Friday 13 September 2019

Affenmund or Monkey Mouth

Oldest image of the Tegernsee Cloister, in the Landtafeln by Philipp Apian, 1560.

This post concerns a recipe with the curious name 'Affenmund', which can be translated as 'monkey mouth'. The origin is a bit obscure. The recipe is in the collection by H. Juergen Fahrenkamp 'Wie man eyn teutches Mannsbild bey Kräfften halt' (ISBN 3-89996-264-8). Fahrenkamp only occasional mentions his source clearly. The book includes many recipes from the 'Buoch van guoter spise', but the Affenmund is not one of them. The monks from the cloister at Tegernsee are also often mentioned, and the Affenmund recipe only says that the recipe is from a cloister cookbook. Unfortunately, the Tegernsee monastry cookbook is a bit of a mystery. There are some hints that it exists, for instance one website gives a recipe of fish soup from the 'Tegernsee Speisebuch, folio 53r/54r'.

Soviel gibt man auf 40 personen gen kuchl […]
zu der vischsuppen
3 maß wein, 1 semel, gwürz und gibt zu einem gelben scharfen süppel an die visch, 7 maß wein, 1 löffel ymber, 1 leffel pfeffer / wilt du es peßer haben , so reib ein leczelten dazu (53r-54r)

Perhaps it could originate from the 'Aufzeichnungen des Klosterschaffners von Tegernsee - Tegernseer Koch- und Fischbüchlein' from the first half of the 16th century (BSB Cgm 8137). This book seems to contain lists of meals mixed with recipes, but I was unable to identify the Affenmund from the digital edition of this book in the Bayerischen StaatsBilbiothekin München, Germany.  If anyone knows the original source of this recipe or an online readable version of the Tegernsee Cookbook, I would be happy to know.

The finished monkey mouths (without the parsley).

Anyway, the Affenmund tastes good and is a pleasure to make. Below is the recipe:


For the dough:
  • 500 g flour
  • 50 g butter (or lard)
  • 3-4 eggs
  • a bit of salt
For the filling:
  • 500 g pork meat
  • 500 g cow meat
  • some breadcrumbs
  • 2 onions
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • marjoram, thyme, nutmeg
 Other ingredients:
  • salted water for cooking
  • 50 g butter (or lard)
  • parsley

The recipe

The meat filling.

Create a dough from the flour, heated butter, eggs and salt and let it rest for 2 hours under a piece of cloth. Meanwhile, mix the meat with the breadcrumbs and the finely chopped onions and put this though a meat grinder.  Mix it with the eggs and spices and create a smooth filling.

(I used minced meat (50/50 pork/cow) instead, and put all the ingredients in the kitchen robot to create the smooth filling.)

 Left: the rolled-out dough. Right: the triangles containing the filling.

Thinly roll out the dough and cut it in 6 by 6 cm squares. Add some of the filling in the middle and fold the square unto a triangle. Use some water to glue the edges and/or fold these a bit over.

The monkey mouths boiling in the salted water.

Put the triangles in the boiling salted water, and leave them boiling until they raise themselves from the water. Use a skimmer to remove them from the water and drain. Add some butter and parsley before serving.

Retrieving the cooked Affenmunden from the kettle with a skimmer.

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