[Sca-cooks] Picture of a spice plate

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 7 09:39:04 PDT 2011

Jack Turner's "Spice: The History of a Temptation," has a picture of a silver spice plate from England, ca. 1567-1573. "Besides displaying spices they displayed the wealth and taste of the owner," the caption says. 

It doesn't have any compartments that I can see, though, so any powdered spices would seem to get all mixed up in the serving. 

The picture of this spice bowl from the V&A that Thorvald found, (one of a set of six), that I can see actually being used in serving, but again, it looks more suited for the spiced and candied seeds/comfits/wafers.

This essay on cinnamon also cites the troublesome Wolfgang Schivelbusch text:


They're pretty damned serious about their LARPing in Germany if you can order a spice plate for your character's use:


This medieval group in England holds Yule feasts that have a spice plate on the menu:


Personally, I don't think the concept of a spice plate being passed around is too out of reality, because if anything were to show your guests just how incredibly wealthy you were, gold and silver plates full of spice and telling your guests to "help yourself" would do it. And with the humour-based medicine, offering "corrective" spices to sprinkle over possibly "harmful" foods may have been a courtesy. I haven't seen anything written about that, though.

On another topic, these medievaloid recipes from the J. Getty Museum look yummy:



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