[Sca-cooks] A good source? was "period spice containers/storage"

James Prescott prescotj at telusplanet.net
Wed Jul 6 10:45:54 PDT 2011

I too am rather suspicious, so I've been googling.

There are certainly objects called "spice plates" in some
inventories and lists of items purchased.  For example:


I have found a reference to a possible earlier source for the
story about handing around actual spices:  "The Medieval English
Feast", by William Edward Mead, 1931 (reprinted 1967).  I don't
have a copy, but if anyone has access to one could they check it,
probably page 77, and see what it says.

Also from
we have
"To serve the ladies Mary and Elizabeth with spices, wafers, and 
wine: the lord Hastings to bear the cup to lady Mary, and the lord 
Delaware that to lady Elizabeth; lord Dacres of the South to bear the 
spice plates to both, lord Cobham the wafers, and lord Montagew to 
uncover the spice plate."

Also from
we have
"Apon Seynt Georges day or even
If it be a fasting day, than there is a voyde servid. And then a 
gentleman ussher appoynt a lorde for the spice plate; a cuppberare 
and a gentleman ussher to beare the bolles and bring them to the 
cubberde.  Then every one of the ordre in his degree cometh and 
servith the king of the voyde and a gentilman ussher to see them that 
shall beare the spice plate armed with the towelles abowt theire 
[blank]. And the kinges spice plate to be covered, and one towell."

Neither of these says what was on the spice plate.


At 12:10 PM -0400 7/6/11, Johnna Holloway wrote:
>  The source is 20 plus years old and it's also a translation so
>  that might play into the accuracy.
>  The original is titled Das Paradies, der Geschmack und die 
> Vernunft. It came out in 1990.
>  I am wondering if they confused spices with what were really spice 
> confits or candied spices.
>  Was the sugar part left out?
>  Johnnae
>  On Jul 6, 2011, at 10:22 AM, Daniel Myers wrote:
>>  I haven't read the book, but it disturbs me a bit to see the only
>>  citation in a quote from a tertiary source being another tertiary
>>  source. Unless Schivelbusch refers to a primary source for such 
>> use of a "spice
>>  platter", or unless you can find a primary or secondary source that
>>  confirms Schivelbusch's assertion, then it should be treated as
>>  conjecture.
>>  - Doc
>>>  -------- Original Message --------
>>>  From: Annofnite at aol.com
>>>  snipped
>>>  Tastes of Paradise: A Social History of Spices,  Stimulants, and
>>>  Intoxicants
>>>  by Wolfgang Schivelbusch
>>>  published by  Vintage Books, A Division of Random House ISBN  
>>>  0-679-74438-X

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