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Sauerkraut History Quest

I've been trying to document how sauerkraut was preserved in the 16th century.  Common sense says that it may be the same as is done today, but that information hasn't been forthcoming to my searches.  I'm going to start to collect references to its manufacture and storage.  One of the challenges is that the 16th century words may not be the modern ones!  Some of the words include kraut, kol, kohl, cappes, kappes, kappiß, kappißkraut.  Sauer can also be spelled saur or sawr too.  Often the word compost/kompost is also associated with sauerkraut and other preserved fruits and vegetables.  This word still has the same approximate meaning as the French Compote.  One of the French period equivalents for cabbage is cabus and a search for the word in the 16th century leads us to a little information about the German preservation of cabbage. Le grand propriétaire de toutes choses, très utile et profitable pour tenir le corps humain en santé



Cabbage is good in meat and in medicine, and especially in Germany and Lorraine one makes of it a compost that keeps a long time, and one eats it during Lent with vinegar or with mustard.

Here's a picture of a chou cabu from another French source, which doesn't mention preservation:

Dumplings from 1560

I was excited to find a cookbook that seems to be based on the Saxon region of Germany! Now I have clothing inventories and a cookbook for my persona. I was most excited to see a recipe for the town next door - Chicken from Zwickau. The oddest things make me happy.  It's called "Allerlei speisen vortreffliches"




Farmer's Dumplings from a 1560 Saxon Cookbook

Take pepper / a goodly portion of onions
to it / not too many / chop
them together / not too small/
melt a goodly portion of fat into it/
break into it two or three eggs/
and parsley / and do not make
it too thin with the eggs /
fat/ and take wheat flour /
also semolina a spoon full / that is not as much
as the flour / or instead put
bread thereto / happening to have
it / so it will be thick / make the
dough quite thick / as for small
meatballs / when the meat stock is boiling / lay
them in / let them boil [until] they are well joined ; they
should not be allowed to boil long / put fat
and eggs in it / otherwise they are
not good.
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The Italian / and in the Provence in France / prepare Marzipan from honey
and almonds / in the following manner:  They take three pounds of fine white honey/
three egg yolks / beat it together / with a wooden / beater in a basin or
a small pan / and do this so long / until it is white as milk / put then the pan
on a glowing coal fire / and stir it without ceasng with a pestle so long / until that it
becomes seemlingly thick / then slide into it the shelled and ground sweet almonds / so much
that it becomes the necessary thickness / while the dough is still warm / slide it finally out
onto a marble stone / or such a nice smooth surface / and make marzipan from it.
Such food is admirably good for consumption  / and makes thick mucus eject.

Goat Cheese!!

Here are instructions to make cheese from a German book in 1554, a puported translation of the work of Emperor Constantine IV. A cursory search did not come up with this particular piece in English, but perhaps it is already out there. This transcription and translation is by me. The book:

Der Veldtbaw, od[er] das buch von der Veldtarbeyt ... zuvor ... von dem christlichen Keyser Constantino dem Vierdten, in griechischer Spraach beschriben ... durch Michael Herren in Teiitsche spraach erstmals verdolmetschet

It does sound like more of an Middle Eastern way to make cheese, but here it is shared with everyday Germans.

How one should make cheese. The xix Chapter

The best curd of clots for cheese / come from
young goats. One clots or coagulates the milk
likewise with roasted salt/ with the juice of the fig /
with fig leaves and twigs / with the heads from
artichokes / also with the inner skin of the stomach of a chicken.
When the sheep and goats eat bitter things / so is
gained from them better milk / and even better yet / when
they eat large clover. The milk stays good for three days /
one, when it is first coagulated / puts it in
a dish / and heats [it] / and then pours it into another
dish / and stirs with a tube or fig twig / until it
cools / after that one sprinkles roasted salt
therein. [While] the cheese stays tender and soft / so
one puts into it wild saffron seeds with warm water or
honey. [When] the cheese stays solidified / then one washes
them with water / and let dry in the sun / after that
lay in a glazed dish / with thyme or savory / therefore /
that the cheeses do not touch each other / then one should
pour over them Oximel / that is a vinegar boiled with honey /
so that the whole cheese is covered. Or rather keep your cheese
in seawater. When one tosses a cheese in salted water/
so it will stay white / if one however hangs it in smoke /
so it will be firm and sharp. All cheese will be long keeping in
peas or chickpeas / if one lays them therein.
However when the cheese in age becomes hard or bitter / then
one should mosten them / and sprinkle them with barley flour/
the barley flour however should be made from undried barley /
and when one wants to have need of it / then one lays it
in water and then pares away the skin formed over it.

