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Dishware


Tableware is the dishes or dishware used for setting a table, serving food and dining. It includes cutlery, glassware, serving dishes and other useful items for practical as well as decorative purposes. The quality, nature, variety and number of objects varies according to culture, religion, number of diners, cuisine and occasion. For example, Middle Eastern, Indian or Polynesian food culture and cuisine sometimes limits tableware to serving dishes, using bread or leaves as individual plates. Special occasions are usually reflected in higher quality tableware.

"Dinnerware" is another term used to refer to tableware and "crockery" refers to ceramic dishes in everyday use as differentiated them from the fine porcelain and bone china produced by makers such as Sèvres in France, Meissen in Germany, Royal Copenhagen in Denmark, Royal Doulton in England, or Belleek Pottery in Ireland. Sets of dishes are referred to as a table service, dinner service or service set. Table settings or place settings are the dishes, cutlery and glassware used for formal and informal dining. In Ireland such items are normally referred to as delph, the word being an English language phonetic spelling of the word delft, the town from which so much delftware came. Silver service or butler service are methods for a butler or waiter to serve a meal.

Setting the table refers to arranging the tableware, including individual place settings for each diner at the table as well as decorating the table itself in a manner suitable for the occasion. Tableware and table decoration is typically more elaborate for special occasions. Unusual dining locations demand tableware be adapted.

Dishes are usually made of ceramic materials such as earthenware, stoneware, faience, bone china or porcelain. However, they can be made of other materials such as wood, pewter, silver, gold, glass, acrylic and plastic. Before it was possible to purchase mass-produced tableware, it was fashioned from available materials, such as wood. Industrialisation and developments in ceramic manufacture made inexpensive washable tableware available. It is sold either by the piece or as a matched set for a number of diners, normally four, six, eight, or twelve place settings. Large quantities are purchased for use in restaurants. Individual pieces, such as those needed as replacement pieces for broken dishes, can be procured from "open stock" inventory at shops, or from antique dealers if the pattern is no longer in production.



  • If soup is the first course, to the left of the dinner plate, moving clockwise, are placed a small salad fork to the left of the dinner plate; a large dinner fork to the left of the salad fork; a side plate above the forks; a wine or water glass above and to the right of the dinner plate; a large dinner knife to the right of the dinner plate; a smaller butter knife to the right of the dinner knife; a dinner spoon to the right of the knives; a soup spoon to the right of the dinner spoon.
  • If salad is the first course, the soup spoon is skipped. The dinner fork is placed immediately left of the dinner plate; the salad fork is placed on the outer left side of the place setting.
  • Centre plate, about 6 inches in diameter
  • Rice bowl, placed to the right of the centre plate
  • Small cup of tea, placed above the plate or rice bowl
  • Chopsticks to the right of the centre plate, on a chopstick rest
  • A long-handled spoon on a spoon rest, placed to the left of the chopsticks
  • Small condiment dishes, placed above the centre plate
  • Soup bowl, placed to the left above the centre plate
  • A soup spoon, inside the soup bowl
  • Hot noodle bowl
  • Rice bowl
  • Soup bowl
  • Two to three shallow 3- to 5-inch diameter dishes
  • Two to three 3- to 5-inch diameter, 1- to 3-inch-deep bowls
  • Two square or rectangular pieces, traditionally served for serving fish
  • Three 2- to 3-inch diameter condiment plates
  • Cold noodle tray with bamboo strainer
  • Dipping sauce cup
  • Chopsticks and chopstick rest
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Wikipedia

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