SHAPES AND EDGES:
Every culture has produced ceramic dinner ware in shapes and sizes to enhance special culinary skills. Unusual shapes include flowers, shells, cabbages, asparagus, corn and even playing cards. Currently, round dishes prevail, although square and rectangular are increasingly popular.
RIMMED PLATES have flat outer rims higher than the center of the plate. Rims serve as a picture frame for plated foods.
COUPE PLATES are gently sloped and have no rim.
EDGES of any shape may be plain, ornate, or fluted.
In the United States, a five-piece place setting of dinnerware includes one cup, one saucer, saucer, one bread and butter, one salad/dessert plate and one dinner plate.
Some manufacturers include a soup/cereal bowl instead of a bread and butter plate. Casual patterns may include a mug instead of a cup and saucer, which makes it a four-piece place setting.
In countries where coffee or tea are not traditionally served
with or after a meal, matching cups and saucers are not part
of a place setting. When a pattern is sold as open stock, an
advantage is that each place setting piece and serving piece
can be purchased separately.
Traditional shapes for coffee and tea cups are derived from their indigenous origin. Non-traditional shapes are also made by quality dinnerware manufacturers.
COFFEE CUPS: straight sided in sizes up to lattѐ.
TEA CUPS: low and wide with a rounded profile.
AFTER DINNER CUPS: smaller than regular sizes.
DEMITASSE CUPS: very small.
BREAD AND BUTTER…….6 ½ ” – 6 ¾”also hors d’ouvres or side plates.
SALAD OR DESSERT.…….7 ½” – 8 ½”
DINNER……………………10½” – 10 ¾”
CONSOMME CUPS: ‘cup sized bowl’ with or without handles.
SOUP/CEREAL BOWLS: 6 – 8” bowl without handles.
SOUP/PASTA PLATES: 8 – 10″ shallow bowl usually rimmed.
CREAM SOUP BOWLS: 5 – 7” bowl with double handles and saucer. Double handles are more expensive than single handled bowls because it’s difficult to achieve two ‘perfect’ handles.
Platters of all sizes and shapes • Vegetable dishes with or without covers • Casseroles • Tureens • Gravy boats • Relish dishes • Salad bowls • Creamers and sugar bowls • Salt & Pepper shakers …..and for some patterns, the list goes on and on and on…………
Left-over platters and casseroles from sets of broken dinnerware are reasons to forego matching serving dishes. Tables can look more interesting with enamel, steel, silver or oven-to-table serving dishes.
Traditionally, 20 piece starter sets are four 5-piece place settings. Contemporary and casual patterns may include soup bowls instead of bread and butter plates.
16 piece starter sets may include four each of mugs, soup/cereal bowls, salad/dessert plates, and dinner plates.
Dinnerware manufacturers usually offer set savings when purchasing service for 8 or 12. Sets may include serving pieces which are considerably more expensive than place-setting pieces. If you subtract the retail value of serving pieces, savings may be negligible—and you may own serving dishes you don’t want or need.
Open stock means any single piece of a pattern is available to consumers. When a pattern is sold only as a set, single pieces might not be available. But ceramic dishes break. It’s said cups break first but breakage is not reserved for cups; we also break salad plates, soup bowls, saucers, etc.
While a pattern remains open-stock, any piece may be added or replaced. It’s also an opportunity to add unusual sizes and shapes for your favorite foods. Patterns are usually produced as long as they remain popular.
An executive from a prestigious dinnerware company
couldn’t understand why brides felt compelled to
choose formal dinnerware,” it’s incongruous for the
way most of them will entertain”.
Company dinnerware does not have to be delicate or formal bone china or porcelain. Julia Child used Arabia of Finland’s robust dark brown RUSKA stoneware to plate French cuisine.
Pat Breen: EYEWITNESS TO QUALITY
My next post is: JUDGING THE QUALITY OF CERAMIC DINNERWARE