The Etiquette of Soup Bowls
Ceramic soup bowls are a standard part of any host or hostess’s dinnerware set. At a formal or informal dinner, the soup is usually served as the first course. It is believed that having soup first aids in digestion. True or not, having soup as the first course sets the stage for the rest of the meal. Presentation is just as important as taste, which is why in this article we will help you find exactly the right ceramic soup bowl to make a great impression and complete your dinnerware collection.
Finding the Right Ceramic Soup Bowl
Ceramic soup bowls are well-known for their versatility, making them a kitchen essential. They are not only ideal for enjoying a hearty bowl of soup, but they also excel at serving other dishes. These bowls effortlessly transition from one culinary delight to another, from hearty stews and pasta to salads and desserts.
There are a surprising amount of details you need to consider when purchasing the right set of ceramic soup bowls for your kitchen. In this section, we will talk about the size, shape, and materials that should be considered when purchasing a ceramic soup bowl.
Size: A standard soup bowl can range in size from 6 to 8 inches in diameter and hold anywhere between 8 and 12 ounces of liquid (meaning it will hold between 1 and 1.5 cups). Those are the sizes for soup bowls where soup is served as the first course. Soup that is served as a main course, such as a stew or chili, would go in a larger bowl, around 10-12 inches in diameter and holding 12-18 ounces of liquid. These larger bowls can also be used as serving bowls.
Shape: What shape should you go for with a soup bowl? A wide and shallow ceramic soup bowl will mean that whatever is inside the bowl cools down quicker than a taller, narrower bowl because of the increased surface area exposed to the air. The thickness of the ceramic bowl will also affect how quickly the contents of the bowl cool down. A thicker bowl will retain heat better than a thinner bowl. For this reason, wider soup bowls are better for thicker soups like stew or boeuf bourguignon and narrower bowls are better for broth-based soups like miso or cold soups like gazpacho.
Material: The material of your soup bowl matters a great deal. Ceramic has been the choice for dinnerware for thousands of years. Ceramic is non-reactive, retains heat, and is beautiful. While glass, metal, plastic, and even wood are commonly used as dinnerware, ceramic soup bowls will always be the superior choice.
Within the broader category of ceramics there is terracotta, stoneware, and porcelain. They are fired at different temperatures, and the clay they are made from may contain different compositions of minerals. Each one has advantages and drawbacks, and you can learn more about each one in this article about stoneware.
Handmade Bowls vs. Factory-Made
Ceramics made individually by skilled artisans tend to have better quality control because more time and care is taken with each individual bowl. Artisanal ceramic studios tend to have smaller batches, and it’s easier to keep track of quality, whereas factories make thousands of bowls and tend to have a less stringent quality control process because it’s just not possible to carefully inspect each and every bowl when there are thousands of them.
Handmade bowls also have a unique look that can’t be replicated with machines. The visible thumbprints or brushstrokes add to the special character of the ceramics and make each bowl one of a kind.
How Handmade Bowls Are Made
Handmade ceramic soup bowls can be thrown on a potter’s wheel or made by pouring liquid clay into molds, waiting for them to harden, and then removing them from the molds. The pieces are then dried, glazed, and fired in a kiln. Each step in the process requires skill and technical knowledge on the part of the artisan making the bowls, and many practice for years to hone their skills.
Advantages of Handmade Bowls
Handmade ceramic bowls have many advantages over factory-made ceramic bowls. Handmade bowls are made in small batches in small local studios, so the environmental impact of a small ceramics studio is minimal. Bowls that don’t pass QC in a small studio will get broken down and the materials reused to make more bowls instead of being thrown away. Buying handmade ceramic bowls also supports artisans and keeps their craft alive, supporting families and communities with fair wages and good working conditions.
Explore the World of Ceramic Soup Bowls
Explore ceramic soup bowls with Atacama Home and elevate your soup experiences to unforgettable moments. With stunning designs, exceptional heat retention, and practical benefits, ceramic soup bowls embody the perfect balance of style and function.
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage while indulging in the timeless elegance that handmade soup bowls bring to your dining table. Embrace the exquisite allure of ceramic soup bowls and discover the perfect blend of taste, aesthetics, and pure bliss with every delightful spoonful.
Start building your collection of luxurious home essentials today. Bon appétit!