Casual Dinnerware Choices
From paper plates to fine china, dinnerware is as unique as the food we cook. Casual dinnerware sets are available in various materials and price ranges. Most casual dinnerware is now virtually unbreakable, and many artists, chefs and designers have added their own personal flair to dinnerware to make it match almost any decor.
Porcelain is made from clay. It can be used to make everything from dinnerware to dental work. Once complete porcelain pieces are fired to hardness and are available in a variety of colors but the most popular color is white. It is great for dinnerware as it is strong and break-resistant. It is also favored for its translucence. Because of its fine quality, porcelain can be more expensive than other casual dinnerware and is often considered fine dinnerware.
Stoneware is also made from clay, but is basically manmade stone. It doesn't require as much heat to fire as porcelain does. It generally comes in a gray or brown color because of impurities in the clay. Glaze can be applied to stoneware to give it a shiny appearance. Due to its strength, stoneware can last a very long time given proper care. Stoneware is great for everyday dining and is dishwasher safe.
Earthenware is commonly used for making pottery. It is made of a mix of materials including clay and the minerals quartz and feldspar. Most earthenware is red in color, but lighter colors of brown are also popular. It is weaker than stoneware or porcelain and can easily break. It must have a glaze fired over its surface in order to be waterproof. The most popular form of earthenware is called terra cotta, which is often used to create flower pots.
When choosing a casual dinnerware set, consider the cost. Porcelain is beautiful, but may be more expensive than other materials. Stoneware is durable and scratch-resistant. When it is glazed it is even stronger. Stoneware can be found in interesting colors and often with raised designs. Stoneware also comes in various forms, from casual everyday dinnerware to more formal dinnerware. It is an excellent choice for both cost and longevity.
Some of the most popular makers of casual dinnerware include Pfaltzgraff, Corelle, Fiesta and Gibson. Some professional chefs have also signed their names to casual dinnerware, including Gordon Ramsey, Rachael Ray, George Foreman and Emeril Lagasse.
Casual dinnerware sets can be purchased at a variety of retail stores. For those who enjoy shopping online, you can find many types of casual everyday dinnerware sets selling for largely discounted prices. No matter what type of dinnerware you're looking for, you're sure to find a great dinnerware set that fits your style...and your budget.