Size Matters: Continental VS American Flatware Sizes

Most of us love having our meals out, but have you ever noticed how different restaurants have different types of flatware? Some, you can clearly see came in a set together with the flatware. Meanwhile, others seem to be individual pieces that complement the overall design and theme of the place. Some are bigger and heavier than others. Does this mean that the bigger and heavier ones are more expensive? Not necessarily. Sometimes it just means that they’re different types of flatware.

So there are 3 types of flatware, all with different sizes, balances, and uses: Continental Flatware, Place-size flatware, and Luncheon-size Flatware.

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Photo courtesy: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51bJGqSIpAL._SY355_.jpg

Luncheon

This type of flatware is the shortest in length, and is the hardest one to find today. Its length was made to balance the dimensions of the luncheon plate; however, it’s not commonly used today. You’d most likely find it in older flatware sets, but rarely in restaurants or homes.

 

Continental

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Photo courtesy: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/4124HWKEM6L._SY355_.jpg

Also known as European Size, this is the type of flatware that is the longest in terms of length.  The dinner knife, dinner fork, and soup spoon of this type is longer by approximately half an inch, compared to the place flatware; and approximately an inch compared to the luncheon flatware. Apart from their length, these flatware pieces are also slightly thicker and heavier compared to both their luncheon and place counterparts.  In continental or European style, you would typically find the monograms (or stamps) at the back of the handles, because their forks are held with the tines downward.

 

Place

Also known as American Size, this type of flatware is what you would traditionally see in American households. However, even though the continental size of flatware is becoming increasingly popular in the states, the place size is still the cutlery of choice. They’re lighter and easier to manipulate compared to their continental counterpart.  In the American style of flatware, the monograms are placed at the front of  the handle because typical American cuisine is done with the fork tines held upward to eat.

 

Continental VS Place sizes

Here are some of the common pieces with their size differences between Continental and Place.

Flatware Piece

Continental Size

Place Size

Knife 10 1/2″ 9″
Fork 8 1/2″ 7 1/2″
Salad Fork 6 1/2″ 6 1/2″
Soup Spoon 7 5/8″ 7″
Teaspoon 6 1/4″ 6 1/4″

As to which style of flatware is better is all a matter of preference and what you grew up with. Some people like the heavy feel of the continental style, because (to them) it screams quality. Others, however, prefer the lighter and more relaxed size and feel of the American or place style due to their convenience.

What style flatware do you have at home? Do they match your dinnerware at home? Planning on purchasing new ones anytime soon? What type? Sound off in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.

Check out our Ebay Store, we have a lot of dinnerware, flatware, silverware, stainless flatware offered. Visit www.TheEscapePlace.com

Gorham Chantilly:The timeless, unique, & brief history of a flatware

The aroma of the food prepared for the whole family touches your nose –the scent slowly entices your already rumbling tummy. You see the table being set for the lavish feast that everyone will be enjoying in just a  few more minutes. The plates and glasses are equally as beautiful as the flatwares in your sight. Stepping closer, the lustrous property of the flatware becomes more appealing. Touching it matches the smoothness of your palm and fingers. The design is very intricate as your thumb runs down and checks it. Genuinely, that is a work of art.

If you are not familiar with the names and distinctions of every flatware but you remembered being amazed with a certain collection, chances are that set has the Gorham Chantilly pattern. This is the most popular flatware ever manufactured of all time. It is known worldwide with the elegant design, hence, this is a favorite to be collected. Silver crafted in the most elaborate pattern will definitely suit even the meticulous scrutiny.

 

From Humble Beginnings

This craft has a rich history. Everything began in 1831, inside the humble workshop of Jabez Gorham, a skillful craftsman from Providence, Rhode Island. Together with Henry Webster, they started creating thimbles, teaspoons, combs, jewelries, and some other small products which are all made of silver. However, their main product is the silver spoon. In 1847, great innovations happened as soon as John Gorham, son of Jabez Gorham, became the head of the company right after his father retired. John took opportunity of what the Industrial Revolution offered. He incorporated the mechanized mass production method. For further improvements, he enhanced the available designs, and refurnished the premises to create more space and widen their offered product line.