The German back hereCollapse )

Verjus recipes

I haven't posted for a while, and I'm missing it!  To quote freewaydiva "Damn you pinterest!"  And I have to learn to moderate FB somehow.  But I might miss something!

I did a little work on 16th century German verjus making instructions and wanted to get them posted.




Augsburg cookbook belonging to Maria Stenglerin, 1554
Ain agrest zu machen.
Item nimb unzeitig weintrauben, press sie auss, thus
in ain schefflin, vnnd thu ain gut tail saltz daran, vnd riers
ain stund umb thus dan in a fesslin, thu zeitig nespelen
daran, vnd walgle das fessle gar offt, lass vergeren.
To make verjus
Item take unripe grapes, press them out, put it
in a dish, and put a goodly amount of salt on it, and stir
it around for an hour and put it then in a [glass] vessel, put ripe
medlars
therein, and grind the vessel [contents] quite often, let it ferment


Siben Bücher Von dem Feldbau vnd vollkom[m]ener bestellung eynes
ordenlichen Mayerhofs oder Landguts
Charles Estienne, Jean Liébault, Melchior Sebisch
Wie vnd welcher gestalt man Agrest bereyten soll.
Die aller gemeynste Weiss vnd gestallt den Agrest inn unseren Landen zu-
machen / ist / dass man die aller grünsten Trauben am Rebengeheld / oder aber
im Rebland die unzeitigen / welche man nach dem einlesen im herbst pfleget
zufinden / lasse ablesen vnd ausspressen / wie man sonst die zeitigen Trauben
pflegt zutrotten.  Man thue darnach solchen aussgepreszten safft inn kleyne
Fässlin vnd saltze in wann er verjoren vnd verschaumt hat / wie sonst den Most.  Inn den
Landen gegen Mitternacht / pflegt man auch eyn Agrest auss wildem  Apffelsafft zuberey-
ten / vnd eyn wenig Saltz darunter zumischen.  Andere machen eyn trucken Agrest auf di-
se Manier:  sie nennen die aller grünsten Träublin pressen dieselbigen / vnd sieden den auss0
gepreszten saft inn kupfferinnen Geschirzen / so lang diss dass er gar duck würt vnd zu-
sammen laufft:  Sie dörzen jn nachmals an der Sonnen / vnd prauchen also
davon. Etliche pflegen jn gar nit zusieden / sondern sie dörzen in alley
inn der Sonnen / diss dass er so dick würd als hönig


How and which way one should prepare verjus
The most usual way and form of  making verjus in our lands
is/ that one the most green grapes from the trained vines / or rather
the unripe from the wild vines / which one finds left after picking in autumn/
let them be scoured and pressed / as one does for ripe grapes
to prepare for pressing.  One then places the pressed juice in small
vessels (glass) and salts it when it has bubbled and foamed / as with must.  In the midnight
lands / one prepares also a verjus from wild apple juice /
and mixes a bit of salt in it.  Others make a dry verjus by
this manner:  they take the most green grapes and press the same / and simmer the
pressed out juice in a copper dish / so long that this is quite thick and
comes together:  They then dry it in the sun / and use from it at need.
Some do not simmer it / but rather they dry it all
in the sun / until it is as thick as honey.


