pass me the wet suckets


According to Douglas Sutherland, a gentelman is someone who uses a butter knife even when alone.


Butter knives weren’t around in medieval times but they had a different set of manners to adhere to. “Do not spit on the table, your neighbour’s sleeve, nor so far that you cannot put your foot on it.”

In the 18th century people feasted on truly remarkable desserts. At you can see a recreation of a 1750s table setting featuring the palace of Circe


other dessert dishes included cheesecakes, gilt gingerbreads made in contemporary moulds, candied eringoes, diet bread, banebread, Shrewsbury cakes, cotoniack, wet suckets, comfits, fruit pastes and marmalades. I don’t know what wet suckets would have tasted like but they were probably more popular than the diet bread……


Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 6:38 am  Comments (21)  

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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wet Suckets… mmmm doesn’t that sound appetising.

  2. oh come on Alex – you wouldn’t turn down a wet suck would you?

  3. Well, I guess who and what is doing and being sucked.

  4. And probably more popular than dry suckets, too.

  5. Here’s the info on wet suckets.

  6. People are disgusting now but some of the table manners, hygiene practices of centuries ago were just awful. People took pride in not taking a bath and everyone had bugs crawling on them. Horrible.

  7. Spitting is discouraged at Anchovy World Headquarters

  8. My dear nurse, in your list of 18th Century desserts, I am shocked to note that you have omitted the wonderful Nipples of Venus! You are, however, entirely forgiven. 🙂
    whoah! did you see the length of that second recipe?

  9. But a wet suckit is the best kind, isn’t it? *grin*

  10. Thanks for the link Silverstar ……. “sucket and see” as my father used to say ……. and he was a sailor ….

  11. Hmm, I’d be game to try one. Any mint ones out there?
    Did you ever see The Age of Innocence? (The movie that is.) The opulence of the banquets of the time were amazing!!! I’d be 50 stone I swear.

  12. I loved The Age of Innocence. Edith Wharton was such a wonderful writer.

    the reason most young ladies weren’t 50 stone back then was the corsets they wore were laced so tightly they couldn’t partake of all that opulence. a lot of the food must have been wasted, though maybe the leftovers were the servants’ reward for making it 🙂

  13. Even back then, they knew it was better to swallow than spit.

  14. “…a gentelman is someone who uses a butter knife even when alone”

    thank god. i’m not a gentleman. that’s a filthy rumor, started by people who are put off by my aggressive behavior in the workplace… besides, how can you use a butter knife when you dine next to your laptop?

  15. just send me allan’s anti fat’s detail… oh and why would a gentleman use an butter knife whilst alone ? Is that like a euphenism for ‘buttering’ his self up???

  16. In my Society for Creative Anachronism Days I once made a large chocolate-cake subtlety of a Crusader Castle with appropriate shades of icing for someone’s birthday. For reasons I can’t remember, I presented it by entering her dorm room dressed in full belly dancer regalia through the window by the fire escape.

    I should have just whipped up a plate of wet suckets.

  17. What’s a Shrewsbury cake?

    I grew up in Shrewsbury and I don’t know what that is.

  18. Thomas I don’t know what a Shrewsbury cake is but in New Zealand we had Shrewsbury biscuits which were two round shortbread biscuits with crimped edges sandwiched together with raspberry jam. the top biscuit had a circuit cut in the centre so you could see the raspberry jam inside. They were delicious!

  19. When supping at table, it is considered a gross indelicacy for a bogan to use a knife to butter his breadroll. He must, rather, unwrap the butter, and smear it onto the roll with the foil package itself.

  20. the foil package? I take it you’re not using Dairy Farmers?

  21. […] [Image from NM/GH.] […]

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