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Dining Room Service Project- Table Settings & China
Transcript of Dining Room Service Project- Table Settings & China
Martha Jennings and Daquan Burrell
Dining Room Project-
China and Table Setting
Throughout this class we have been introduced to different cuisines in different regions and have learned about the different dining room styles associated with them; different table settings, waiting styles, rules and etiquette of that style, etc.
How much do we actually know about the items that we are setting on the tables?
In this report we will discuss a basic overview of some of the items commonly put on our tables. Their origin, their history, their trends, and what they had to go through to sit on that table right now.
Before we talk about tableware we have to know what is considered tableware.
Tableware- utensils for eating or serving food and other table use. (Merriam-Webster)
Dishware- a type of tableware used for eating and serving food; i.e. glass, plates, platters, bowls, saucers, etc. (The American Heritage Dictionary)
Utensils- tableware implements for cutting and eating food. (The American Heritage Dictionary)
Now that we know what's considered tableware and where they come from, lets categorize the different types of tableware.
I separated the tableware into two different groups:
dishware and utensils
As we did with tableware, lets get a good definition of dishware
This definition did not say that tableware can only be found on a table.
In fact, the first tableware was long before the first table.
There's a story that says the first tableware item was invented in a prehistoric time, by a cavewoman.
The woman was one of a pair of a cave dwellers whom were named Lucy and Lou.
Lucy invented the tableware while foraging for food with her friend Lou.
Lou was moving from tree to tree dropping fruits, berries, and nuts, while Lucy was on the ground catching the food.
Lucy was unable to catch and carry all the food her friend dropped, so she pick-up a half broken coconut shell and used it as a bowl for holding the food.
Although this isn't your conventional tableware that you would see today, it's still considered as tableware by our definition and many others.
The story of the cavewoman was also invention of the first dishware.
Unfortunately, since this was during a period before recorded history there isn't much proof to support this.
Other than the few conventional, yet unrecorded events throughout history, dishware didn't make any developmental progress until 11,000 B.C.
But, even during this time dishware wasn't the main focus.
This period was classified as the Jomon period in Japan's history, and was known for one of it's many discoveries like the production of earthenware; pottery.
While the products were more primarily vases and sculptures than dishware and utensils, this did set the stage for its beginning.
Eventually the methods of pottery traveled towards the Mediterranean area.
Later, in the 7th century, China refined the pottery techniques to a point where they could produce dishware. The material they used most was ceramic.
This begin the advancements in tableware technology. This is also the reason why much of the dishware is commonly referred to as 'China' because that's were it was born.
Post Jomon Period
Medieval/ Renaissance Period
Between 700 A.D and 1,300 A.D. the use of ceramic dishware expanded throughout Asia and the east Mediterranean area.
During this time the European dishware, which was primarily used by the 'Upper Three' class; the royals, nobles, and wealthy, was a form of of bread bowl.
This was the birthplace of the bread bowl, and similarly to the bread bowls we used today, they were large loaves of bread gutted to hold another meal.
The biggest difference was that their bread bowls were very hard to remain intake throughout the entire meal without falling apart. Also, their hard, dense characteristics made them nearly inedible for humans.
Eventually, the news of Asia's dishware spread to Europe. A German potter learned their methods around the 18th century.
After that, many, now well-known, companies were founded such as Royal Saxon, Royal Copenhagen, Spode, and Wedgwood.
The Great Depression
Proper dishware didn't become very available to the commoners until the development of metal plates. This was affordable to people of lower class.
The ceramic dishware were just as exclusive to the "Upper Three" as the bread bowls were because of their price. So, how did it become so readily available toady?
During the Great Depression a more cost efficient method for producing dishware was developed.
Companies and manufacturers started making what's known as 'Depression Glass'.
Now the dishware was made out of glass with more of a translucent color.
So many of these 'depression glasses' were produced that they were given away during promotional giveaways.
This made owning dishware easy for even the most financially challenged individuals.
Let's start with Dishware
Now that we have a brief history of dishware let's move on to utensils.
Again, lets get a good definition of utensils.
