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Plato esmaltado de aspecto vintage, importado de China

Enameled tableware – a modern kitchen classic

It is said that trends are always cyclical, and that something that was successful some time ago will have its moment of glory again in the future. It is undeniable that nowadays the vintage aesthetic is back with a vengeance, and is present in fashion, decoration and also in the kitchen. A quick glance at Instagram is enough to see that enameled tableware, very similar to the one on our grandmother’s table, is one of the trends of the moment.

But what exactly is enameled tableware?

They are cookware made of metal, coated with a layer of glass powder. When subjected to extreme heat in a kiln, this glass powder melts, flows and finally hardens, creating a very resistant vitrified porcelain glaze.

In many Latin American countries it is called pewter tableware, being pewter a type of metal that was formerly used to manufacture this type of kitchenware. In Spain it has always been commonly called “enameled porcelain tableware”.

The history of enameled steel tableware

The glazing technique has existed since ancient times: Egyptians, Persians and Romans already covered jewelry, porcelain and all kinds of decorative objects with enamel. However, it began to be applied to kitchenware in Germany at the end of the 18th century.

Until then, kitchen utensils were made of cast iron, but the use of this material entailed a danger to the diners’ health, since it gave off toxic substances. With the Industrial Revolution, steel production accelerated and after many tests, the right formula for enameling the material was finally found. Gradually, production in Europe and America exploded, making enameled steel culinary utensils an everyday essential in homes around the world.

Pans, pots, baking dishes, teapots, saucepans, cups, bowls, plates and many more enameled products. All were very popular because of their high strength, low cost and minimal effort in care. In the beginning, the first products were white and usually with a dark blue rim. In northern Europe, they were usually cream-colored with a green border. Then different patterns emerged such as marbled (so-called “Agateware”), mottled or splashed, imitating marble and granite (also known as “Graniteware”, as well as floral and nature designs.

Decline and back to the top

Although the great centers of production were Europe and the United States, enameled tableware was manufactured practically all over the world. Its success continued throughout most of the 19th century, but world wars in the 20th century caused a decline in global production. Only a few countries in Asia or Latin America have continued to manufacture these utensils. Once the war period was over, the use of stainless steel and later plastic took over, dethroning enameled tableware from its heyday.

Today, enameled kitchenware is back to being almost as popular as it was in the days of our grandmothers. Yes, partly due to the nostalgic trend of reviving vintage aesthetics. But also for ecological reasons, replacing plastic utensils, and for its practicality and durability.

The enameled tableware we sell in Fantastik comes from Ukraine, produced in a homeware factory since 1955. In fact these models are the originals and have not changed in the last 50 years. The entire collection is made from European materials and is CE certified. The pieces are twice the thickness and weight of similar tableware on the market.

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