Vom Ackerbau, Erdwucher und Bauleuten
Petrus de Crescentiis
1531
Agrest der würt zweyerley gemacht / flüssig vnd trucken.  Den flüssigen
macht man also. wann die trauben noch saur seind / aber nahet also groß als
sye werden sollen / so lyß sye vnd stoß sy gar fast / vnd setz was
gestanden ist an die Sonn vnd würff saltz darin also das es wol gesaltzen
sey.  vnnd wann es drey tag gestot so nym darauß was du gezwingen magst vnd
fasser das zübrauchen.  Etlich thün nit saltz darin . aber er behalt sich
basser / vnd namlich so er auß den trauben gemacht ist.  der wein haltet
sich nit im summer.  Den trucknen agrest mach also.  Nym die aller saursten
trauben vnd stoß darauß was du magst / vnd thü das in ein kupfferin waßs
auff ein feür bitz es nahe geronnen ist.  darnach thü das in weyt gefäß /
als narten oder groß schüsselen  / an die Sonn/ vnd laß es dorren vnd
behalt es.    wo die Sonn  gar seer wörmet da darff es nit über feür ston.
Etlich machen agrest auß traube die etlicher maß süß seind.  aber der erst
ist küler vnd mer stopffend.  Züm dritten magstu agrest machen dick also
honig.  der ist gar krefftig. als wir gesagt haben in dem xix. capitel
dises büchs.


Verjus can be made in two ways / liquid and dry.  The liquid type one makes in
this way.  when the grapes are still sour / but also near a big as they are
going to be / so gather them and crush them quite completely / and set what
is left in the sun and mix salt therein so that is is well salted.  and
when allowed to stand three days so take out from it what is expressed and
contain what is required.  It can also not have salt put in it / but it
keeps better  [with salt] / and especially when made out of grapes.  The
wine will not keep in the summer.  The dried verjus is made thusly.  Take
the most sour grapes and crush out what may com / and put it in a copper
vessel on the fire until it is nearly coagulated.  then put it in a wide
container / as a trough or a wide bowl / in the sun / and let it dry and
keep it.  where the sun is quite very warming it need not stand on the
fire.  Or otherwise make from grapes that are somewhat sweeter.  but the
first is cooler and more costive.   Thirdly you may also make verjus thick
as honey. This is quite nourishing.  as we have said in the xix chapter of this book.
In 1586 the miller of Kloschwitz near the town of Plauen in Saxony left a rather sizable dowry for his daughter. Here's Kloschwitz on google maps:

This is especially exciting for me as my SCA late period persona is a Saxon, from my ancestral town of Werdau. Kloschwitz is about 30 miles to the south. The dowry includes cloth and cost to make several items of clothing, household textiles, bridal party and wedding, beer for the wedding, and finally a sheep and a cow. I hope you also find it interesting - it is unusual to find a dowry of someone of this social class in the 16th century!

This gets long- the transcription/translation back here...Collapse )
das ist ain frantzösischer
Mant(e)l da(r) zw kompt 7 elen(n) 4 f' (fierteil?) vnd vmb den obere(n)
iii thayll vnd ele(n) / das t' (teil?) ist auff geworff'(en)

this is a French
cloak there to comes 7 ells 4 quarters and around the top
third part and ell / the piece is on the warp

vnd das ist ain
frawe(n) rock von(n) 8 stück da(r)zw geyt man(n) 10 elen(n) vnd
müss 3 ele(n) lang sein vnd schneyd das t'(tuch) ermitt'(el) von
ain and(er) vnd legs nach dem stück 1 ele(n) lang dy vod(er)
gstalt / 3 ele(n) lang vnd 1 elen(n) in den auffschlag
so bleybt er noch ii ele(n) lang vnd 1 f' (fierteil) jetz ist das t'(teil) 3
ele(n) lang komme(n) 3 ele(n) zu(m) rock / vnd die ii ele(n)
zu(m) ermel als döppel vnd zu(m) stössen 2 ele(n) lang, 5/8
gehört auffs hind thayl gege(n) uber / so ist das in der
seytte(n) vnd zweische(n) örbel gand. ii stoss heraüss
gehörendt dra(n) / das me(r)tayll an örbel sollen nach
der schlem(m) sein 2 elen 1 f' (fierteil) / der örbel nach der
fälen recht ii elen(n) 3/8 geytt sich selb / die stöss
ii elen lang In syetten / Anno du(mini) 1516

