Charger (table setting)

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Place setting with red charger.

Charger plates or service plates are larger plates used during full course dinners or to dress up special events like parties and weddings. Charger plates have been around since the 19th century.

North America[edit]

Food is not actually served on chargers, they are often called underplates or chop plates.[1] The word "charger" originated around 1275 - 1325 from the Middle English "chargeour". Formerly, a charger signified either a large platter or a large, shallow dish for liquids.[2]

They are usually larger than most common dinner plates. Since they are not used for food, charger plates can be found in a variety of materials, from traditional china, to metal, wood, glass, plastic and pearl. And they may be decorated with substances that can be toxic if ingested.

Charger plate etiquette and use varies. Some professional catering companies remove the decorative charger plate as soon as the guests are seated. In other instances, when the design of charger plates complements the design of dining plates, charger plates are left on the table throughout the course of the meal. However, charger plates are always removed before serving desserts.[1]

Europe[edit]

In service à la russe charger plates are called service plates and are kept on the table during the entire meal until dessert is served. Service plates act as a base for soup bowls, salad plates, and for the main course. A service plate is removed before dessert.

Culture[edit]

In Mark 6:25, KJV and Matthew 14:8, KJV, the "daughter of Herodias" requested John the Baptist's head in a "charger" from Herod Antipas as her reward for dancing at his birthday party.[3][4][5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Role of charger plates in tabletop design | Glass Dinnerware Solutions For Restaurants". The-glass-co.com. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  2. ^ Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Random House, Inc. 1996.
  3. ^ Mark 6:25, KJV
  4. ^ Matthew 14:8 KJV
  5. ^ "Matthew 14:8". Online Parallel Bible. Retrieved October 14, 2011.