Fish glue is, as one of its names indicates, the fishy version of gelatine. The name isinglass is thought to be a corruption of the Dutch huisenblas, which means the gas bladder of the sturgeon. Isinglas is indeed made from the gas bladder of the sturgeon, but also of other fish. If you wonder what a gas bladder is, look here. The gas bladder is cleaned and dried, then the outer membrane can be peeled away. The membrane will be cut into strips. Isinglass has to be dissolved in boiling water. That will take about thirty minutes. It takes 35 gram isinglass to make 1 litre jelly.
The culinary use of isinglass is very old, it is mentioned in medieval cook books (as in this recipe). Isinglass is expensive, but it can still be bought. Hobby brewers still use it to clarify their wine or ale.
This annual herb belongs to the family Chenopodium (Chenopodium botrys), modern Dutch name is Druifkruid (grape herb). You might use Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) instead, a perennial that was eaten a lot in the Middle Ages as spinach. The stalks can be treated like asparagus. By the way, the Henry this herb was named after was the Henry IV (1553-1610), the first Bourbon king of France. So the medieval name must have been something different. When spinach became more popular, Good King Henry departed from our kitchens. Recipe: Garden Salad.
Laatste wijziging August 8, 2017