and this is a
woman's gown from 8 pieces thereto this goes 10 ells and
(it) must be three ells long and cut the cloth apart in its
middle and lay according to the piece 1 ell long the front
shap / 3 ells long and 1 ell in the reverse
so remains 2 ells and 1 quarter length now is the piece to come
3 ells long for the gown / and the 2 ells for
the sleeves as doubled and to the gores 2 ells long and 5/8
belongs for the back piece going over / so that it in
sides and between the armholes go. 2 gores out of this
to this belong / the more part to the armhole should be
at a slant 2 ells and 1 quarter / the sleeves by the
right cutout 2 ells 3/8 go the same / the gores
2 ells long in the side / Anno Domini 1516

It seems clear to me that the 8 piece gown is a gored gown, and perhaps the aufschlagen (reverse/lapel) might be the pleated section in the "Dürer/hausbuch" type gowns.

For me this was a rather exciting test of my skill and I have some confidence in the results. Perhaps the hardest part, outside of trying to understand the stream of pattern cutting consciousness, were the considerable number of abbreviations. As the document continued the number of abbreviations continued. I checked out a book "Leseschussel zu unserer alten Schrift" by Paul Arnold Grun (1935) that contained a sizable list of medieval and renaissance area letters and abbreviations. Sadly the most frequent abbreviation, which looked something like a f or s ending up being a contraction mark for something the reader should have known. I think in the cases here, some started with f next to measurements - that could be fierteil (quarter) or even fuß (foot), although I did not see a reference to foot spelled out in the document in other places as I did fierteil. The other common abbreviation was a t and the mark. Sometimes it seemed clear to be tuch (cloth) as it would be something a weaver or tailor could easily have abbreviated and be understood. Other times it seemed to point to perhaps a pattern piece so I chose teil (spelled thayll elsewhere) meaning piece. I couldn't guarantee that it is right, but it is my best guess. When I have guessed or supplied characters and words not evident, I have placed them in parentheses.

I think these patterns could be worked out by an enterprising soul :) So far I can find that the ell measurement of Augsburg was 24 inches in the 18th/19th century.
Item den müßt auch auss 7 ele(n) ain manssrock
mache(n) wie yetz d(er) brauch ist / das die örbel aine(r)
zwei(er)the(n) handt lenge(r) sey dan(n) d(er) rock /

Item then you must from 7 ells make a man's gown
as is now the fashion / (so) that the sleeves each are
two hand (lengths) longer than the gown

Item we(nn) du zw kyrchen(n) wilt gan(n) so fürsich dich das du dyr
ain barhosen(n) vnd dine(r) frawe(n) ain mantell
machest auss 8 + halb ele(n) /

When you want to go to church so design this that you
make a pair of hosen and your wife a cloak
from out of 8 and 1/2 ells

das ist ain zwickel ma(n)-
tel da(r) zw kompt 10 ele(n) vnd mach den mant(e)l
lang 1 f' (fierteil) ii ele(n) so gat dis dy kapp vnd der
zipfel vnd herauss vnd dy stöss / das t'(tuch) leytt
Auff geworffen vnd wan(n) du den erste(n) zwckel gemacht
hast so fach auff d(er) seytte(n) an(n) vnd miss den anderen
Mantl vnd das dy stöss oben brayt seye(n) yethitzer 1 f'(fierteil) / d(der
zypfl müss zwe(r)ch sein

This is a gored cloak,
there to comes 10 ells and make the cloak
2 and 1/4 ells long so goes this for the hood and the
gore and outside(?) and the panes / the cloth lays
on the warp and when you make the first gore
so proportion it by the side (measure) and include the other
cloak [pane?] and that the pane on the top is wide currently 1 f' (quarter[elle]) the
gores should be transverse

Des ist ain pfaffen rock / dar zw
kompt 10 ele(n) t' (tuch) / vnd mach den(n) mantl lang 3 f' (fierteil) vnd
hinde(r) weytt 5 elen(n) vnd vorner(n) 1 f' (fierteil) / vnd 4 elen vnd
mach dy erbel lang 2 ele(n) vnd dy kappe(n) 1 f' (fierteil) 1 elen
so gatt d(er) zipf(e)l nöle(n) heräuss

