During yesterday’s attempt to unravel the meaning of muesli I came across mention of a dish called apple-moyse (or moise, or one of a variety of other spellings,) and I promised to tell you more about it today.
The path to ‘muesli’ travelled via ‘moose’, which, it turns out, does not necessarily refer to the North American elk, but has an alternative meaning of “pottage; stewed vegetables; a dish of this.” The origin of this usage of the word is, according to the OED, “of uncertain origin,” but possibly references the Indo-European root of ‘meat’, in its general sense of ‘food.’
‘Apple-moyse’ is “Any of various dishes made from stewed apples; spec. a dessert made from sieved apple pulp flavoured with saffron or other spices.” The word ‘dessert’ is confusing here, as the dish is medieval, but the concept of a dessert course is nineteenth century. But I digress. Apple-moyse, however it is spelled, can have the form of a pottage, a pie filling, or a type of apple butter.
Here is a small selection of recipes for our dish of the day:
For To Make Appulmos.
Nym appelyn and seth hem and lat hem kele and make hem thorw a clothe and on flesch dayes kast therto god fat breyt of Bef and god wyte grees and sugar and safroun and almande mylk on fysch dayes oyle de olyve and gode powdres and serve it forthe.
Forme of Cury (c. 1390)
To mak an appillinose, tak appelles and sethe them and lett them kelle ,then fret them throughe an heryn syff on fisshe dais take almonde mylk and oile olyf ther to. and on flesshe days tak freche brothe and whit grece and sugur and put them in a pot and boile it and colour it with saffron and cast on pouders and serue it.
A Noble Boke off Cookry (late 15th C)
To make an Apple Moye.
Take Apples, and cut them in two or foure peeces, boyle them till they be soft, and bruise them in a morter, and put thereto the yolkes of two Egs, and a little sweet butter, set them on a chafingdish of coales, and boyle them a litle, and put thereto a litle Sugar, synamon and Ginger, and so serue them in.
The good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin (1594)
Apfelmus is the German for applesauce, but how that relates to muesli I could not tell you.
Hello Shay - thanks for that linguistic information, I am sure it is very relevant. I can see the concept of apple muesli (see the 'original' birchermuesli post) and apple sauce being related.
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