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 They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface.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, April 6, 2015

Silcraft Pty Ltd


These ramekin cups were made by the Melbourne company, Silcraft Pty Ltd.  The bowls were made by “Agee Pyrex”, a Sydney company.  They were sold through a number of Australian Department stores and Jewellers.  They are marked “Silcraft EPNS A1”.  The “A1” is a quality symbol for plated ware and describes the thickness of the silver deposited on the body, in this case about 35 microns.  A human hair is around 100 microns thick.  EPNS stands for electroplated nickel silver.  Some other examples without the inserts are referred to as punch bowl cups.  Their handles are pierced to hang from the bowl, but these have a Pyrex insert and are intended for hot food.



Silcraft began as a proprietary limited company, and there were two shareholders, J Sharp and Mary I Sharp.  It was incorporated on the 13th of February 1930.  They were gold and silversmiths and jewellers.  The company had a capital of 7,500, a large sum for the time, especially being in the depths of the great depression.  Later, their Managing Director was Mr A.F. Thompson.  The Thompson family had taken over the company.

Silverplate from Silcraft and Hecworth were advertising in 1936.  “Hecworth” was a brand name sold through a shopfront in Collins Street Melbourne.  Hecworth plate was made by Platers Pty Ltd in the Melbourne suburn of St Kilda at 39 Greeves street.  Silcraft Pty Ltd was located at 6 Station Place Glenhuntly, opposite the station.  Silcraft produced a range of “Huntly” brand leadless pewter ware, one of the popular products was their glass bottomed tankard.  The “Hecworth” brand was taken over by Rodd Pty Ltd in 1940.  As well as making EPNS ware for many years, they also made the Esteele range of kitchenware, particularly copper-bottomed stainless steel saucepans. 

Silcraft Dandenong Road Oakleigh

They expanded during the late 1940s, with many new employees, later moving to 82 Dandenong Road Oakleigh in the early 1950s.  They were then relocated not far from there at 168 Forster Road Mount Waverley.  In the late 1950s, they began making sheet metal for the recently built Ford Motor Company at Broadmeadows.  They continued producing components for the local car industry as their major output but fell on hard times when the local manufacturers began downsizing and many would eventually close.  In 2007 Silcraft closed their 163-179 Forster Road Mount Waverly plant and all the contents were sold.  They then began the manufacture of chemicals and compounds.  They were also still electroplating.  Their premises are now closed and being demolished.  Silcraft were owned by Chartwell Industries Limited, an international company with subsidiaries worldwide. There are now a number of companies around Melbourne using the name Silcraft.



Boring Bits

Silcraft                        ABN: 33 004 703 119
                                    ACN 004 703 119

Trademark No       82798

5 comments:

  1. We have a set of 6 of these ramekins in perfect condition. Would you have any idea of their value. Can't find anything at all on the web except your blog post.
    Kind regards
    Kara

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is always difficult to give a valuation for this type of tableware. I got mine at a Vinnies store in Broken Hill fo $20 and it came with a tray that did not match. Unfortunately, they are worth what someone will pay and the only way is to try an internet auction site. Good Luck.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am not sure if this is the correct place to ask this question but I have searched the web thoroughly without luck - likewise the current Australian supplier has been unable to help. I have a set of Silcraft manufactured Essteele saucepans in A1 condition except for the handles which have deteriorated to the degree they are dangerous and need replacing. Do you or anyone perhaps know where the old Silcraft stock ended up or know of an interchangeable handle being available elsewhere ?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sorry, not my field. Good luck with your search though.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Again, this is not my field. These days , an internet auction site is your best bet. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete