There are few tableware essentials that are essential for any table. Plates and saucers are essential for any place setting, whether you are eating with your family for the evening or entertaining guests. At first glance, it’s easy to overlook the unique tableware pieces that bring your meal together, from dinner plates to tea saucers. When shopping for new place settings, make sure that you consider the design, material, and purpose of each plate and saucer. It’s easy to sort through many different dinner plates and saucers once you have a clear idea of your functional preferences and design aesthetics. Purchasing plates and saucers individually allow you to pull together an eclectic look at your dinner table or find special charger plates for unique occasions. If you generally eat with one or two people each evening, then you can find individual plates that allow you to style your table in new and creative ways.
Plates, or dinner plates, are the most used tableware item because they are necessary for many different meals. Dinner plates can be casual or formal, depending on the occasion. Contemporary dinner plates range from 10-11” inches, which is a matter of personal taste and style. For larger entrees, you may consider purchasing slightly larger plates to give your guests more surface area to organize their plate. After selecting the proper size dinner plate, materials is the next major decision. Plates are made from four major materials, including earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, and bone china. Earthenware and stoneware are perfect introductory dinner plates, whereas porcelain and bone china are best for formal occasions.
Salad plates are significantly smaller than dinner plates, ranging from four to eight inches. You can use salad plates for a variety of different food items, including appetizers and small breakfast pastries. Salad plates are made from the same material as dinner plates, but most often made from earthenware or stoneware. Most salads are seasoned with rich vinaigrettes and oils, which can stain plates or make them tough to clean. Fortunately, the earthenware and stoneware is stain-resistant and dishwasher safe. Salad plates can also be used as dessert plates, especially for small desserts like cupcakes or cookies.
The smallest plate on the table is the bread and butter plate, which is sometimes mistaken as the salad plate. Bread and butter plates are for the sole purpose of bread and rolls. These plates work well if they have a small lip, so you can also add seasoned dipping oil. Unlike salad plates, bread and butter plates are typically made from ceramic or porcelain. Typically, bread and butter plates are at formal dining tables and not as casual meals. If you want to pull together a cohesive and unified tabletop, then consider purchasing a dinnerware set that includes dinner plates, salad plates, bread and butter plates, as well as saucers.