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Author Topic: Why do we eat off wooden plates?  (Read 4415 times)

Offline wolfekeeper

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Why do we eat off wooden plates?
« on: 11/10/2013 01:14:54 »
Why do we eat off ceramic plates?

I noticed that wooden cutting boards are now favoured, apparently wood is naturally antiseptic and you only have to wipe it down with a wet cloth and leave it to dry, and it sterilises itself overnight.

I know it's a bit stoneage, but does this mean that we could potentially eat off wooden plates and they would be easier and take less energy to clean?
« Last Edit: 11/10/2013 22:23:52 by chris »


 

Offline RD

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Re: wooden plates?
« Reply #1 on: 11/10/2013 02:05:54 »
Quote from: spitalfieldslife.com
Twenty years ago, eighteen wooden plates and bowls were recovered from a silted-up well in Spitalfields. One of the largest discoveries of medieval wooden vessels ever made in this country,

http://spitalfieldslife.com/2013/05/24/in-a-well-in-spitalfields/

Pottery plates would be cheaper : turning a wooden plate on a lathe is going to take more time than moulding one from clay,  ( also trees with a plate-sized dimensions are harder to find than clay).
« Last Edit: 11/10/2013 02:23:24 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: wooden plates?
« Reply #2 on: 11/10/2013 07:39:08 »
The reason that soft materials are used for cutting boards is that it is less damaging to the knife to run it into a soft surface than a hard surface.  Sacrifice the board, not the knife.  Never varnish a cutting board, use an edible oil to coat if desired.

Ceramics are cheap now, but wood would have been easily accessible, and relatively easy to form a century ago.

I wonder if the ceramics were more of an elite type of dinnerware.  Especially "fine china".  But, of course, everyone likes something that looks expensive.  "Fragile" ceramics would have made them seem more expensive or valuable.

What about tin plated steel and other metals?
« Last Edit: 11/10/2013 07:43:24 by CliffordK »
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: wooden plates?
« Reply #3 on: 11/10/2013 16:20:12 »
Brass would be another good material bacteriologically, and you could use a scouring pad on it, but it wouldn't be as good with sharp knives as wood.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: wooden plates?
« Reply #4 on: 11/10/2013 18:03:16 »
I think the key word is "medieval". 100 or 200 years ago, china plates were the norm, but 600 years ago the technology of high temperature firing and the inclusion of bone into kaolin to make resilient china and porcelain rather than fragile pottery, was unknown in the west. Crude pottery, particularly if glazed,  is OK for large vessels and low temperature stewpots but won't stand up to the sort of impacts and pressures imposed by cutting and eating off a plate. 
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Why do we eat off wooden plates?
« Reply #5 on: 12/10/2013 14:30:25 »
At least some plates were made from  bread.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trencher_(tableware)
« Last Edit: 13/10/2013 02:27:23 by CliffordK »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Why do we eat off wooden plates?
« Reply #6 on: 15/10/2013 22:40:10 »
At least some plates were made from  bread.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trencher_(tableware)
There was an era when bread crusts were harder than concrete.
It would make sense that you could make plates out of them. 
 

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Re: Why do we eat off wooden plates?
« Reply #6 on: 15/10/2013 22:40:10 »

 

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