Tableware can be used for a variety of purposes from simple hunger satisfaction to display of wealth, including various items and tools for serving and eating. Although the root "ware" basically means any number of items made of the same material or used for the same purpose, the more specific category of tableware can easily be divided into four main types: serveware, dinnerware, flatware, and drinkware.
The name of the Serveware is derived from its basic purpose, which is to provide food. This type of tableware includes bowls, plates, gravy boats, and any other dishes used to bring food to the table. Dishes that serve drinks, such as glass bottles or jugs, also fall into this category.
Although the purpose of serveware is to hold a large portion of food, dinnerware is a type of tableware used to provide a separate portion during a meal. Dinnerware consists of a variety of dishes, from basic plates and bowls to more professional pieces for specific purposes. For example, gorgeous place settings might include dinner plates, salad plates, bread plates, and soup bowls. Some highly professional items are only used to serve very specific types of food, such as ramen noodles for a separate dessert section.
Perhaps one of the most important types of tableware is flatware. This category covers appliances used in the actual consumption of food. Forks, spoons, and knives are the most basic utensils in the tableware family. However, like tableware, tableware may refer to a large number of more professional utensils. These include spoons, butter knives, steak knives and dessert forks.
The last type of tableware traditionally used for table setting is drinkware. Drinkware include tableware for serving and drinking a separate portion of the beverage. This includes mugs and teacups, as well as smaller glassware categories, including drinking glasses, juice glasses, wine glasses and other glass beverage containers.
Although tableware is most often classified into the above four categories, it can also be classified according to the materials of manufacture. For example, chinaware, earthenware and silverware might be used to describe any number of objects used in the serving or eating of a meal as long as they are made of a particular material. Although almost everyone uses more basic types of tableware, a formal setting of ten or more tableware and utensils can be confusing. In formal occasions,just remember to keep your elbows away from the table and use flatware from the outside in.