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What Is a Serveware?


A basic set of serveware includes the following:

A large oval platter to serve a roast

A small oval platter to serve chops or fish

A deep bowl, approximately 5 to 6 inches deep, to serve soft foods, fruit salad, and deep-dish pie

A shallow bowl, approximately 1 inch deep, to hold firm vegetables, fruit, rolls, crackers, and cheese

A small bowl for cold sauce, dips, nuts, and candy

A sauceboat to serve gravy and hot sauces

A medium-size pitcher for syrup, gravy, sauce, or honey

A large pitcher to serve water, iced tea, and other beverages

A beverage pot for coffee, tea or hot chocolate

A creamer for cream also used to serve salad dressing, gravy, sauce, or dessert topping

A covered sugar bowl that doubles for service of condiments, jam, jelly, nuts, sauce, or dip

At a meal for eight to ten people, duplicate sets of serveware, such as bread baskets or sauceboats, are suggested for each end of the table.

 Serving Porcelain Plate

To accommodate twelve to eighteen guests, serveware is required in triplicate.

When a menu calls for the frequent use of a particular sauce, such as drawn butter with lobster, small bowls should be placed on each cover.

Duplicate sets of serveware need not match, but when two pieces are presented together on a tray, such as a creamer and a sugarer, a matched pair is recommended.


Serving bowls are made in shallow or deep shapes.Shallow serving bowls approximately 8 to 9 inches in diameter, with a broad, flat base and sloping sides, are used to serve firm food, such as asparagus, fruit, and rolls.

Deep serving bowls accommodate soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, or creamed foods, a shape that holds a serving spoon without scraping the bottom of the bowl. Such as Italy style noodle plate.




Platter, from the French plat for "flat," is a shallow dish made in the round, oval, or rectangular shapes, a serveware category made primarily to serve meat and fish dishes prepared without sauce.

To direct the juices that flow from food, platters are often made with a well.Platters are made in sizes that descend from approximately 24 inches or more to 9 inches.


The 24-inch platter is a generous size to serve a roast garnished with vegetables or a large ham or turkey.

The 16-to 18-inch platter is an appropriate size to serve hot or cold meat to approximately six to eight people.

The 14-inch oval platter is right for serving a good-size roast, fish, individually molded salad, sliced fruit, or vegetables to approximately four people.

The 12-inch platter is used to present canapes, food served in a ring mold, sandwiches, cake, pie, cookies, petit fours, and tarts.

The 9-inch platter is perfect for condiments and relishes.


The way a platter is used is different for formal and informal dining.

At a formal affair, a platter is used to serve the fish course, entree course, main course, salad course, and dessert course.

At an informal occasion, the platter is used more often on a buffet to hold the meat course surrounded with garniture, or assorted cold foods, such as sliced fruit, vegetables, sandwiches, cake, or cookies.

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