Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Name

Ramekin

Variant

Ramequin, Ramekin dish.

Pronounced

(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin

Function

English Noun

Plural

Ramekins

Hypernym

A type of dish

Purpose

Cooking

Etymology

French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


Meaning

1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Made In Japan


A lot of people have ramekins that were made in Japan.  They began to arrive in Australia after the Trade Agreement between the two countries was signed on the 6th of July 1957.  Australia thus became the first country to trade with Japan after World War II.  Because of the standard of living in the respective countries at the time, trade was mostly one way for manufactured goods.  The signing of this agreement began a shift in Australia’s reliance on Great Britain, with Japan quickly becoming Australia’s most important trading partner. Initially, their ramekins were copies of existing Australian makers with a few decorative changes.  This was common practice for the times as many Australian makers copied other designs anyway.  Copyright compliance in Australia was viewed somewhat more flexibly than today.  Many Japanese copies were of Martin Boyd designs.  That is why I have added this item.

It is sometimes difficult to trace the makers in Japan as they would make up western names to add to their wares.  Now, most marks have been washed off over the years.   Others simply had the word “Japan” stamped on the base, or “Made in Japan” moulded into the base. 

Some of the identified makers are:

Whitco.  Not to be confused with the door furniture people, Whitco made ramekins that were very similar to the later Ray Cook and Bendigo Pottery their brown glaze was close to the Bendigo glaze, but the ramekins had a much more sculptured and comfortable handle.  I think that the thin glaze was applied on purpose to make people think that they were an Australian product, because no Japanese potter worth his salt would produce anything as shoddy.

GrizelleThey also appear to be a copy of some of the Martin Boyd ramekins of the time.  Or maybe Boyd copied Griselle, who knows?  Grizelle was a West German exporter, who rebadged many West German Pottery pieces and marked them as Japanese, Australian & New Zealand, producing pottery during the 50's and 60's. The German and Japanese potteries both produced export wares (a lot were for the souvenir market) and both exported to Australia and the US (probably UK too) The Australian pottery produced utilitarian ware and figurines for the domestic market.  Just where this pottery was located, or if an existing maker produced them is not known.  There are many different marks and stickers found on the German/Japanese/Australian versions suggesting that these were produced by different potteries rather than from a distributor selling wares from 3 different countries.  In Germany it appears to have been made by Duemler and Breiden, Hoehr Grenzhausen (impressed crossed lines with DB) and the printed Grizelle mark with Germany.  The brand name Grizelle does not appear in any German literature about ceramics of the 1950s (Macus, etc.).  The marks (stickers) all have the leaping antelope, sometimes on a gold sticker, sometimes embossed to the base.  


Later, ramekins from Taiwan and Korea overhauled Japanese products as Australian makers went to the wall, but that's another story!

2 comments:

  1. Hi,
    What would these ramekins be worth set of six with salt & pepper in original box and new.
    Kind regards Ann.

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    Replies
    1. I just paid ten dollars for a boxed set at an antique market. I also recently bought six unboxed at a Salvo store for fifty cents each. There is a set for sale on e bay at the moment and I don't expect them to get much. If you get an offer for anything at all, take it, otherwise give them as a gift to some student setting up away from home. They are great for putting nibbles in for parties. Bear in mind that they are about forty years old so they are twice as old as your student.

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