 

Unstoppable Progress

The progress he desired for the company did not stop there. In 1852, he visited several silver workshops and manufacturing companies in Europe. There, he searched for craftsmen, toolmakers and other experts in the field of silverware. He even hired a leading designer and workshop manager from England by the name of George Wilkonson. In 1895, the brainchild of the designer William Christmas Codman came to life. Codman’s creativity gave birth to the Chantilly pattern. From then on, it has been the best-selling flatware pattern of the company.

 

The Chantilly Pattern 

The lovely border, unadorned center, and fleur-de-lis tip of the Gorham Chantilly were derived from the inspiration brought by the Roccoco style from the 18th century French Regency Era. It was named after the well-known Chantilly palace in France. Along with this inspiration, the Gorham Chantilly   has the symmetrical fan plume design and polished finish. Because of its popularity, even prominent personalities choose this as their flatware. One of whom is the President of the United States. Whenever he boards the Air Force One, this is the choice flatware in the US Presidential Jet. This is also a well-loved flatware by newlyweds.

Since it’s a well-known brand, Gorham Chantilly’s replacement pieces are easy to find. In case one of your utensils bearing this pattern was accidentally marked with a scratch, you don’t have to worry that your collection will become incomplete.

If you want to pair your sumptous dishes with royalty-like flatwares, Gorham Chantilly will be a match made in heaven for your taste. What a lovely collection will this be for your table setting! You will also do an acquisition of a long-term asset in your kitchen. Timeless, elegance, and beauty—all rolled in one in every flatware with the Gorham Chantilly pattern.

Gorham-Sald-Fork Gorham-Teaspoon

You may also visit, www.TheEscapePlace.com for more Gorham Stainless Flatware.

Criteria in Selecting Silverware That’ll Make Every Meal Time Special

During meal time, what mostly piques our interest is the main dish to be served. Of course we’re excited about what we’re going to eat, after all, who wouldn’t want to sink their teeth into some delectable food, especially when celebrating festive occasions and holidays.

Oneida-Collection

But the littlest details also count if one wants to make meal time pleasant not only for guests on special occasions, but also for the whole family on a daily basis. The right choice of silverware to match your table setting is often overlooked when it’s actually essential to ensuring full enjoyment of the served meal. A study, conducted by Oxford University, even concluded that size, shape, color, and weight of your utensils can influence how your food tastes, both positively and negatively. Knowing the appropriate silverware to use and perfecting your very own set at home will definitely add to the overall mood of each meal.

Silverware pertains to utensils used for eating and serving food. It is also known as cutlery, tableware, or flatware. Historically, it was made with real silver. That is, until the 20th century when stainless steel took over silver’s popularity. However, the original term “silverware” was able to be retained.

Having the right silverware for your home is essential to hosting posh parties and is necessary to have a nice dining experience with the family every day. Here is a guide to choosing the right silverware for your collection:

  1. 1.     Practicality and Use

Knowing the different types of silverware and their uses is important to keep your choices practical and sensible. The basic types of silverware consist of standard silverware, serving silverware, and specialty silverware.

 

When selecting a set, consider one that matches the meals that you would usually serve. With this in mind, asking yourself a few questions should guide you in finding a set that can efficiently answer your needs. Will it be used for a formal or casual type of dining? Will it be used daily during meal times with the family? Will it be used only during Christmas or special celebrations?

 

  1. 2.     Design and Taste

You can play it safe and go with a versatile design that can match both formal and casual table setting but there are many ways to go about design with silverware. If you already have a lovely set of plates, cups, and bowls for your place setting, make sure to pick a set of silverware that would nicely match your existing set.

 

Silverware is available in a wide selection of sizes and shapes that can fit your taste and style. You may opt for an elegant metal with a sterling silver or silver-plated set to entertain your guests for a formal occasion or a sleek and minimalistic design which can perfectly set the mood for a modern dining experience. For daily dining, you can simply opt for a low-maintenance stainless steel.

 

  1. 3.     Craftsmanship and Quality

With silverware, the quality of design and material shown in the craftsmanship matters as it is also how you can determine its durability. Well-made silverware is recognized by its good balance and considerable weight. Keep away from lightweight tableware which lacks balance, feels uncomfortable to hold, and has a higher possibility of bending:

 

  • Both sides of each utensil should be attractive
  • Engraved design should be defined and clear
  • Symmetrical fork tines are evident with the edges rounded
  • Broad knife blade with a good cutting edge
  • No gap in color should be revealed when knife blade joins the handle
  • Spoon should have enough depth to provide a good bite

 

  1. 4.     Availability and Quantity

How many people do you want to serve with your silverware set? Pick a set that can provide all your guests with matching spoons, forks, and knives. Most sets can serve four persons at the minimum and 12 people at the maximum. If you plan on serving a special menu that would require use of other types of utensils, consider acquiring a complete set that would serve all needed purposes.

