[Sca-cooks] Above/Below the Salt was Greetings

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Mon Mar 17 22:12:12 PDT 2008

Presumably, above and below the salt is medieval tradition where the salt 
cellar was placed to divide people of rank from people who were not and we 
can thank Lady Emma Wood and Thomas Chastain for their respective novels, 
"Below the Salt" for enlightening we heathens to the practice.  I, however, 
can't remember seeing a salt cellar on the table in most High Medieval 
woodcuts and paintings and only occasionally in later works.

The earliest reference I can find to below the salt is in Ben Johnson's 
Cynthia's Revels (1599), "His fashion is not to take knowledg of him that is 
beneath him in Cloaths.  He never drinks below the salt."  While period, 
that is hardly Medieval.

So while the theme has been used as the basis for a number of feasts, what 
is the evidence for its Medieval historical basis beyond the imagination of 
some modern authors?


BTW, sounds like a nice feast.

>   I believe that one of my favorites was a above the salt/below the salt
> feast, and I only handled the above the salt, there was another cook who 
> did
> below the salt for ?? people..
>> >
>> >  Lord James of the Vayle

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