Iron Flesh Hook
This medieval kitchen implement is made of wrought iron; it has three hooked prongs and was used to retrieve cooked meat and other foods from the cauldron. The flesh hook was later superseded by the more familiar two- or three-pronged flesh fork.
The present example is a rare survival; it was acquired from a now-defunct museum and its condition suggests that it may have been excavated.
An identical flesh hook appears in a contemporary illustration to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, dating from the late 14th century. It is carried by one of the pilgrims, the Cook, and is symbolic of his occupation.
- J Seymour Lindsay, Iron and Brass Implements of the English House, Medici Society, London 1924; revised and enlarged edition Alec Tiranti, London 1964, pp. 34-35, fig. 110