WHICH  SERVE-WARE  SHOULD YOU CHOOSE ? ©

serve-ware header

 SO MANY FUNCTIONAL AND DECORATIVE SHAPES
SO MANY DIFFERENT METALS AND PRICE RANGES

Every homemaker from newly-wed to empty-nester— uses serve-ware everyday. Documented exhibitions of metal wares—from ceremonial to functional— bring record-breaking crowds to art galleries and museums.

Celebrated for centuries, metal serve-ware is a category ‘apart’.
But excellent serve-ware is also made of glass and ceramics.
(Visit my Glassware and Ceramic Dinnerware Posts.)

What metal serve-ware should YOU choose?

Differentiate serve-ware YOU want and need for daily use
— from serve-ware YOU want and need for entertaining.

Many metal serve-ware products work well for both.
Metal serve-ware lasts many lifetimes: invest in styles you really like!

round casserole

Your personal lifestyle should determine which metals and functional shapes are best for you, e.g. If you like to serve ‘oven-to-table’ , some of today’s quality cookware even have decorative holders that eliminate a need for trivets.

Style, cost and maintenance will impact your selections.
If your taste is eclectic,
a baroque silver compote can look wonderful on a contemporary coffee table.

Before buying,
decide if you have time to perform required maintenance.

Sterling and silver-plated serve-ware is not only costly,
it requires regular maintenance. 

But if you prefer the tradition and elegance of these wares, know that current production of new sterling and silver-plated hollow-ware is minimal: prices are high.

However, if you want to buy silver serve-ware, many traditional retail stores currently feature vintage silver-ware next to selections of new silver serve-ware —and quality vintage and used silver serve-ware is available in flea markets, charity bazaars, estate sales and thrift shops.

Be prepared:shopping these markets requires patience.
Be sure to have a magnifying glass—and a lot of UNBIASED product knowledge.

  • Sterling or silver-plate must be washed and thoroughly dried by hand after use.
  • Sulphur in the air tarnishes silver— so silver products should be properly stored between uses.
  • Special wrappings and/or air-tight cupboards discourage tarnish.
  • Plan adequate storage for metal serve-ware so pieces cannot damage each other.
  • Plan what you can spend for both everyday and/or company serve-ware.

Stainless steel, pewter, brass, copper, tin and polished aluminum are workhorse metals—- suitable for everyday and company serve-wares— and these metals are easy to maintain.  If you haven’t visited serve-ware departments recently, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by diverse styles, shapes and metals of low maintenance metal wares; at prices you can afford.

From flowers to foods—appetizers to entrees and desserts—a mix of metals makes table settings more interesting and meals more memorable.  e.g. a large copper tub can serve as a planter or a spectacular wine or beer cooler.

N.B. Brand, Price and Style are NOT synonyms of quality.

 Pat Breen: EYEWITNESS TO QUALITY

MY NEXT POST:  HOW DO YOU KNOW IF METAL SERVE-WARE IS GOOD?