Monkey Dishes

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yellow jacket
Junior Burger
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2005/06/29 14:03:05 (permalink)

Monkey Dishes

Does anyone know where the term monkey dishes comes from? I don't mean the monkey dishes where a poor little monkey gets his brains eaten
#1

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    Matlock
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/06/29 14:17:58 (permalink)
    I would like to take a wild guess.... Monkey dishes... eating with your fingers?
    #2
    yellow jacket
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/06/29 14:26:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Matlock

    I would like to take a wild guess.... Monkey dishes... eating with your fingers?
    You know the little ceramic dishes used for slaw and beans and beets and etc.
    #3
    Rick F.
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/06/29 14:37:22 (permalink)
    I ran a search on "monkey dishes and turned up a lot of links. The context leads me to think that they are small dishes used for dressings, especially with asparagus--which is often eaten with one's fingers. But remember, that's my possibly wild imagination. In any event, they seem to be small dishes.

    http://www.google.com/search?as_q=&num=10&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=monkey+dishes&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=&safe=images
    #4
    zataar
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/07/07 15:53:09 (permalink)
    I was looking at a book of asian art and saw a sculpture of a monkey drinking from a little dish, exactly the same shape as monkey dishes in restaurants! The sculpture was from the 12th century.
    #5
    sizz
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/07/07 16:07:08 (permalink)
    Monkey Dish
    There are many stories of the origin of the term 'monkey dish', but none of them are verified. Here are a few of them.

    It is a bowl the size a monkey would use.

    It is a bowl that was originally made from a monkey's skull.

    It is a shallow bowl the size of a monkey's hand.

    Royalty once had small portions of their food fed to monkeys to be sure it wasn't poisoned.

    Bell hops wore caps similar to those worn by organ grinder monkeys.

    The bell hops became known as 'monkeys,' and the smaller dishes were

    used by these 'monkeys' to serve in-room guests.
    #6
    jellybear
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/07/08 09:19:38 (permalink)
    I never really thought that much about it,but all those sound reasonable.
    #7
    NOLA Foodaholic
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/07/24 17:21:49 (permalink)
    Have been told that many years ago Bus Boys would stack up and carry two stacks 24-30" long each of these dishes from the dishwasher back to the Chef's Counter one stack in each arm using an arc outward of each arm to keep them from falling. When walking this gave the appearance of a monkey with the arms arched outward, hence the term "monkey dish".

    Don't know if it's correct but makes sense to me.
    #8
    Scallion1
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/07/24 17:40:09 (permalink)
    I'd get a big laugh out of seeing someone walk with a 30" stack of monkey dishes in each arm. Give you real good odds against anyone being able to do it, even in an empty room, let alone in a busy kitchen.
    #9
    MikoEats
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/08/10 22:05:38 (permalink)
    I totally think it can be done. Those dishes nest really well, and when they are stacked tall they rest on one another's rims and it's harder for them to fall.

    This is one of those things (like the phrase "the whole nine yards") that has a hundred great and plausible stories, and somebody just needs to do the research to find the earliest use of the term. Even then it might not provide a definitive answer. But I, too, have always wondered about the derivation.
    #10
    Scallion1
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/08/10 22:36:48 (permalink)
    Let me know where and when you're going to do it. And bring money.
    #11
    kyleJohnson
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/10/31 22:19:24 (permalink)
    Come on guys, you don't know where the term monkey dish came from? Next you will tell me that you don't know how the term 86 was derived... sheesh!

    Anyway, the monkey dish was the little dish that the organ grinder's monkey would hold to collect the money.
    #12
    jbbohland
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/11/14 15:13:24 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by kyleJohnson

    Come on guys, you don't know where the term monkey dish came from? Next you will tell me that you don't know how the term 86 was derived... sheesh!

    Anyway, the monkey dish was the little dish that the organ grinder's monkey would hold to collect the money.


    Yep that is what I always assumed it was.
    #13
    bassrocker4u2
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    RE: Monkey Dishes 2005/11/15 08:55:17 (permalink)
    how about this one.....there is a place on another continent, where monkey brains are a delicacy. they place the monkey in a table, with his head on the table, the body underneath. all the patrons at the table beat the monkey with mallets until dead. then the crack open his skull and divvy up the brains in.....monkey dishes......
    hmmmm hmmmm
    scrambled eggs, anyone?
    #14
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