Sunday, 24 June 2007

Fasting in Schlarrafenland

No. Im not fasting here, exactly the opposite, but that's what Ive been researching at the library in Wolfenbüttel. Though I did fast this past Lent, purely for research purposes. A proper Medieval one, I now have confirmed. It's is pretty much vegan, with no meat, butter eggs or cheese, but includes fish. Go figure. But doesn't include alcohol. I can't even tell you how dreadful it is to go to a party, like say St. Patrick´s Day, and not touch a drop of the pure.

In any case, I never quite understood why I did it at the time, or what it meant, though it did give me some insight into the experience of people with serious food restrictions. Six weeks! Its also a power trip, strangely, a matter of control.

Anway, the recent insight I had, is that such a strange diet would perfetly odius in this place, the land of meat and beer. Schlarraffenland. Yes, meat does grow on the walls, and beer drips from the gutters. Exquisite ambrosial brews.

I now know why they did anything thay could to get out of it the Lenten fast, and eventually broke away from the universal church, I think over meat more than theology. And it is amazing stuff. Yesterday I made a cut of meat, called kasseler nacken. As far as I can tell a kassel is a cash register, and nack is neck. So it means Cashiers Necks. Sort of a cured ham-like thick shoulder chop of pork, but still raw. Maybe lighly smoked. The most unctuous and incredible piece of flesh I have ever put in my mouth. Browned in a pan. With noodles. I swoon.

Now I understand the Reformation. Who could go for six weeks without eating such things?

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