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Serving Bowls

The serving bowl is yet another utilitarian object that humans have often turned into works of great beauty. Because of this, you can simply display a serving bowl or a collection of them in your china closet, on your console table, or on your mantelpiece. You might even, once in a while, serve food from it.

What materials are serving bowls made of?

Materials include:

  • Porcelain: Porcelain is made of clay, feldspar, and a fine gray powder called kaolin. The mix is fired at a high temperature, which vitrifies it. It has a refined and delicate look, but it is surprisingly tough.
  • Glass: The only thing all types of glassware have in common is that they are made from rigid, supercooled liquids. The varieties of glassware are plentiful.
  • Stoneware: This ceramic is fired at slightly lower temperatures than porcelain, and it is made of stoneware clay or fireclay. It is dense, opaque, and tough.
  • Plastic: Plastic serving bowls can be uncommonly beautiful, especially since it is easy to mold them into non-traditional shapes such as squares and rectangles with fluted sides.
  • Wood: Woods include acacia, which is lustrous, yellow to pale brown with darker brown stripes; cherry wood; olive wood, which has a beautiful, swirling pattern that resembles brown marble; black walnut, and teak. Some bowls are made of woven wood.
  • Stainless steel: This steel, itself an alloy of carbon and iron, is alloyed to chrome to make it resistant to rust and corrosion. The chrome also gives the piece an attractive shine when it is polished.
  • Melamine: Melamine is a type of chemical that is used in the production of plastics. When it is added to formaldehyde, it turns into a resin that can be molded into different types of serveware.
  • Crystal: This is used loosely to describe fine glassware. Rock crystal is actually quartz, and glassmakers have tried to imitate its beauty since ancient times. The crystal bowls on offer are made of glass that is plain, rippled, or cut into beautiful patterns.
What kinds of serving bowls are available?

Bowls you might find your kitchen include

  • Trifle bowls: These are often on pedestals and are made to serve a dessert called trifle. They are transparent so you can see the layers of the dessert.
  • Salad bowls: These large pieces hold greens and other types of salads. They often come with smaller bowls for individual servings.
  • Tureens: These often large and ornate dinnerware items hold soups, stews, casseroles, and gravies.
  • Vegetable bowls: These dishes are often more oval than round. They are sometimes lidded and come with their own platters. Other pieces are made to look like vegetables.
  • Chip n' dip set: These handy serving bowls hold chips in one section and dip in another.
  • Centerpieces: These dishes, as interesting to look at as they are useful, can be made of cut crystal, depression glass, hammered metal, or vintage ceramic.
  • Nuts and candy bowls: These are small dishes, just big enough to grab a handful of sweets.
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