There are four main utensils that I want to talk about, and one more colloquial utensil.
History of Chopsticks
History of Knives
History of Forks
History of Spoons
Chopsticks are primary utensils in Eastern Asia. Their also what I consider to be the first modern utensil, despite its more antique characteristics. I say this because of the history of the utensil, which I will elaborate now.
Chopsticks were invented in China during a part of its history called the Zhou Dynasty, this was between 1122 and 255 B.C.
During this period, China had a large population increase, it was simple to our 'Baby Boom' period. Because of this sudden increase of population China's resources were becoming drained and scarce.
One of their biggest problems was the lack of food and fuel. To resolve this issues China cut down many of their bamboo forests to make room for new rice fields.
Also, they started cutting their food into small bite-sized piece before cooking them, so the food cooked quicker and used less fuel. Combining this idea with the idea of using a small amount of oil, as a medium for heat, and wider pots (woks) to cook more food at one time, this was the birth of the stir-fry method.
As a result of this new method they needed a new utensil that could aid in moving and cooking their food. So, using the surplus of cut bamboo, they developed sticks that could easily manipulate and be manipulated at the cook's will.
So the chopsticks actually started off as a cooking utensil, but because of the chef's found it more convenient to 'taste test' with the utensil already in their hand, it was used as an eating utensil in the kitchen.
For this reason the idea of chopsticks as a eating utensil began to spread. However, this ideas expanded much further and quicker once it was endorsed by the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, whom believe in using chopsticks. He believe that having sharp utensils at the table reminded people of a "slaughterhouse" and using chopstick prevented this.
As you can see chopsticks went through very few changes throughout history. Their modern form still resembles their original form very well, the only real differences are changes in styles and design. But, the chopstick is a utensil, still used today, in modern times, the same way it was used in ancient times. That's why I consider it the first modern utensil.
Like dishware, knives date back to a period before recorded history, so the actual origin of the first knifes is slightly ambiguous.
However, knives can be dated to the Bronze Age, approximately 1,000 B.C., around the time of the invention of the chopsticks, and probably before. But, the knives main transformation occurred in Europe.
In the Medieval Period, knives were mainly used for two things food and fighting. At this time, wars and fights were common, and knives were the primary weapon for defense. Also, knives were used at nearly every meal to cut food or carry it to the mouth. For these reasons, knives were so entrenched into everyone’s everyday life that it was a common practice, nearly an unwritten law that bring your own knife with you everywhere.
However, as the world became more civil and less violent, it wasn't necessary to carry a knife with you everywhere (at least for awhile). So, knives main use started leaning more towards aiding in eating.
Around the 1500’s the, the Renaissance Era, the table knife made its debut. The first table knives were very similar to the previous knives; sharp and pointed, but they were smaller in size. This change took place because of three main events
First, Cardinal Richelieu’s request for a design change to the knives because a frequent guest, Chancellor Seguier, had bad table manners, and constantly use the knives as a toothpick at the table.
Also, King Louis XIV’s ban on sharp knives due to the frequent quarrels at his table.
Plus, around this time the fork was coming more into play in Europe. And, there were recent change of a fork’s tines to a more point feature, having a pointed knife was a bit redundant.
Once the table knives became more prevalent in the 1600's, they were easier to obtain than the previous knives. Meaning that table knives weren't just exclusive to the 'Upper Three' class, but it was also available to the general public.
Mapped History of Dishware
Mapped History of Utensils
Migration to Byzantine Empire
Forks are a considerable special utensil for two reasons. First, because fork traveled around the world more than any other utensil. Also, because while forks are looked at as a common utensils, they weren't always viewed so casually.
Forks have been dated back to the Middle East during the 7th century, where, again, it was primarily used by the 'Upper Three' classes.
From the Middle the fork traveled to the Byzantine Empire where they remained an exclusive utensil for Byzantium 'Upper Three' from the 9th century to the 13th century.