 

Choose a set with high elemental content. Most stainless steel silverware are made of actual steel, but the percentage of other metal content help determine the durability of each piece. Silverware labeled 18/10 is the best choice; consisting of 18% chrome and 10% nickel. Less than the 18/10 standard and that equates to lower quality cutlery.

 

  1. 5.     Investment and Cost

Consider the type of material and metal used in production, the intricateness of the ornamentation, and the time and labor put into the crafting of each piece figure in the cost of your purchases. Definitely, how much you spend on your silverware is entirely up to you. Do you want to invest on a high quality set for a restaurant business, a very special gathering, or to simply put authenticity and quality at the top of your priority for home use?

 

Of course, it is your prerogative to set the budget for spending on your silverware. Prices for a set can be as affordable as $15 or can be as expensive as $1400. If you are on a budget, it would be smart to purchase the fundamentals first and allocate money for the additional pieces later on. But do keep in mind that high quality silverware is sure to be a long-term investment.

When it comes to making every dining experience special, whether or not there’s a reason to celebrate, it can be the littlest things that can make a big difference.

TheEscapePlace has several Oneida Collection of silverware, check out www.TheEscapePlace.com

Kitchen Jewelry

NEW YORK, 1907- Belgian-born chemist Leo Baekeland stumbled serendipitously into an invention that hit gold mine. Originally, he set out to find a replacement for shellac. But in the process of controlling the amount of heat and pressure applied to phenol and formaldehyde, he was able to create the world’s first durable and aesthetically-pleasing plastic he named “Bakelite”.

Dubbed by TIME magazine as the “material of a thousand uses”, Bakelite – due to its extraordinary high resistance to heat and chemical action – was first used as parts of radios and other electrical devices. At one point, the U.S. Treasury even considered minting coins out of Bakelite due to a shortage of the traditional material. After World War II, Bakelite production became more efficient and its application extended to other materials such as clocks, radios, poker chips, billiard balls, and Mah Jong sets. Bakelite was also molded into shiny, candy-colored pieces of jewelry and became subjects of the art collections of design icons like Coco Chanel and Andy Warhol.

The production of canisters and tableware made of Bakelite dawned upon 1950’s America where images of an efficient, sleek kitchen bombarded advertisements. Bakelite made it possible for utensils to become “kitchen jewelry” and the object of appreciation and fascination of the common folk. It has a certain type of beauty, devoid of esotericism, which speaks to the modern man. And indeed, people today associate Bakelite flatware and its introduction into thousands of homes as the presage of the era of the plastic.

Bakelite fell out of production throughout the years because of the introduction of more durable plastics. Although sources say that some parts of the world still manufacture Bakelite products, most items exist as vintage pieces that are collectibles. Aside from being a remnant of glory years, the appeal of Bakelite flatware lies in the fact that the colors mellow as they age making it kitschy and high-end at the same time.

 

Looking for Bakelite Flatware: What to Expect

When searching for vintage Bakelite Flatware, it is important to keep in mind these tips to get the most bang for your buck:

  1. The handles of Bakelite Flatware are typically yellow, red, or orange in color. You will also find, though rarely, some which have polka-dotted, striped, or “V-shaped” designs.
  2. Most sell for $4 or more dollars per piece although those that come in sets, are hard to find, and sell higher.
  3. To test if your Bakelite Flatware find is a genuine, you could use the “sound test” or the “rubbing test”. When you strike one handle with another, the sound you are looking for should be a “clang” and unlike the dead sound antique wood makes. The “rubbing test”, on the other hand, requires you to rub the handles with your thumb until you feel you have created enough heat or friction. If you bring your thumb under your nose, you should be able to smell formaldehyde (even if faintly).
  4. Avoid flatware with mold lines or cracked seams.

Wm Rogers & Son Bermuda Dinner Fork Bermuda Dinner Knife 4 Wm Rogers & Son Stainless Knives

Check out our Kitchenware collection at The Escape Place Ebay Store

Happy hunting!