After speaking with my uncle, Frank Butler, I found out most of my heritage is German. He reached out to a few of my other family members and revealed that I am German and a couple of other cultures as well, including Mohawk Indian, Eastern European and English. I know more about the German culture than anything so I am going to write about the oldest and still widely used dish today, Grilled Cheese. This particular grilled cheese doesn’t include bread, mostly because bread wasn’t used until later on in history.
The German way to say grilled cheese is Gebraten Milch. It translates to “grilled milk,” but because you can’t actually grill milk because it’s a liquid, it’s referred to as grilled cheese. Gebraten Milch is actually very easy to make and incredibly easy to burn too so if you decide to make it be careful and watch the temperature of the vessel you use. If your vessel is too hot, the cheese will melt too fast and most likely won’t taste right, also it’ll burn.
A little about the history of Gebraten Milch: Gebraten milch was created in the 13th century in Germany in 1345, by Ein Buch von guter spise. the recipe was entitled “25”. (source: http://www.medievalcookery.com/search/autodoc.html?buchv:26 )
I couldn’t find why Gebraten Milch was created or who it was created for but if I had to take a guess I would have to say it was created for a young child. My daughter loves grilled cheese so that’s the only thing I could come up with as to why and who it was created for.
As i said in the beginning of this article, Gebraten Milch is actually simple to make. I have the actual German recipe for it and along with the German recipe I will translate it into English because the German language is a little difficult to understand. I actually speak and read some German so I can translate pretty well.
Gebraten Milch (grilled milk(cheese)
(In German) 25. Wiltu machen ein gebraten milch. Wilt du machen ein gebraten milich. so nim die do niht veiztes zu si kummen und die gelebt si. den hafen zuslahe daz sie sanfte heruz glite uf ein biutel tuch. dor in bewint sie und beswer sie sanfte von erst. und dor noch laz sie ligen fon dem morgen biz hin zu abend. so snit sie dünne und spizze sie. besprenge sie mit saltze. und lege sie uf ein hültzinen rost. und la sie wol roesten. und wirf ein wenic pfeffers dor uf und betreyfe sie mit butern oder mit smaltze. obe ez fleischtac si. und gib sie hin.
(translated to English) 25. How you want to make a roasted milk. So then take it (milk), not (too) fat to be thin, and which is curdled. Cover the pot so that it glides out easily onto a bag fabric. Bind it there in and beswer it, lightly from first, and there after that, let it lie from morning until the evening. So cut it thin and stick on a roasting spit. Sprinkle it with salt and lay it on a wooden grill and let it roast well. And throw a little pepper thereon and sprinkle it with butter or with fat, if it is a meat day, and give it out. (source word for word: http://www.medievalcookery.com/search/autodoc.html?buchv:26)
I’m going to put this recipe into simpler terms. First the recipe wants you to make the cheese yourself by using unpasteurized milk and then simmer it so the fat itself comes out. Then you put into cheesecloth and let it set for at least 12 hours before using. This helps it solidify so you can cut it. After the cheese has set, slice the cheese into semi thin slices and place on a hot grill or griddle with a little butter. Let it melt a little bit and turn it so the other side cooks. It cooks quickly so be careful. Once it is cooked add some salt and pepper and serve hot with toast on the side if you like.