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Dinnerware & Serving Dishes

A great many components can go into a complete dinnerware set. Besides dinner plates and cups and saucer sets, you can add serving trays and dishes, jars, pitchers, and cake stands. Because there are so many items, there is one that is just right for your home.

What items make up dinnerware and serving dishes? Among them are:
  • Trays: Trays can be those simple rectangular trays you see in school cafeterias. These are plastic but sturdy and made in several colors, including white, black, green, and orange. Others have handles or folding legs for your convenience. Trays can be round, nested, have mirrored or cork serving surfaces, and come in tiers.
  • Dinner Plates and other plates: These plates include chargers, which are placed on the table beneath the dinner plate. There are also salad, party, and dessert plates. Not all plates are round. Some are shaped like leaves, some are oblong, square, heart-shaped, or have fluted rims.
  • Platters: Platters are usually a bit larger than plates, but they can also have sections for crudités with a dish in the center for dip. They can be tiered like trays, plain, decorated, or holiday themed.
  • Bowls: Bowls seem to inspire those who make them, for they come with their own straws, come in soup and side bowl pairs and in brilliant colors including red and blue. They are round, square, oval, animal-shaped, stackable, leaf-shaped, footed, handled, and have vivid and sometimes whimsical designs.
  • Mugs: These also allow their makers to have free rein with their imaginations, for they are the favorite pieces on which to put witty sayings or eccentric and sometimes startling designs. Travel mugs keep soups and beverages hot, and some are collapsible.
  • Cups and saucers: These sets can also be idiosyncratic or utterly elegant, made of the finest bone china with golden insets or delicately painted flowers. Some come with their own cup and saucer stand.
  • Teapots: Teapots, like the cups and saucers that use them, come in all kinds of styles. Some are animal-shaped, some made of clear glass, while others come with their own cup and teabag holder.
  • Serving bowls: There are so many ways of serving your salad, bread, soup, or whatever it is from bowls that are traditionally round to plastic condiment “bowls” with removable compartments. Some come with their own serving forks, spoons, or ladles.
What materials are dinnerware and serving dishes made of?

These items can be made of a great many materials. Some are:

  • Bamboo
  • Wood
  • Copper
  • Pewter
  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Galvanized metal. This type of metal has been treated with a protective coating of zinc. This keeps it from rusting.
  • Melamine. This is a resin that can be easily shaped and dyed.
  • Medium-density fiberboard. Also called MDF, this material is made from fibers made of hard or softwood that’s mixed with wax and resin.
  • Rattan
  • Plastic
  • Porcelain
  • Stoneware
  • Aluminum
  • Gold
  • Stainless steel. This is steel alloyed with chromium to give it a shine, and make it rust proof.
  • Acrylic
  • Bone china
  • Polypropylene and foil
  • Crystal
  • Lusterware, which is a ceramic with a metallic coating.
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