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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Paper castles as food decoration?

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  • Laurie Cavanaugh
    Oooh, citation #1, coming as it did from Cleanness , implies to me that the paper coverings may have been used to keep the food clean, i.e. away from flies
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 26, 2003
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      Oooh, citation #1, coming as it did from "Cleanness", implies to me that the paper coverings may have been used to keep the food clean, i.e. away from flies and such (In addition to their decorative value). This would be a much better alternative than those netting umbrella things, or even the plain cloths I put over bowls of meats at outdoor events.

      Thanks for the food for thought!

      Morgan Athenry

      xina007eu wrote:
      Hi all,

      I recently came across the following two references to "paper
      castles" that were apparently used as food decoration or covers for

      1. From "Cleanness", lines 1405 - 1408:
      "Burnes berande the bredes upon brode skeles,
      That were of sylveren syght, and seves therwyth;
      Lyfte logges therover and on lofte corven,
      Pared out of paper and poynted of golde"
      Modern English translation: "Men (were) carrying the roast meats on
      large platters, that were of silver appearance, and sauces with them;
      high houses (as dish covers) over them, figured on the upper part,
      cut out of paper and painted over with gold"

      2. From "Sir Gawayne and the Grene Knyght", lines 800-802:
      "So mony pynakle paynted was poudred ayquere
      Among the castel carneles, clambred so thik,
      That pared out of papure purely hit semed."
      Modern English translation: "So many painted pinnacles were scattered
      everywhere among the ba ttlements of the castle, clustered so thickly,
      that it looked exactly as though it were cut out of paper."

      (text and translation quoted after: Anderson, J.J. _Sir Gawain and
      the Green Knight. Pearl, Cleanness, Patience_. London: Everyman,

      Are there any period depictions of such paper castles? If so, where?
      I've seen a number of manuscript illuminations that show banquets but
      I cannot find one that show a dish with a miniature castle on it.
      Has anyone here ever tried to use these as food decoration? I assume
      the paper would have to be waxed or treated in some other way so that
      it does not get soggy or grease-stained?

      Best regards,


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