Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Squaring the circle

About a year and a half ago, I wrote:

No, pie are round; CORNBREAD are square.

“As anyone who has been to an Israeli catered affair any time over the past five years knows, square plates are all the rage.

“However, as everyone ALSO knows, square plates are quite annoying. They may be aesthetically pleasing – although that point is highly debatable – but they’re far from functional.

“And so, I beseech all the plate manufacturers out there: Please go back to making round plates, as nature intended.

“Thank you.”

I wish I could say that the aforementioned manufacturers have since come to their senses and that square plates have finally disappeared from the catering scene.

But I can’t.

Because, to the dismay of party-goers around the country, square plates are more ubiquitous than ever.

Moreover, since we don’t live in an ideal world, I can’t even say that I’ve somehow made my peace with these awkward assaults on the dining experience.

No, they’re just as cumbersome now as they were back when they made their initial, very unwelcome debut.

In other words, don’t look for a fairy tale ending, where the square plates and I dance merrily off into the sunset.

However, on a related note, I’d appreciate it if any of my informed readers could provide answers to the following questions:

1. Who was the not-exactly-brilliant thinker who woke up one morning and said, “You know, people have been comfortably and happily using round plates throughout the millennia. So, why don’t I come up with an inconvenient redesign of something that’s not broken?

2. What happened to all the round plates?! Did the caterers throw them out? Are they all sitting in some giant warehouse somewhere, waiting for this unfortunate fad to fade away?

Inquiring minds want to know…



  1. Maybe easier in the closet?

    They'll go out of style eventually. I'm less optimistic about the shiny synthetic napkins.

  2. Maybe easier in the closet?
    Interesting theory!

    And I completely agree with you about those synthetic "napkins"...

  3. Why do you think they are inconvenient?
    The food doesn't fall off because it has corners. I like them! I saw paper ones last week.

  4. i like them, too! except for how much space they take up around (couldn't resist that one, sorry! :)) the table. but as serving dishes? love 'em!

  5. I like them enough so that when we recently bought a new set of everyday dishes, we got trapezoid ones. The interesting thing is how the trapezoids fit in the cabinet.

  6. Miriam - Don't get me started on the paper ones...

    Minnesota Mamaleh - Very "punny"!
    I actually do like them as serving dishes.

    Imma - "The interesting thing is how the trapezoids fit in the cabinet."
    Maybe it's time to invest in a trapezoid cabinet...

  7. When you think about it, you will remember that we already have two trapezoid cabinets in the dining room ;)

  8. As my daughter pointed out, the square ones are great for Pesach because of the matzot.
    Maybe one day someone will have the idea of making round machine matzot then we can get rid of the square plates.

  9. Imma - Yes, but IIRC, your trapezoid cabinets are filled with round stuff. Meanwhile, as you noted above, you store your trapezoid dishes in square cabinets. Which means, I suppose, that if you ever decide to get square plates, you'll first have to buy some round cabinets...

    Anonymous - Your daughter makes a good point about the matzah! But that doesn't explain why caterers use square plates for chametz. Unless, of course, they hold that Gebrochts Week should be celebrated all year long?

  10. I almost got square plates when I was getting married, but they only had one set, and I wanted 2 (i.e. service for 12 rather than service for 6)
    I thought it would be cool to have something different. Of course, now they're everywhere... so they'd just be passe

  11. LeahGG - That's true. Now that every. single. caterer in the entire country uses square plates, they certainly can no longer be thought of as "different"!

    Which leads me back to my original question: Seriously? Where DID all the round plates go?!


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