Here's where the fork made it's first major debut. During the wedding ceremony of the Byzantium princess, the fork was showcased. There were European nobility attending that wedding who had never seen a fork before, so the princess decided to flaunt her special golden fork. That is when Domenico Selvo, son of the Venetian Doge stated that the fork was a defiantly undermined the natural fork all humans possessed, bestowed by God; our fingers (probably out of jealousy).
Shortly after that event the princess died, and because of Selvo’s denouncement of the fork, it was believed that the princess died of some sort of a divine punishment because of her indulgence in immoral tools, instead of more conventional or probably causes. So, the fork was deemed as unnatural and unholy, even ridiculed, and those using them were susceptible to be punished by God.
Because of that, the fork's expansion around the world became dramatically gradual for the next 400-500 years, and was nearly avoided by the Europeans. However, the expansion did make it to Italy around the 1500's, where its use gradually became everyday, starting with the 'Upper Three' of course.
However, the fork remained marred by the rest of Europe, and was even compared to the 'Devil's Trident', until one event started a change.
In 1533, Catherine de Medici, an Italian noblewoman, married Henri II, the prince of France. When Catherine moved to France she brought along some souvenirs from Florence; her forks. But, the fork, and by association Catherine, was scoffed and ridiculed by French nobility.
This continued until 1633, when the fork gained the respect of Charles I whom declared "It is decent to use a fork,” feeling that they kept hands clean and finger unburned. This support was similar to the chopsticks and Confucious, or the knife, King Louis XIV, and the Cardinal Richelieu. After that declaration the forks quickly spread throughout Europe and the remaining parts of the world that weren't using forks already.
Like the knife, the spoon has been theorized to date back to prehistoric times, before recorded history. There are many examples of spoon-like utensils that can be found in nature such as shells, large leaves, and gourds. These, and the occasional cupped hands, were thought to be the predecessors of the spoon.
The first recorded instance of a spoon was in Rome during the 1st century. The Romans had two main types of spoons; the ligula and the acochleare. The ligula had an oval bowl with a point, connected to a decorative handle. This was used for soups and soft foods. The other spoon, the acochleare, was a slightly shallower spoon, with a more pronounced point, used for shellfish and eggs.
The trend of the spoon spread throughout Europe, but didn't make significant developments until the Renaissance Period. Up until that time, especially during the Middle ages, Europe was using spoons made of wooden spoons or horns.
During the renaissance spoons began to be made out of metal, primarily gold. Obviously, being made of gold, the spoon become very expensive and more of a status symbol for the 'Upper Three' classes like the other utensils. Soon spoons were made of silver, which was more affordable to commoners, but still for those of somewhat high social status. However, not matter how expensive everyone managed to have at least one pair of spoons for their wives.
Later spoons were made of more common materials such as wood, bronze, tin, or ceramic. This is when spoons became affordable to the lower class residents.
Impact on the American Culture
It think the spoon was the second most influential utensil in U.S. history.
Around the 18th century, spoons were being exported to American. This was also after the round table knife became popular. Unfortunately, forks were really being exported to the U.S., and without the sharp edge on the knives the Americans had trouble carrying food to their mouths.
Eventually, the Americans became fond of the spoon because it was the best utensil for carrying food to their mouths. Then, a technique was developed where you hold your knife in right hand and your fork, or in this case your spoon in your left. This way you can cut you food with one hand and eat it with the other.
This technique became known as the 'zig-zag method' and a primary eating style in America. Eventually, America became known for the 'zig-zag method' and this technique was adopted by various other countries.
Creation of an American Utensil
The last utensil I want to talk about is known well in the American community; the spork. The spork has been seen in many places; school and work cafeterias, buffets, and certain restaurant and stores. However this utensil had a humble beginning.
The spork is a culmination of a spoon and fork, or, as I refer to it, the 'the illegitimate offspring of a fork and a spoon'. Like most illegitimate children, it’ll never receive the same high-class status as they’re pure-bred parents, but it has proven itself all the same. Essentially, you’ll probably never see a spork at a fancy restaurant, during fine dining, or at one of our services, but it doesn’t mean it’s not just as useful, if not more useful than the other utensils.
