On “Nepvis”, or fake-fish

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Forbidding meat eating: a recipe for sweet plant-based meat: ‘Nepvis’ or ‘Fake fish’

In the Netherlands, from the Middle Ages to the end of the 16th century, being catholic meant days when the consumption of meat and often dairy was forbidden. The cooks of the rich thus prepared luxurious and elaborate preparations in order to compensate for the absence of meat and dairy products in the meal. Dishes that resembled a rabbit or a pheasant, plant based butter or eggs could be found on the table. Gheeraert Vorselmans in is Eenen Nyeuwe coock boeck from 1560 included, for example:


1. Finely blend 3 apples without skin and cores
2. Add 6 teaspoons of cane sugar, 1 teaspoon of ginger, cinnamon
3. Add 2 crumbled slices of gingerbread
4. Make a crust dough by replacing butter with oil and eggs by ground almonds
5. Divide in two batches, roll out and cut the shape of a fish from each piece
6. Place the filling on one side, cover with the second slice of dough
7. Seal well
8. Decorate the fish with shaved almonds or something similar
9. Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes at 200 degree celsius.