Eggs, oysters, snails, why do we sell them by 12?

When you buy your oysters, Specials from Setubal of course.

You can get them by the kilo or by the dozen, which sometimes equates to the same thing.

This habit of counting by 12 goes back a long way.

To the Middle Ages to be precise. Let’s go back to those chiaroscuro times, when we castagnate for nothing but where we also had the elegance of preparing oysters in a stew. At least in Paris.

At that time, measurement units used base 12.

A length for example was measured in feet of 12 inches and the change was counted in sols at 12 denier.

As for the labors of Hercules and the midday strokes, they were already at 12.

There was a purely practical reason behind this choice:

- Observe your hand, any hand, palm side.

- Start counting your knuckles with your thumb.

- Theoretically, if all your fingers are in place, you should get to 12.

This is how it used to be.

It was convenient and it also allowed you to manipulate objects with the other hand.

In addition, 12 is a number divisible by 6, 4, 3 and 2, which made calculations easier.

Today, the decimal base has replaced the base 12,

but there are still some products by the dozen such as oysters or eggs.

Ancestral traditions that still influence our daily lives!

I love the concept!