This is a parson's gown / there to
comes 10 ells of cloth / and make the cloak 3 quarter long and
the back width 5 ells and the front 1 quarter / and 4 ells
and make the sleeves 2 ells long and the hood 1 quarter 1 ell
so goes the gore from out of the scrap

I keep on think that the parson's robe is a yoked gown with the front yoke 1/4 ell and the back yoke 3/4 ell. It's about the only thing that makes sense to me.
Flugel rock

This is an Albrecht Dürer image of a woman of Nuremburg circa 1500.  She is wearing a specific kind of gown with flowing sleeves called a "Flügel Rock".  It more or less means that the gown had wings or sails.  The Augsburg test has specific instructions for the tailors who were making the gown.  From these directions I take it that the gown was made with cloth that had a definite nap.


Item das ist ain flygel rock / der
zw kompt 10 ele(n) vnd mach das hind(er) thayll lang
4 ele(n) vnd das hinder thayl weytt 7 ele(n) / vnd das fo(rder)
tayll 3 ele(n) vnd 1 fiertayl lang vnd die weytte 5 ele(n)
vnd mach den fligel lang(en) 3 ele(n) vnd dy fligel halben
(ip) weytten vnde(n) der rock hat / kainerbel / Item du
Müst dich auch fyrseche(r) das an dem rock der strich
aller vnd sich gang / vnd das (ip) leytt auffgewo(r)ffen
vnd schneyd das (ip) in d(er) mitt ab vnd das im der
tuch nit v(er)kert werdt / Item du müst dich auch
fyrseche(r) das du auff 11 elen(n) ain ornat machest

Item this is a flugel rock / there
to comes 10 ells and make the back part length
4 ells and the back width 7 ells / and the front
piece 3 ells and 1 quarter long and the width 5 ells
and make the flugel (sleeve) 3 ells and the flugels half
the width that the bottom of the gown is / no sleeves / Item
you must take care that the gown's nap must go the same
and that the it lays folded and cut it up the middle and
that the cloth is not upside down / Item you must also
be careful that from the from 2 ells you make an "ornat" (guard?)

I've asked for help on some of the abbreviations I am not quite getting.  So I will come back and update when I know what the missing piece is.  This section is for a poor man's outfit and a farmer's gown.

das ist ains arme(n)
Manss kläyd mant(e)l vnd zypful* vnd kappe(n) vnd hossen
Darzu kom(m)pt 6 ele(n) vnd mach den ma(n)tel lang 2 ele(n)
vnd mach den kappe(n) lang 3 fiertail vnd lass die
zypfel nebe(n) der kappe(n) auss hergan(n) / vnd we(nn) du Im
auff dem gradt von ain and(er) schneydst so wyrt er
langtz 2 elen(n) vnd iii fiertail / das ist ain elen
vund ain fiertail / darauss mach hossen(n) on ain
gesess

This is a poor
man's outfit, coat and cap and hood and hosen
Thereto comes 6 ells and make the coat 2 ells long
and make the hood 3/4 long and let the
be from next to the hood / and when you
cut it out to size so it will be one ell
and a quarter / there is (still) one ell
and one quarter / from it make hosen without
a seat


das ist ain bawre(n) rock / darzw kompt 6
elen(n) vnd mach den rock lang ii elen(n) vnd
Die örbel auch so Lang Wie sie vor dyr stand vnd gretzss
vmb vnd vmb 1 fiertail in das ( ) Item du müst dich
auch fyrseche(n) das du on ain fiertail 6 elen(n) zÚ dem
rock brauchest In / Item des seind die örbel vnd dz schmall
kert auff dy achsel

This is a farmer's gown / thereto comes 6
ells and make the gown 2 ells long and
the sleeves also as long as what was before stated and cut irregularly
around and around 1 quarter in the ( ) Item you must yourself
also be careful that you use less one quarter of the 6 ells for
the gown / Item this is for the sleeves and for the small
turn on the shoulder

* a zipfel is a conical cap with a tassel on the end

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