From birth the spork promised to be quite the versatile tool, and being a pure-bred American, it was born with the hope of the ‘American Dream’ of making it big, which it has. It was invented in February 1874, by Samuel W. Francis. But, this utensil didn't become know until 1909. In that year, it was mentioned by name at another American original; Kentucky Fried Chicken. After that, in the same year, the Van Brode Milling Company of Company of Massachusetts patented the spork as the "combination plastic spoon, fork, and knife".
Since then the spork has mad its name and become the everyday dessert and travel utensil
Glass dinnerware is inexpensive ware that is produced by machines. There are a few very fine handmade glass plates on the market. They are not usually available in place setting.
Chinese porcelain was exported to Europe as early as the 1100’s, but it was rare and only available to very wealthy people such and royal families. Since then European potteries attempted to manufacture their own porcelain, and by the 18th century they were successfully competing with the Chinese.
Although, chinaware originated in China many years ago early as the year of 960 through 1127 BC. It is still a number one best seller today after all of those years. Factories where established from one century to another only to try to create a better product than that of which the Chinese has produce. No one has evidently showed a better product.
Chinaware originated in China:
This ware term is used for casual dinnerware made from less refined clays. It is always slightly porous whether or not it is glazed.
Ironstone is a stronger, finer kind of earthenware, made with finer clays and fired at higher temperatures. Stoneware is the connecting link between earthenware and fine china. It’s appearances is like the previous, but because of high firing temperature and the quality of the clays, its strength and durability are much closer than that of china.
Everyday dinnerware is the term used for casual dinnerware made from less refined clays than those used for fine china. This ware is fired at a lower temperature which makes it more porous and less strong. The final which makes it more porous and less strong. The final product is much thicker than porcelain and is completely opaque. ( You will never see your hand shadow through it.)
Is another type of porcelain that contains animal ash, mostly ox bone, The bone is burned and ground to a fine powder. This gives the ware strength and whitens it. The only difference between porcelain and bone china is the whiteness of bone china.
From the 13th century through the 17th century, china items were sought by traders from Europe and the Middle East. They were collected in China and taken back to the trader’s homelands for sale. Craftsman from Europe and Middle East tried to recreate the porcelain wares but were unsuccessful.
Regardless of several attempts they were not able to create the hardness, colors and beauty of the Chinese product.
The Impact Of Trade:
A five place setting consist of a dinner plate, salad plate, butter plate, teacup and saucer.
A five piece serving set is about 13” to 16” platter, an open vegetable serving bowl, a cream pitcher, a sugar bowl and its cover. A rimmed soup plate is very shallow and has a wide rim, it is about 8”.
The karat of the gold trim is between 22 karat and 24 karat.
By Martha A. Jennings
CUL215 Term Project
THE HISTORY OF FINE CHINA AND PLATE SETTING
By 1926 Frank Graham Holmes, designed and possessed a remarkable blend contemporary style with timeless good taste. His Fountain (1926) pattern bears the geometric lines and bright colors of the art Deco era paired with traditional floral ornament. In Rhoda 1939 and the harvest of 1949 Holmes captured the roses designed on china dishes
How Fine China is Made
Fine China another name used for dinnerware. However, there are many kinds. Ceramic being one which is originated from clay. Porcelain is another which was made in Europe; and produced in Orient since the earliest periods of civilization over 200 years ago. Fine china was generated in China and is name after were it was created. Fine china means glass like. It is fired in a kiln at a very high temperature so that is not porous, hard and smooth. Fine china is translucent, if you hold a dinner plate up to the light and place you hand behind it you will see your hand’s shadow.
Porcelain and Fine China Porcelain
The term China is applied to porcelain ware pieces. Which are decorative table ware.
China is fine china land of origin and for years only China could produce these quality pieces in the quantity that people anticipated.
Porcelain tableware or china originated in Jiangxi province of China.
China is made from kaolin, which is a fine white clay that is made from decomposing granite. It was added to a substance called Petuntse which is a Feld spathic rock, similar to Cornwall stone found in China.
The very first china of porcelain ware, was created in Tang Dynasty.
The Birth of China: