[Sca-cooks] On Nattes

wheezul at canby.com wheezul at canby.com
Wed Jun 23 20:59:38 PDT 2010

I think I have more questions than answers!

Basically these are layered skins from evaporated milk layered with sugar,
rosewater and wafers.  The first question I have is about the name of the
dish "Nattes".  I don't quite know if I can translate this - maybe someone
here knows.  To naetschen is the Swiss vernacular for making a popping
sound when opening one's mouth.  A Natter is an adder.  Nett is a net.  I
wonder if nett could have a wider meaning of a cover or blanket.  Then the
name would make sense, but I can't see how net would apply to the final
product otherwise.  However the word bestrichen does mean to cover with a
net as well.  Maybe it's like a "Nonne" (nun) and is just a name.

The next question is about wafers - ablaten/oblaten in this case.  I know
that they refer to unleavened communion wafers and are still available for
baking German lebkuchen.  It's used a with a little variation in Wecker,
so I'm not sure they are always these and medievally appeared to mean some
sort of baked good (outside of a communion host).  However, Anna Wecker
also says that they are made from round flat irons and implies that one
may "find them" rather than "make them".  Further, a recipe in another
cookbook for filled oblaten specified that one should take care to make
sure that it stayed white before frying them.  So I'm leaning toward the
white wafer concept.  Does anyone have a period recipe for a communion

Anyway, the recipe with the German without the diacritcal marks:

Von Nattes
Mann thut sechs oder sieben stubichen
Milch in einen Messingskessel / lests fuenff oder sechs
mahl auffsieden vnd scheumets alzeit rein ab / gibt sie
darnach in etzliche Erdenescheusseln so wirdt oben eine
haut darauff / die sol man abnehment vnnd leggen sie
eine auff die ander in Confect schalen oder Silber
besprenget sie mit Rosenwasser oder Zucker vnnd be-
stricht sie mit Ablaten / seud dan die Milch fuenff oder
sechs mahl wider auff / das thut man offt vnd nimbts
allwege die haut davon vnd bestrewet eine jede dann-
wenn man sie in die Confectschalen legt mit Rosen-
wasser vnd Zucker / besticht sie mit Ablaten / etc.

About Nattes
One does six or seven stubichen [liquid measure]
[of] milk in a brass kettle / let it five or six
times come to a boil and skim [it] up clean all the time / give it
next in some earthenware bowls so it will on the top
a skin thereon [develop] / this should one take up and lay it
one on the other in a confect dish or silver [dish]
sprinkle it with rose water or sugar and cover
them with wafers / bring to a boil then the milk five or
six times again / that one does repeatedly and takes
each time the skin therefrom and bestrews each one then
when one lays them in the confect dish with rosewater
and sugar / cover it with wafers / etc.


p.s. I'm having a bit of trouble reading the last couple letters in the
center gutter of my copy of the facsimile so if someone notes that the
words at the end aren't quite right, please let me know.

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list