Having Friends for Dinner

 A family firm of long standing, artisanal butchery, local product, and absolutely no factory farming.” width=

A family firm of long standing, artisanal butchery, local product, and absolutely no factory farming. Image source: Wikimedia

The fraught history of Germans eating horses

Volker Bach continues his occasional series on German historical recipes.

Culinary history has not enjoyed great regard in German academia. Scholars long viewed it as trivial, and errors abound even in relatively recent publications. There is one point, though, that every medieval historian in the country is aware of: the church banned the eating of horsemeat.

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Beloved of Kings and Kindergartners

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The deep history of humble apfelmus

Volker Bach continues his occasional series on German historical recipes.

In modern German cuisine, apfelmus is a ubiquitous staple usually served with potato pancakes or as a dessert in its own right. Supermarkets sell industrially produced versions cheaply in glass jars or carton packages, and organic makers often combine theirs with other fruit or spices to make it more interesting. It looks entirely like a product of the twentieth century, but this commonplace food has a long and noble tradition.
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Bottling Status

From Anonymous:'Kuchemaistrey', Nuremberg, 1485.” width=

rom Anonymous:’Kuchemaistrey’, Nuremberg, 1485.

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The Portable Sauces of Medieval Germany

Volker Bach continues his occasional series on German historical recipes.

The recipe collection of Master Hans, court cook at Wurttemberg (Maister Hannsen des von Wirtenberg Koch1) preserves a number of interesting and often enticing recipes and anecdotes. Written in 1460, this manuscript is one of the most important and most readable sources for the culinary world of late medieval German courts. Experts think its author was personal chef (koch zer kamer i.e. cook of the chamber) to Count Ulrich V of Wurttemberg (1433-1480), and the character of the recipes – rich, extravagant, often playful and luxurious – fits this interpretation. If it is true, Count Ulrich was well served.
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It Tastes Green

 Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany.” width=

Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany

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The rise, fall and persistence of galium odoratum

Volker Bach continues his occasional series on German historical recipes.

Many colour-flavour combinations are intuitive. An orange or yellow drink is likely to be citrus-flavoured, a red one will probably taste of berries. Green is harder to place. In France, you can be confident you will enjoy a refreshing menthe a l’eau while in the United States, lime is the safer bet. In Germany, the traditional culinary code dictates that green lemonade, ice cream or jelly taste of woodruff.

Known by its German colloquial name as Waldmeister (master of the forest), this plant with its distinctive white flowers and crowns of leaves around the stem grows in deciduous forests throughout Germany and can be gathered wild in spring and early summer. The leaves and stems can be used to flavour drinks and sweets. This is best done by allowing them to wilt slightly after they are picked and then pouring boiling water over them to extract the aroma. Steeping them for extended periods is not recommended because of their high coumarin content, but happens frequently. The result is an occasional headache.
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