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




Ramequin, Ramekin dish.


(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin


English Noun




A type of dish




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.


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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Japanese Noodle Bowl



“Japan” stamped in black ink on footring.  Hand-painted fruit motif to inside side of bowl.  Dimpled pattern to exterior to give a type of basket-weave effect with  brown glaze to handle.
Wheel thrown earthenware bowl covered in cream slip and gloss glaze with short flat handle as part of the bowl, protruding about 1cm above the rim.  Short pointed area opposite handle

Production Date
Length (with handle)
Waverley Antiques Nov 2011
Rameking Reference Number
Jap 001-004

Probably better described as “Noodle Bowls” or maybe desert bowls, these Japanese ramekins have a short moulded handle protruding above the rim of the bowl; they are designed to both hold chopsticks as they rest on the rim because the rim is angle backwards towards the handle, as well as to give a thumb hold.  In Asia, they are usually sold in sets with notches for chopsticks, but in Australia, likely to have been sold as just the bowls.  Most noodle bowls are just that, bowls.  These have just that slight touch of understated design that the Japanese are famous for.

These ramekins are made from earthenware clay that is baked to become hard and compact It is a hard, semi-fired and absorbent clay used for both decorative and construction products. The colours can range from grayish to dark reddish-orange, light to medium reddish-brown, or strong brown to brownish or deep orange.  It is lightly fired, unglazed earthenware usually reddish in colour. It has frequently been used by sculptors and modelers to produce models or studies for more finished pieces in other materials.

Classically, most earthenware has a red coloring, due to the use of iron rich clays.  However, this is not always the case, and for the modern potter, white and buff colored earthenware clays were commercially available.  It can be as thin as bone china and other porcelains, though it is not translucent and is more easily chipped.  Earthenware is also less strong, less tough, and more porous than stoneware, but its low cost and easier working compensate for these deficiencies. Due to its higher porosity, earthenware must usually be glazed in order to be watertight.

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 2.  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.  

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, like these, simply had the word “Japan” stamped on the base, or later “Made in Japan” moulded into the base.  

No comments:

Post a Comment