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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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


Sunday, April 1, 2012




Stamped “Westminster Oven to table ware Korea
Heavy clay ramekin, Brown gloss glaze to exterior. Pale grey gloss glaze to interior and lip. Knobbed lid with matching colour and glaze.
Good condition, no chips, cracks or crazing. Slight flaw in clay to base and side near handle of one.

Production Date
Late 1970s
Length (with handle)
475gm Ramekin
165gm Lid
Salvo Stores Mt Waverley
Rameking Reference Number
WES 001 to 002

Back in the dark ages, the Rameking began a Batchelor of Arts Degree. Above the toilet roll holder in the Mens toilets, someone had written “Arts Degree, Please Take One.” This is a good example of meaning, or perhaps perceived meaning. At the centre of meaning is form and substance. Form is that which can be described. The shape, size, colour of the ramekin. Stoic philosophy separates the object from its mental representation. (With apologies to Roland Barthes) This is what happens when you give a common object a posh name. These are 1970s onion soup dishes made in Korea and stamped with the name “Westminster”. It is designed to create a certain impression. Connotation and denotation. (look it up, I can't do everything for you.)

Remember the old saying “like a bull in a china shop”? The original saying is referred to in a book by Sir Henry Lucy where he refers to”Bulls in the (Westminster) china shop”. He was talking about the House of Commons in the British Parliament at the Palace of Westminster. This has about as much to do with these ramekins as does Westminster Pottery Ltd Hanley, Staffordshire, England that operated from 1948-1956. They were makers of earthenware, chinaware, whiteware, dinnerware and decorative porcelain. (They produced Cottageware, those pottery cottages that you sometimes see in peoples display cabinets.) The London Gazette 27th June 1969, shows that Westminster Pottery Ltd company was dissolved. (pp6700-6701)

Westminster as a name for pottery manufacture has been used often, there are several of them in the US still operating. These, I think may be from Westminster China Pty Ltd of 7 Arnold Street Cheltenham, Victoria trading as Westminster China Australia. The premises are now empty and up for sale, having last been a food distribution company. In a display of great modesty, Westminster advertized their products as being “The most exquisite china in the world.” They operated in various guises from 1955 until 2003.

These ramekins were made in Korea. The print for the stamp on the base is similar to those made by Haeng Nam for Jepcor. Korea made lots of earthenware and stoneware for European and American companies. These are simply marked as “Westminster” . Like many others made around the late 1970s, these are heavier and designed as soup bowls. They are well made heavy stoneware and covered with a brown gloss glaze. One indication of quality is that the handles do not have a hole in them. This means that the handles were better made and designed to cool at the same rate as the bowl without cracking.


  1. My goodness gracious, those are the ones I recalled in this post, which was in turn inspired by my discovery of your blog.

    They were a wedding gift in January 1977; packed off to an op shop in the mid-'90s. Funny if they were the exact same ones.

  2. I would love to know the personal stories of my ramekins, they are after all functional objects. Like every item in an op-shop, there is a history behind them. I wish more people would tell their stories.