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Showing posts from April, 2019

Old, everyday Breton spoons

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In the breton countryside nearly everyone had a wooden spoon and perhaps a knife to eat their simple diet of soup, pottage, vegetables and stew - a spoon was often a peasant’s only personal possession.


 These everyday spoons were kept in a porte-cuillères, (Breton: parheiler, English: spoon rack) that was usually hung from the ceiling or stood on a table. This photo is of a plain porte-cuillère  in my collection, with the spoons it came with, from a cottage in the village of Guerlesquin in Finistère.


Porte-cuillères were a practical storage method to keep spoons dry, aired and relatively clean in a small cottage. At the end of a meal each person would lick their spoon clean, perhaps even wipe it on a sleeve and then replace it in the porte-cuillères, which could often then be raised up out of the way by means of a counter weighted pulley. In this way it was possible to allow the spoon to air dry - avoiding the development of mold. It also, in theory, prevented mice and other vermin fr…