These are not fancy glasses:
They’re celery vases and they’re exactly what they sound like: vases for celery. In the late 1800s, people used these vases to ostentatiously present celery to their guests. Celery, you see, was a status food: a rare delicacy that only wealthy families could afford and, therefore, a way to demonstrate your importance to guests.
As celery began to decline in importance — cheaper varieties became available and its role for the elite declined — celery vases were replaced by celery dishes. “Less conspicuous on the dining table,” writes decorative arts consultant Walter Richie, “the celery dish reflected the diminishing importance of celery.”Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.