COMPENDIUM OF COOKING CANT 5 – Fancy Flatware and Daring Dishes

COMPENDIUM OF COOKING CANT 5 – Fancy Flatware and Daring Dishes

Welcome once again, ladies and gentlemen, to Kitchen Catastrophe’s ongoing dictionary of dining lingo, the Culinary Compendium. So far, we’ve covered different meals, cooking techniques, American cuisines, and food prep terminology. Today, we’re going to get a little more sophisticated. We’re talking about literal dishes!  

Yes, today we’re going to inspect the phrases and terminology of flatware in the world of the bourgeoisie and bankable, to give you a leg up on your more moneyed mates.   If you’ve ever sat down to a formal dinner, and found yourself completely lost by the foreign phrases flying by, then let our informational assault alleviate your ails.



  1. The most populated country in the world.
  2. Where all our possessions are made.
  3. An informal title for porcelain dishes in the Western world, named because the first porcelain plates in Europe were imported from China. Noted for being whiter and more resilient than standard ceramic plates of the time, people would bring out “the fine China plates” for company.

Charger plate

  1. A decorative plate placed underneath the dishware containing the actual food, used to add color or decoration to a formal gathering.
  2. A sad piece of Memorabilia for a sad NFL Team.


Most memorabilia isn’t MADE to be thrown away, but the Chargers are a special team.



  1. A tined piece of flatware (see SILVERWARE) typically used for spearing or twirling foods to bring them to your mouth. Etiquette Scholar notes 14 separate distinctions of fork for formal affairs.
  2. Traditionally the tool most joked about in regards to misunderstandings at formal affairs, (e.g, “Which one’s the salad fork?”) which are actually arranged in an intuitive manner: simply use the fork furthest from the plate for the first course, and proceed inward. Further, the difference can be noted in the design of the forks: dinner forks have longer tines, while a salad, fish, or dessert fork is likely to have an extra wide tine on the left, in order to cut these softer courses without a knife.

Salt Cellar

  1. Sadly not an entire basement of seasoning, a Salt Cellar is the original form of a salt-shaker, consisting of a small bowl placed on the table, filled with salt. Sometimes used as decorative pieces in fancy meals; the more tactile sensation of physically grabbing the salt serving as a point of interest for the meal.

Mankind used to make a lot of weird things, before it created the Internet. Where it continued to make weird things.


Generally used by the populace to mean ‘the things we hold in our hands at a meal’,this actually comprises 4 distinct categories, Flatware, Eating utensils, Cutlery, and Silverware proper. The distinctions are fairly benign: “eating utensils” is the actual broad category, with ‘cutlery’ meaning “the utensils used to cut the food for consumption”, referring to carving knives, steak knives, and those weird two-pronged forks you use to hold the roast while cutting.   “Flatware” USED to mean plates, saucers, and dishes, but now means forks, knives, and spoons.   (This is because it used to distinguish from the now-defunct word “Hollow-ware”, meaning  bowls, cups, etc, and when we stopped using that word, we just re-defined ‘flatware’) And  silverware’, which used to refer to specifically silver platters, dishes, AND forks, spoons, and     knives, has come to mean generally those last three, and in some regions specifically those items WHEN THEY ARE MADE OF SILVER.

  1. The most likely part of your house to save you in case of wereworld attacks. Therefore, silverware wards off wary weres.

Useful for luncheons and lycans!


  1. A force-meat loaf in the French style. Basically fancy meatloaf, or rustic pate, consisting of meat ground with fat, with some coarsely chopped ingredients folded into the mixture. Not to be mistaken for a TUREEN.


  1.  In the words of Rick Sanchez, “twice-cooked Bread”.
  2. Perhaps the only remaining cultural impact of the Trencher, a medieval form of plate consisting of the bottom of a loaf of bread, either overcooked or stale, upon which stews were served, and the plate then eaten, having soaked up the stew broth. Well, Toast and the phrase “upper crust”, which referred to those wealthy enough to buy the portions of the bread that   WEREN’T burnt.
  3. A salutation, acknowledgement, and presentation of good-will, named like the bread-product due to the presence of “toasted” wines (essentially “mulled” or “spiced” wines) of the mid 17th century.
  4. TOASTY: What the announcer screams if you get a really good uppercut in Mortal Kombat.

Mortal Kombat lore is always an acceptable topic of refined conversation.


  1. A serving bowl, generally of glass or silver, from which soup is served.
  2. Not to be confused with a TERRINE, Above, or TURIN, an Italian city with a particularly important bed sheet.


  1. Old, but not in way that offends the senses, like most old things do.
  2. (n) – The year at which a wine was pressed. Understood to impact the flavor of the wine, as conditions shifting year-to-year affect the growth and development of the grapes. While studies have shown that the majority of wine tasting to be of…let’s say “questionable” accuracy, it is notable that different years do product varied flavors in the same vineyard.
  3. Literally “Wine-age”, so, I mean, pretty self-explanatory.

And there you are. No longer need you fear being invited to a black-tie event, for you can schmooze with the best. Unless you don’t know the different between black-tie, white-tie, and formal. In which case, just keep panicking.