Originally Posted by Tigerpiper
George RR must have a marketing deal with the bread bowl folks at Panera because every goddamn stew is served in a "trencher, hollowed out from yesterday's loaf of bread."
7,000 years of civilization and they can't invent a bowl?
Trenchers were ubiquitous until the inventions of the sandwich and the wooden trencher, a kind of wide flat bowl which eventually evolved into the dinner plate.
Your question assumes that a bowl is superior to a trencher, much like asking why eons of civilization in China failed to produce the fork. Given sanitary conditions in the middle ages, throwing your bowl to the dogs and/or the poor, and cutting all your meat with your own dagger was probably the safest course.