Having just bought a small collection of antique treen Welsh Cawl Spoons I've been inspired to write an article on them.
Firstly what is Cawl, well Cawl pronounced Kowl is a traditional Welsh soup made originally from beef or bacon, potatoes and vegetables. The word was thought to originate from the Latin word Caulis which meant plant stalk, cabbage stalk. The Welsh Cawl was cooked in iron cauldrons over the fire and then eaten with wooden cawl spoons on dark Winters nights.
Typically the humble Welsh Cawl Spoon has an oval shaped bowl with a long thin handle, made from one piece of wood. These Cawl spoons were made from a variety of woods, although sycamore was a favourite as sycamore wood not only didn't taint food but was believed to have antibacterial properties.
These Welsh cawl spoons when not in use were stored in wall hanging spoon racks, the Welsh ones being stepped. Often these spoon racks could hold a large number of Cawl spoons typically between 12-20 cawl spoons at a time.
Collecting antique treen Cawl spoons can be very satisfying particularly when they are all displayed on a spoon rack. Each antique treen cawl spoon slightly varies in either the size, shape or its surface, but these differances look so attractive when put together.
Alot of the Antique Welsh cawl spoons you see today are from the 19th and 20th century, although not easy to come across as many are sitting in spoon racks, if you look hard enough you will find Antique Welsh Cawl Spoons.