Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hamming it up

Today, a puzzlement that's been, well, puzzling me for some time. I doubt I'm blogging to the most likely demographic vis-a-vis watchers of BBC costume drama "Cranford" (no, I didn't think so) but bear with me. If you managed to survive through nearly five hours of relentless bonnets and bustling - and speaking as someone who seriously lost interest once Mr Carter had been blown up, I empathise - perhaps you might have found your eye drawn to the peripheries, as I did. And what I saw was this:

Forgive the bluriness and size; I'm not splashing out on a proper DVD of the thing just for this! Anyway, it seems to be a cunning meat joint-holding device, and it gets an airing on here 'cos it's made of wood. Duh. It came as a complete novelty to me, but I wondered if someone out there in the ether would be likely to leap to their pins and cry "why, that's a burfl! Let me proceed to give you a potted history and fully dimensioned plans". 

Okay, I'll make do with "yes, I've seen/heard of one before". I'm not fussy. What say you, sirs? Ladies?


  1. Can't say I was an avid viewer of Cranford, but since the LOML is in fact the L of my L I watched in the spirit of shared experience. (Well, more in the spirit of avoiding those 'You never watch what I want to watch' accusations.) Must admit, though, that my attention was apt to wander and I never noticed the item under discussion.

    In general, though, it looks like an old-school, solid wood version of a 'jamonero':

    Still the approved means of holding an Iberian ham for carving.

    Hard to discern the details but it looks like there's ribbing on the rear arm, perhaps to allow progressively tighter clamping as your leg is diminished by ravenous picnickers!

  2. I'm certain Pete is correct... for years I've watched high end cooks supply houses market a similar stand made of hammered metal and wood in Italy for carving Parma hams - very similar to their Spanish cousins, both the hams and the stands. I've tried to spot a picture online to demonstrate, but of course can't find one just now... great inventions, for whispy thin slices, although now I think about it a well tuned no 4...


  3. Ah ha - thank you, gentlemen. Now I wonder how historically accurate it might be...


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