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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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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Monday, January 2, 2012

Ji Stonecrest




No doubt you will have seen these ramekins all over the place.  Sometimes they are unmarked, sometimes they are marked "Korea" or "Made in Korea".  The pattern is standard 1970s, common to most makers in Asia at the time.  You can find them from Japan, Taiwan and China.  What follows is my version of what some of them are. 


Ji Stonecrest is (or more accurately was) a brand name of Jepcor International Inc. formerly of Chalet Office Plaza, 1000 Skokie Avenue Wilmette Illinois 60091, and 41 Madison Avenue New York.    Wilmette is a village in the USA with a population of over 27,000 located approximately 25km north of Chicago on the Western shore of Lake Michigan. They registered various trademarks over the years, that were;  Andre Ponche, first registered on the 20th of January 1973, Decostone,  Wiltshire House,  Stonecrest,  Country Cupboard,  registered 1973 and Haeng Nam and  Mario Registered 1980.

These trademarks have now lapsed so if you want to use them, they can be purchased, except Haeng Nam Chinaware was incorporated in Korea as a Limited Company in 2003 and are still going; also having an office in Los Angeles.  Jepcor originally manufactured in the USA but later moved production to Korea, with additional manufacturing in Japan.  Jepcor had some of their American-made pottery manufactured by Homer Laughlin Ohio.  This company still exists and is a leading manufacturer of foodservice china.

Haeng Nam Chinaware inc. began production in Korea during the Japanese occupation of the Second World War in May 1942.  They later manufactured a wide range of chinaware to many well-known companies including Noritake and Corning. Because Jepcor had registered their name in the USA, Haeng Nam could not use it there until the registration lapsed.  In Chinese, Haeng Nam means "Apricot South".  Haeng Nam are located at 251-32 Sang-dong, Mokpo-si Jeollanam-do Korea.  They make a variety of homewares and export mainly to Hong Kong.  The company has also recently started making bathroom products.

We can thank the Koreans in part for the demise of the Australian Studio ramekin.  Making and selling ramekins was the bread and butter of many Australian potters.  When this market was invaded, most local makers folded.   Australia still has the economic blinkers on today.  We still expect to earn Australian wages and yet we want to pay Asian prices for our manufactured goods, and our Government wants our industries to compete on a level playing field. 

Some people advertise these ramekins on Internet auction sites as being RARE.  Not true!  This stuff is everywhere.  Please note, Asian counties and cultures have a strong tradition of pottery making dating back centuries.  It is better made and glazed than the local stuff, holds more and is generally stronger.  It is completely understandable that it outsold our domestic makers.

Their ramekins are larger than earlier Australian products and are similar to those made by the Taiwanese.   Their ramekins are of a standard size and shape and come in a profusion of colours; one of the most popular being “Desert Sun”, a yellow striped design.  Much of their output is advertised as being designed by Andre Ponche (if you like flowers).   I have never heard of him, but that isn’t saying much.  

To my knowledge, Andre Ponche, one of their popular designs is about as real a person as Micky Mouse.  Anyway, they are well made and are great as a serving dish at parties.  According to the Company registration documents, they are described as making; ‘CHINA DINNERWARE, PORCELAIN DINNERWARE AND EARTHEN DINNERWARE AND CHINA, PORCELAIN AND EARTHEN COFFEE MUGS AND TEAPOTS”.  “THE NAME "ANDRE PONCHE," WHICH IS THE MARK, DOES NOT REFER TO ANY PARTICULAR LIVING INDIVIDUAL”.

Stoneware is a dense, fine-grained, non-translucent, vitrified clay body that is impervious to liquids and fired at a high temperature (1200º–1350ºC). The clay contains significant amounts of aluminum silicates. Stoneware has partially vitrified bodies and most often are brown, grey or white. An opaque ceramic containing naturally vitrifying clay e.g., stoneware clay or a suitable ball clay. Sometimes a non-plastic constituent and a flux are added. Stoneware is known for its colour glaze as it is inferior to porcelain in whiteness. Stoneware bodies are heavier than Porcelain and Fine Bone China and are not transparent and are usually made of local clay. Stoneware is less expensive than both Bone China and Porcelain products.

There is some question about the glaze used in those days.  Some people believe that lead glazes were used.  If in doubt, do not use them for serving food.  Have a look on this site for more information.

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