In the middle Ages, spices were locked in wooden boxes. These precautions are justified by the importance of these products, their high prices and the fear of poisoning whose practice was widespread.
These fears are justified, and later they will fade, the spices are placed on the table in a small jewel box or earthenware in which the most diverse spices were offered to the sight of all the guests. The cupboard in the kitchen became very fashionable. Other condiments that could be found on the table: oil, vinegar and “mout ardent“. The consistency of the latter gave a variety of containers: from the sauce cup for the most liquid sauces to the ceramic cup for the thicker one.
The Oil and vinegar, each had their bottle, but in a delightful style. Both decanters were joined to each other to form the “guédoufles”. The bottle was with a shape of two bellies . The craftsmen created a range of models, from the most modest to the most ornate.
Currently we can find them as a piece collectibles. We put the salt and pepper on the table, mustard sometimes in the tables of restaurants, more rarely at the table in the house. The seasoning was a part of the process in the preparation of meals; nowadays, spices take more place on the tables. Generally, the cups of mustard and condiments are offered by the merchants to their clients as a gourmet delight.
Pictures from verreancien.com