What are some of the different types of pottery that is used in the kitchen?

When you start to go to auctions, antique malls or even flea markets, you will hear several different names for pottery that is used in a kitchen.  Here’s a couple of the names that you will run across:

Bone china—this is a type of porcelain that contains bone ash in it. Bone china is the strongest of the porcelain or china ceramics, having very high mechanical and physical strength and chip resistance, and it is also known for its high levels of whiteness and translucency.

Stoneware—this is made from unrefined clay.  This type of clay has a grittier texture than porcelain due to its higher sand content.  This is fired at a high temperature (2185 degrees Fahrenheit), and the end result is a piece of pottery that is strong and chip resistant.  This type of pottery is often used to make mugs and baking dishes, and it can also be safely heated in ovens.  Stoneware is popular for dinnerware because it’s durable—and it is also less expensive than porcelain.

Earthenware—this is fired at 1915 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite a bit lower than stoneware.  The result of this is porous pottery that is not nearly as strong as either stoneware or porcelain.  A lot of the time, earthenware can be strengthened by glazing (glazing hardens the surface, making it non-porous and it allows earthenware pieces to be used for cooking).  This is most commonly used to make pots for plants—terracotta is a type of earthenware pottery.

Porcelain—this is made from the finest quality of white clay. It is fired at a very high temperature (2300 degrees Fahrenheit)—this results in a hard, strong and translucent piece of pottery.  This type of pottery is usually white with a very smooth surface.  It is non-stick, non-porous and even dishwasher safe that makes porcelain the safest pottery to use in a kitchen. High-end dinnerware is commonly made of porcelain, and it is the most expensive kind of pottery.

This is some of the more common names that you will run across.  What are some of the names that you have run across?

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What are some odd utensils for the kitchen that you might run across?

It does not take long in the world of antiques and collectibles for you to run across a weird utensil for the kitchen.  Here are some of the oddities that you might run across:

Cake Breaker—this is a multi-pronged metal serving piece that looks like a large comb.  It was primarily marketed as a way to slice a delicate cake without putting any undue pressure on it.  Items like Angel Food Cake are one of the items that you would use this on.

Oyster Server—this has an edge that looks like a circular saw edge.  Items like fried oysters were extremely popular at the turn of the 20th century, and this popularity demanded that this type of food get its own server. The Oyster Server’s jagged flared edge helps to gather small, lightweight food.

Lemon Forks—these tiny forks were usually used for lemons that were served with seafood or tea. The tines are sharp and splayed outwards to grip the tough lemon rind.

Victorian Folding Fruit Knife—in the Victorian era, fruit was considered a luxury because shipping it was very hard if not impossible in some cases. Men carried these fruit pocket knives to display their economic stature.  These have a small blade that is the perfect length to cut fruit.

This is only a few of the odd utensils that you will run across for the kitchen.  What have you run across?