I'm digging into old German cookbooks from 1400-1600 and I came across the following book.

Kochbuch des Meisters Eberhard

which contains a recipe for a liver dish in which this passage is found:

würcz sie wol vnd nym dann einen hewrigenn speck vnd weinperr

A bit modernized

würz sie (die Kalbsleber) gut und nim dann einen hewrigenn Speck und Weintrauben

I've tried searching in all the fantastic dictionaries over at https://woerterbuchnetz.de I learned about in my last question. I also tried the rest of the Internet, but the only hit I got was this 16 century transcript from Naumburg, but I can't figure out what it should mean in that context either

Jedenn scheffel vor iii gr iiii d i h durch denn hewrigenn Futterhernn Ern Georgenn Rolaufshawsenn Sonnabents nach Exaltacionis Sancte Cruc[is] [20.09.1533] kaufft


1 Answer 1


Hewrig/heurig (akk: heurigen) means "of the current year" or also "new", "young" (also here). This is still in use in Austria, for example for new wine or new potatoes. The related adverb heuer (this year) is quite widely used in Austria, Switzerland and southern Germany. "Heurigen" is also a tavern that sells new wine in Austria.

From a 15th century recipe here:

08: der sam mües halber hewrige sein vnd
09: halber vierdig den soltu legen In einen rotten
10: wein da lass In zwelff tag Innen sten

"Vierdig" means "from last year" (see Grimm's Wörterbuch, this isn't used any more).

(My attempt at modernization: Der Samen muss (?) halb vom gleichen Jahr sein und halb vom vorigen Jahr, den sollst du legen in einen roten Wein, da lass ihn zwölf Tage drin stehen.)

I'm not enough of a cook to really know what is meant by heuriger Speck (bacon), it could mean unsalted, unsmoked, "fresh" bacon.

  • 1
    Given that we're in the middle ages I would guess that the pork was rather heavily cured/smoked/dried to keep for a long time. "Modern" products like Südtiroler Speck is 22 weeks already when it leaves the factory and can keep for a year or more so he might actually telling you to take something akin to Südtiroler Speck but that is produced this year and not last year. With that said fresh pork belly is also a good guess.
    – Spade
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 8:01
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    I agree, They had different ways to conserve food, and e.g. curing or smoking changes the taste a lot. I'd imagine that maybe for a contemporary cook, "heurigen" would exclude or point to some of these methods that you would use for short term or longer term conservation..
    – HalvarF
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 12:02
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    The adjective "heuriger" (de.wiktionary.org/wiki/heurig) is also commonly known and used in southern Germany, especially Bavaria. The German Wikipedia even claims that the southern German language is the source for the Austrian words. See also atlas-alltagssprache.de/r8-f4d-2
    – straycat
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 20:05
  • 4
    re "this is still in use in Austria" indeed, even as a noun, meaning not just wine, but a wine tavern in its entirety.
    – dlatikay
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 20:08
  • 2
    So it was actually just the spelling that made this hard to understand, the word is still current, albeit regional. (Standard German unfortunately misses a word for “heuer”.)
    – Carsten S
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 8:00

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