In praise of the tureen

Perhaps to honor French military hero Marshal Turenne this distinctive dish came into use in the seventeenth century in  France. Most of the silver tureens of that era were melted down to finance King Louis’ wars and survived only in paintings.

500 years ago, most common meals in Europe we’re stews, chowders, broths or soups…and were served in dishes with handles meant to be lifted to one’s mouth and sipped from. The tureen, though shaped roughly the same way, became the centerpiece of all well-appointed tables. Elongated, deep, with handles and a ladle sometimes atop another dish or plate, the tureen was both elegant and versatile.

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