuz dor uf die milich. biz daz sie wol über sige. swaz denne uf dem tuche belibe. do von mache einen kese. wilt du butern dor uz machen. so laz ein wenic saffrans do mit erwallen. und gibz hin als butern oder kese.

Take almonds. Make them beautiful in boiling water (Blanch them). And throw them in cold water. Remove the rancid (almonds) and pound the best in a mortar. When they begin to be oily, so sprinkle thereon a cold water. And pound them strong and mix them with cold water smooth and thick. And wring it through a fine towel. And do the pods/husks in the mortar again. Pound them and wring them out. Pour all in a pan and hold it over the fire. And add thereto an egg shell full of wine, and stir it well and (so) that it is boiled. Take a good servant-cloth and lay it on clean straw. And pour thereon the milk, until it drops well over that (Probably means until the whey runs out.), (and) which then stays on the towel. Therefrom make a cheese. If you want to make butter out of it, so let a little saffron boil with it (but this needs to be done when the almond milk is made). And give it out as butter or cheese.

Ein cygern von mandel (A cheese of almonds) (This type of cheese, cygern, is made from curdled whey, rather than from curds.)
Wilt du machen ein cyger von mandeln. so nim mandelkern. und stoz die in einem mörser. und die mandelmilch erwelle und schüte sie uf ein schoen tuch. und einen shaub drunder. und laz in erküeln. und slahe in uf eine schüzzeln. und stoz dor uf mandelkern. und strauw da ruf zucker und gibz hin.

How you want to make a cheese of almonds. So take almond kernels. And pound them in a mortar. And boil the almond milk and pour it on a fine cloth. And tangled straw thereunder. And let it cool. And put it on a bowl. And pound thereon almond kernels. And strew thereon sugar and give out.

Einen kese von mandel (A cheese of almonds)
Wilt du machen aber einen kese von mandeln. so nim mandelkern und stoz die. und nim die milich und slahe eyer dor in. giuz einer guten milich dorzu. und erwelle daz abe. und schütez uf ein tuch. laz in erkalden. und lege in uf einen kesenapf. und mache in. und lege in denne uf ein teler. bestrauwe in mit eime zucker. daz heizzet ein mandelkese.

How you want to make but a cheese of almonds. So take almond kernels and pound them. And take the milk and mix eggs therein. Pour a good milk thereto. And boil it down. And pour it on a cloth. Let it cool. And lay it on a cheese bowl. And make (shape) it. And lay it then on a plate. Strew it with a sugar. That is called almond cheese.

Daz buoch von guoter spise

For the person that wants to cook historically, it’s certainly a real challenge.  There are a number of types of enthusiasts out there with varying levels of involvement, i.e. “how much time and money do I want to put into cooking historically?”  Some people love going to the library (yes, Virginia, those things are still around) and research old texts, while others would prefer finding recipes online.

With the internet, there has been a great insurgence of information, which is both good and bad.  Sometimes you have to wade through the bad stuff to get to the good.  Things that you would think would be online, just aren’t on, and well… I think most people that have been online for research, get this.

Daz buoch von guoter spise, is a German manuscript dated between 1345 and 1354, which the original being in the university library at Munich.  The translation is over here if you are looking for some Historical German recipes to have some fun with.  These aren’t redacted, but at least they give you some ideas of what to use.