[Sca-cooks] Wecker -- To Roast Salmon

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sat Oct 6 16:12:57 PDT 2007

I've been playing with the fish section of Wecker's cookbook as transcribed 
on Thomas Gloning's web site. I've got a number of projects that take 
precedence, so these translations will be scattered out over an extended 
period. Since I am definitely not a linguist, I'll be adding translation 
notes and thoughts to help everyone follow my logic and find my errors.

Wecker seems to be given to colloquial German (or perhaps that is my fault 
in not being remotely knowledgeable in other than modern standard German) 
and to imperative sentences. For clarity, I've added understood words in 


Salmen zu braten.

SO du auffs best einen Salmenrucken zum braten zubereiten wilt/ so wasch jhn 
mit Essig der guten starcken Wein/ eines so vil als des andern/ laß jhn ein 
halbe stunde ligen/ alsdann nimb Pfeffer/ ein wenig Na:egelein vnd 
Muscatblu:eh alles klein gestossen/ vermisch auch mit Saltz nicht zu vil/ 
bestrew den Rucken vberal wol/ bereit jhn auff den Rost/ laß jhn allgemach 
trucknen/ dann bereit im selben eine bru:eh/ also mach ein schmaltz heiß/ 
thu wol vorgemelte Wu:ertz darein/ ein wenig hartes brot/ halb Wein vnnd 
Essig/ wol geschnitten Salvey vnd Peterlein/ laß wol an einander sieden/ es 
sol seyn wie ein du:ennes Pfefferbru:elein/ damit begeuß vnd bestreich den 
Rucken mit einem Salvensta:eudlein/ biß er genug gebraten/ sie sind fast 
bald genug gebraten/ wiltu jhn warm geben so geuß die bru:eh warm daru:eber/ 
wiltu jhn kalt geben/ begeuß jn aber/ daß die Bru:eh fein ein Ha:eutlein 
hat/ vnnd wol schwartz/ so bleibt er scho:en feucht/ Alsdann magstu (6) mit 
Zimet/ Jngwer/ Zucker vnnd Weinbeer ein Bru:ehlein machen/ vnd daru:eber 

Anna Wecker: Ein Köstlich new Kochbuch (Amberg 1598).
-- Teil 4: Von allerhand Fisch/ Su:eltzen vnd So:essen.
-- Textgrundlage: Faksimile München 1977.
-- Digitale Version: Norbert Bollen, Thomas Gloning, 3/2004

To Roast Salmon

Thusly, you will best prepare to roast a saddle of salmon (1)/ wash it with 
vinegar or good strong wine/ as one chooses/ let it lay for a half hour/ 
after that take pepper/ a few cloves and mace (2) lightly crushed together/ 
not mixed with salt/ spread well over the saddle/ make it ready on the 
grate/ let it dry (3) gently/ then at the same time prepare a broth/ also 
heat some fat/ you will blend (4) spices therein/ a little hard bread/ half 
wine and vinegar/ finely chopped sage and parsley/ let it simmer together/ 
(that) it might be like a tipsy pepper sauce/ therewith baste and cover the 
saddle with bits of sage/ take a bite to see if it has roasted sufficiently/ 
(if) it is nearly close to done/ to serve it hot pour the warm broth 
thereover/ to serve it cold/ pour in but/ (wait) until the broth has a fine 
skin (5)/ and true black/ so it stays fairly moist/ and then if you wish 
with cinnamon/ ginger/ sugar and grapes make a little sauce/ and sprinkle it 

  1.. Rucken = saddle. In the case of a salmon, this will likely be either 
the area behind the head and before the body tapers or it will be the area 
of the fish (minus head and tail) containing the body cavity.  As you can 
tell, I don't have a precise definition for Salmenrucken, just a best guess.
  2.. Muskatblu:eh. As written the word doesn't make sense. I'm translating 
it as Muskatblute or mace. The same word could conceivably be translated as 
muscat flower or young muskat grape. I think mace is more likely.
  3.. Trucknen. I am reading this a trocken, meaning to dry, parch, etc. I 
believe this is probably a colloquial usage.
  4.. Vorgemelte. I could find no literal translation of this word. I am 
translating it as "blend" because I think it may be related to the modern 
"schmelzen," "to melt." Schmelzen seems to imply high heat and industrial 
melting, so it is not a precise match. A Middle German replacement would be 
  5.. Ha:eutlein.  Literally "little skin."
  6.. Magstu.  At first, I thought this might be "machts du," but after 
consideration of the other machen in the sentence, I think that the verb is 
actually "mo:gen," "to want, wish, or desire."

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