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Spice Box

Display: Hearth to Cookstove
Culinary Technique: transport

Date: c. 1880–1910

Dimensions: 4" h x 9" w x 6.5" d

Watch collection donor Mel Mickevic demonstrate this object with
Dean Christopher Koetke, School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College,
and Victoria Matranga, exhibition curator.

For centuries, spices were valuable commodities, and mariners sailed the globe in search of these precious flavorings. As most diets featured bland foods that did not vary much, seasonings were highly prized to enhance dining pleasure and to preserve food. As this latched metal box reveals, a spice container could be locked and carried securely by stagecoach travelers who wished to flavor their food while journeying. The jars are stenciled with labels for mace, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves.