How Corelle plates came to dominate immigrants' kitchen cabinets
July 17, 2018 12:49 PM   Subscribe

We kept all three types stacked high in a kitchen cabinet, a potentially disastrous placement for clumsy kids looking to set the table each night. But these weren’t any plates. They were Corelle, the seemingly indestructible kind still found in immigrant households across the country.

In immigrant households, Corelle takes on an added significance. The widespread notion that these were the plates to buy after you move to the United States make them a distinct physical representation of assimilation.
posted by Emmy Rae (125 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
My family weren't immigrants but my father's family were old-school working class Depression-era Italian-Americans, and we had Corelle growing up - the small green leaf/flower pattern.

In my early twenties, when friends started to stock houses with thrift store finds, I had a strange blast of nostalgia and familiarity to see what was essentially my growing-up kitchenwear suddenly surprisingly common.
posted by entropone at 12:55 PM on July 17, 2018 [12 favorites]

My second-gen American Jewish grandma had butterfly gold corelle. When we bought our house, I was determined to find the perfect dishes for our family. Too many lead warnings on stoneware. Didn't like any of the pricier modern glass dishes I could find. Melamine? Nah. Vintage corelle was the answer, and is space saving, to boot. I went with the Indian Summer pattern--such a strange motif, wilting flowers! But we love them. They're perfectly us, go well with our retrofab wood-paneled house, and I can occasionally find pieces (along with coordinating Corningware "spice of life" bakeware) at the thrift store.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:01 PM on July 17, 2018 [7 favorites]

My wife and I inherited some ancient, plain white Corelle plates and bowls from her parents when we moved in together, and I fucking love them. They are lighter weight than any other dishes I’ve ever encountered, and “seemingly indestructible” is accurate. I once dropped something very heavy on a plate and shattered it, but I’ve never broken one just by dropping it.

I like them so much we asked for more a couple of Christmases back, and I still want some more bowls and small plates. Leave the pretty, heavy, annoying plates for company.
posted by Caduceus at 1:02 PM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

I was, however, warned that when they do break, they explode spectacularly. Has yet to happen, though, even with a 4 year old.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:02 PM on July 17, 2018 [9 favorites]

My memory is that everybody had these in the 70’s and 80’s, immigrant or not.

Funnily enough, I’ve been thinking about buying a set of the plain white ones, because I’m tired of dishes getting chipped and broken. Corelle is pretty much indestructible.
posted by MexicanYenta at 1:07 PM on July 17, 2018 [26 favorites]

We had the Wildflowers pattern when I was a kid and man, Corelle is indestructible right until it isn't. Pho is right, they shatter into a million razor sharp slivers. I'm clumsy as hell and have broken more Corelle than I can count. Which is why I have stoneware dishes now.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:07 PM on July 17, 2018 [9 favorites]

Yep, seconding the whole not at all immigrant but saw plenty of these plates within family and friends circles because... well, poor to barely middle-class raisings I guess?
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:11 PM on July 17, 2018 [9 favorites]

Funnily enough, I’ve been thinking about buying a set of the plain white ones

We went with legit bone china at some point over the last few years and it's damn strong, plain white, and looks classy. Not massively bulky/heavy like Fiestaware either, similar (if slightly thicker) than the dishes mentioned in the article. I don't even think it was too expensive though it was a big purchase for us at the time if I recall correctly.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:13 PM on July 17, 2018

My grandpa was a Canadian immigrant, and was permitted to join the US Navy despite having no documentation for his age. But I don't think that's at all related to our family having Corelle stuff. We had the green flower border ones too (like this:).

And yeah, they are spectacular when they explode.
posted by Foosnark at 1:14 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I knew Corelle was the dishware for me after spending a childhood watching my parents throw their wedding gift set at each other. 41 years and no broken plates! Amazing!

I finally had room in my budget to buy myself some new year's before last.
posted by phunniemee at 1:14 PM on July 17, 2018 [24 favorites]

I have seen a Correlle plate explode. It came hot out of the microwave and hit the floor at a weird angle, bounced, made a really neat ringing sound, stutter-spun twice on its back, and blew into a million pieces.

Was good times.
posted by pan at 1:19 PM on July 17, 2018 [24 favorites]

Corelle was our everyday dishware; when my parents had saved up enough money to buy a set of Lenox china at an outlet store, we only used those on the rare occasions we had company over for dinner. Like many here, it had not particularly struck me that Corelle was an immigrant thing, but, looking at the article, I do seem to recall seeing it a lot less in the homes of my white friends.

When my mother visited me a few years ago, she pushed back at my incipent-yet-still-failing attempts at minimalist living, insisting that I did in fact need more than four dinner plates and bowls, and we came back from a trip to Target with 4 Corelle plates and bowls each, which is where I was able to draw the line. They are now, again, my default.
posted by pykrete jungle at 1:20 PM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

Green flower Corelle upbringing represent!

I have the plain white ones now and use em all the time. Fantastic dishes!
posted by darkstar at 1:20 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

We had Corelle True Blue and I can still remember getting a new piece every month or so at Red Owl Grocery after buying enough food to earn the necessary points. There was a little display right at the front of the store near the chicken that laid candy eggs for a nickle. I can picture it like yesterday and it must have been a common thing but I can't find anything in a quick search.

Interesting article. I had no idea about the immigrant connection but it makes sense since it's a American brand and a good value. I was surprised by the people wanting to get rid of theirs "Patel, 43, tried throwing her red-patterned dinnerware out “because everyone has it,”" but I remembered my mom still has her full set in the kitchen cupboard even though they have a few other, pricier sets of dishes for everyday use.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:21 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

20 years ago, while still in college, I rented a house for a summer with a bunch of friends so I wouldn't have to go back and live with my parents, and the place was a shithole, and there were a bunch of dirty dishes all over the kitchen, including like 8 or 10 plain white Corelle plates.

My idiot roommate wanted to throw them out, but since we had no dishes and I didn't mind washing them, we were able to eat food off them all summer, and when we moved out at the end of the summer I took them with me, and again on another half dozen subsequent moves. I've used them as recently as 16 hours ago, and I rarely see other plates that I like as much. And they stack really well. I have broken one of them, in that time, which is pretty good for two decades of daily use, with various roommates, some of whom were real idiots.
posted by aubilenon at 1:23 PM on July 17, 2018 [7 favorites]

My family's traditional indestructible budget crockery are those glass beer mugs that a particular brand of German mustard comes in. They're made of thick glass, they're so cheaply made that you can see the seams, and if you drop them on the floor they tend to bounce. I don't recall ever breaking one.

As a frugal and mustard-eating immigrant family we amassed a sizeable collection of them when I was a child -- then my mom threw them all out (over my protests) when we bought a set of proper fancy glasses.

The fancy glasses didn't last a year.

I don't eat quite enough mustard as an adult to collect them as quickly now, but I have a small set already, and I'm never ever getting rid of them. They're hideous, but I love them.
posted by confluency at 1:23 PM on July 17, 2018 [21 favorites]

Corelle country cottage here. My mom still uses them because my inattentive-to-dishes brother and 3 year-old-niece live with her. She's got some (hideous to me) butterfly-y lenox dishes for her "good" china.
posted by carrioncomfort at 1:25 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

There's some overlap, I think, in the immigrant and poor-white-newly-lower-middle-class reasons for buying brands like Corelle. In both cases, you've (or "we've", as my parents had them, too) gotten a toe-hold, and you want to dig that toe in a little more firmly. It's about arriving, however modestly, at something solid and hopeful.

Plus, they're good and cheap.
posted by clawsoon at 1:26 PM on July 17, 2018 [9 favorites]

I checked every plate I obtained from family. Every single one. All of them.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 1:28 PM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

We had the gold butterfly set until my parents got enough money to buy fancier plates. Then for a while the Corelle became the kid plates and the adults used the nice plates.

My grandma still has them as her only plates. I never heard of the immigrant connection until I read this article.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:28 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Would you believe Corelle is premium luxury priced in Singapore and points East? A quarter plate I bought for $1 outside of Pittsburgh at the factory outlet mall goes for at least 10 dollars in Singapore. I wonder if the difference in pricing is also part of the attraction?
posted by infini at 1:29 PM on July 17, 2018 [11 favorites]

My very Midwestern parents still use their 1970s Corelle plates and bowls (Indian Summer, apparently, based on the photos upthread) and will never give them up (although my dad prefers plastic everything, like the space alien he is). Tired of chipped IKEA plates and bowls, I’ve started buying Corelle at thrift stores, though I also have found enough IKEA thrift store replacements to restore my own set. Thrift stores have SO MANY plate sets, it is unbelievable.
posted by Maarika at 1:30 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Would you believe Corelle is premium luxury priced in Singapore and points East? A quarter plate I bought for $1 outside of Pittsburgh at the factory outlet mall goes for at least 10 dollars in Singapore. I wonder if the difference in pricing is also part of the attraction?

Is this like, and I'm guessing off of assumed data here, how I hear that Ford/Chevys are expensive luxury items in Europe comparable to how Mercedes is expensive luxury item here? Part export/tarriff/stamp costs, part actual shipping costs leading to a solid case of 'Look at me, aren't I fancy with my vehicle from *somewhere-else*'.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:33 PM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

From the comments:

"Corelle ware is great if you're a practical person. "

I am not a practical person. I immigrated to the US a few years ago and thought it would be a fantastic idea to buy a Wedgewood set at a garage sale, like a moronic snob. Half of them are chipped now. I'm buying Corelle next.
posted by Tarumba at 1:34 PM on July 17, 2018 [11 favorites]

Plain White FTW, although I got rid of them after one spectacularly hot summer in storage, where I’d left them in a drying rack in a metal garage in Tennessee. Went to use them again in the autumn, and I discovered they’d all warped from the heat and would no longer stack.

...but I do kinda miss the weird platebowl dish they had.
posted by aramaic at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

When I was growing up, my parents would buy transition-ware Corelle. When the factory switches from brown glass to white glass, they run the machines on a mix of colors until the brown glass runs out, so there are a batch of beige and off-white bowls in between that get sold at the outlet store at a discount. So every year, we'd pick up a few bowls from the outlet store which didn't quite match the bowls from the previous year. I think the outlet store eventually stopped carrying them, but I still have a couple in the closet from when I took them to college.
posted by ectabo at 1:36 PM on July 17, 2018 [40 favorites]

I've considered Crazy Daisy as an anti-macho armband tattoo, since that was my grandmother's pattern.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:39 PM on July 17, 2018 [18 favorites]

Laminated glass plates are the best. They're light and delicate like lovely industrial eggshells, hard as hell to break, inexpensive, and stack up nice and small. Whenever I'm in a house where someone's insisted on owning some horrible ornate "heirloom" Hyacinth-Bucket-grade porcelain nightmare or those godawful massive stoneware pieces that'll break your feet should you drop a plate, I pity the pretension that prevents people from picking the sensible option.

I have a complete service for 12 in the genuinely hideous Country Cottage pattern, which I found in an unopened box when I was working to clean out the home of a dead hoarder, and it will likely be the plates on which my funeral luncheon will be served unless I win Pulitzer money and upgrade to a prettier pattern (and move my old plates to my broken-down cabin in the mountains). I smashed up my "fine" china years ago for mosaic projects, but the Corelle is for keeps.

My grandmother loved her Corelle, which, to a woman born in a cabin on a creek outside of Baltimore in 1910, was as classy and refined as a Waterford crystal chandelier despite its humble origins, just like she was.
posted by sonascope at 1:40 PM on July 17, 2018 [12 favorites]

Funnily enough, I’ve been thinking about buying a set of the plain white ones, because I’m tired of dishes getting chipped and broken. Corelle is pretty much indestructible.
posted by MexicanYenta

I'm seriously looking at Corelle® Livingware™ Winter Frost White 16-pc Dinnerware Set. $40.
posted by Splunge at 1:42 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Aramaic, I have two of those plate-bowl dishes and totally agree that they are awesome. They have just enough of a bowl side to retain food that might otherwise spill out, but the sides are very low so they don’t get in the way of angling down on the inside bottom. They’re broader than bowls, too, so they help things cool off quicker if that’s what you’re wanting.

Perfect for serving up chili, cornbread and buttermilk, risotto, casserole, red beans and rice, lasagna, etc., etc.
posted by darkstar at 1:42 PM on July 17, 2018 [7 favorites]

I must avoid the kitchen/dishware aisle in thrift stores because of Corelle, haha.

I had not heard of the immigrants connection. Interesting.

confluency: I did a search for this mustard. is it Alstertor Hot Mustard in Glass Stein Jar? cuz I know some frugal mustard lovers and love a practical gift idea.
posted by one teak forest at 1:43 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

I never heard that they were an immigrant thing before. My family has always used them. My grandmother gave me a set with pink hearts and chintz on the border that I absolutely hated ("Forever Yours" pattern), but used for about 15 years because they were indestructible. I ended up giving them away and now we have a set of plain white ones. I love them. My only complaint about modern sets are the mugs -- they suck. But we have a nice collection of vintage Corning Pyrex mugs, so I just chucked the ones that came with the white Corelle dishes.
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:43 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

one teak forest, confluency: my sister drinks wine out of those! Loves them. Doesn't like mustard so it's a conundrum how she'll get more.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:45 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

The other nice thing about Corelle is that, decades after a pattern has disappeared, you can still find replacements, or singles on eBay, long after whatever cutesypie handpainted faux-shabby-chic heavy rustic farmhouse crap you picked up from Crate and Barrel has been forgotten.
posted by sonascope at 1:46 PM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

Our daily plates are the standard set of Livingware Winter White (plates and mugs disappeared into storage, they're terrible, though the saucers are nice) mixed with a set of Vive Nouveau (ditto), and a six-pack of the fucking fantastic Livingware Winter White Soup/Salad platebowls that take up a single plate slot in the dishwasher including on the top rack, hallelujah.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:51 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Can confirm, sonascope! My parents had a Pyrex 1-1/2 quart yellow polka dot bowl all through my growing up that had deep sentimental attachment. Some years ago, after thirty years of being cursed daily and carried through about two-dozen moves, it was finally broken when it slipped from my elderly stepdad’s fingers. I found a vintage replacement for it on eBay for about $20 and it’s now sitting in the drying rack neck to my kitchen sink.
posted by darkstar at 1:53 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have the one Corelle counterstory?

My ex and I picked up a couple of boxes of this pattern called "windward white" which is really kinda pretty. Two boxes, so eight settings? I *think* I got all of it and now, ~25 years later, am down to two plates, one soup plate that just got nicked, and couple of mini-plates. Everything else either exploded -- nthing that this is spectacular, but also no-fun when it happens in the dishwasher -- or got lost through never using them, like the coffee cups because why would I use a coffee cup that holds less than 16oz? What am I, an ant?

Anyway, they seem to have pretty promptly discontinued this pattern, I assume because it started exploding rather promptly, and now there's a lot that isn't even on

Diner-style stoneware. That shit is tits.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:57 PM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

The only other set of dishes in our house that gets as much use as the Corelle is the 1950's melmac stuff. All our stoneware is too fragile and easy to chip. Indestructible for the win!
posted by fimbulvetr at 1:57 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

after thirty years of being cursed daily

Er...that should be “after thirty years of being used daily”...
posted by darkstar at 2:05 PM on July 17, 2018 [11 favorites]

All of these comments made me realize (with horror) that I'm going to inherit so many dishes at some point. I've already got a set of 1950's Taylor Smith & Taylor Jamaica Bay dishes in the garage. When grandma kicks off I think mom's got plans to grab her set of pre-war apple Franciscan ware. So I'll get stuck with that eventually too, along with her multicolored Fiestaware and her Haviland Blue Garland wedding china. I think grandma might have a set of Hall Autumn Leaf hiding in the shed somewhere too.

You know what kind of dishes I like? Plain white stoneware.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:07 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Corelle is also great for students on a tight budget; I think mine ended up in a thrift store or something, but I should have kept them. Plain white, replacements available in almost any grocery store.

Their toughness and spectacular failure mode is due to the fact that they are tempered glass. See also Prince Rupert's drops.
posted by TedW at 2:07 PM on July 17, 2018 [6 favorites]

Can't resist the minor derail, but I have served people some very nice whisky out of a Thomy mustard jar (see above, attempted minimalism; see above, failure to achieve such), and been complimented on the glass.
posted by pykrete jungle at 2:08 PM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

Nothing ever came close to the soup/plate/bowl from my mother's 1970s Oneida melamine dinner set in red. I loved it literally to bits. I still have a small bowl or two just for sentimental value.
posted by infini at 2:09 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Am I the only one who don't really like Corelle that much because I like chipped dishes? Well ok, not chipped mugs or cups, but chipped plates and bowls are great. They tell a story.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:33 PM on July 17, 2018

Duralex Picardie tumblers. Short and tall. They get scratched up but they are very difficult to break. Similar to tempered glass dishes.

I like stoneware, too. And some enameled steel cookeware. I'm also really partial to Corningware -- the traditional cornflower blue baking dishes, and their grab-it bowls. Old Pyrex is best, but getting hard to find. The newer stuff isn't really any better than Anchor-Hocking and the other knockoffs.

I have an attachment to a certain Dansk dish pattern (Maribo) that I used to get on Replacements, but now I mostly trawl ebay. Unfortunately the rim style makes them pretty vulnerable to chipping, especially the bowls. I wish they were tempered glass.

It's a poorly kept secret that old Descoware is just as good enameled iron as Le Creuset (who went on to buy it out). Don't tell too many people.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:33 PM on July 17, 2018 [8 favorites]

I came to Corelle when I got rheumatoid arthritis and the heaviness of regular plates was just too much for me. I freaking love them. Light, so shiny smooth, take up much less space. I think our church hall might've had them when I was a kid which makes sense as it's much easier to clear and carry large numbers than with stoneware plates.
posted by kitten magic at 2:36 PM on July 17, 2018 [7 favorites]

I always think of this as "Corningware", because my family (working class but definitely not immigrants) was obsessed with Corning stuff in general - and, cool, ours was the wildflower pattern.

But while they were tough (and thin and light and stack in dishwashers better), they still died a hard death when dropped on our apartment's cement floors. Lots of little shards everywhere.

This experience has also made me a lifelong stoneware. But also because Corelle was cheap and middle class families seemed more likely to have stoneware, I somehow got the idea that thicker plates are classier than thin - which is, of course, backwards to the whole history of pottery.
posted by jb at 2:40 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

Another Corelle fan/immigrant here. We have about 12 pieces in 5 different patterns because I still don't feel grown up enough to buy a whole set.
posted by of strange foe at 2:48 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

Not an immigrant, but I have a disability and am weak as a kitten. I put away my attractive stoneware and replaced it with Corelle. It is light so even in my weakened state I can carry it as easily as if it were plastic, but it cleans up so much better than plastic. It stacks tightly so I was able to lower the heights of the cabinet shelves for an easier reach. It fits neatly in the dishwasher so I can wash more per load. And it's cheap so I could buy way more than I will ever need for everyday, so I can entertain a crowd without having to resort to paper plates or bring out the boxes of heavy special occasion dishes.

I know about the explosive breakage mode. I saw it happen once when I was a kid. But I haven't broken a Corelle dish in my entire adult life, so it doesn't worry me. The only other knock against it is some sort of class warfare / fashion /aspiration thing and who has the energy for that?
posted by elizilla at 2:49 PM on July 17, 2018 [13 favorites]

This reminds me that Luminarc makes some lovely plates for the European market in simple solid colors. They're quite cheap and sturdy, I think similar to Corelle, but instead of tacky flower patterns they just have good solid vibrant color.
posted by Nelson at 2:51 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Wow, those pictures are some instant time-travel. Apparently we had Corelle Snowflake Blue -- I would never have remembered this but that photo, whoooo -- and I know the other patterns according to which of my other relatives or friends' families had them.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:51 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

Duralex Picardie tumblers

Dear baby jesus with wheels, those fucking things! Those fucking things!

Goddamn hand grenades, I tell you! Had them all of one day when one decides to literally explode (n.b., the actual term is probably different as this doesn't, I think, involve breaking the sound barrier) in my face. Oh no, I dared to touch the glass! It was a French glass! Aaaaaaa.....

Touch it with two fingers, explosion, bleeding. There is no glass fracture on Earth that's less welcome than a Picardie explosion. I'm an atheist, and the reason I know god loves me is that I still have my goddamn sight even after Duralex tried to take it.
posted by aramaic at 2:56 PM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

I always think of this as "Corningware", because my family (working class but definitely not immigrants) was obsessed with Corning stuff in general - and, cool, ours was the wildflower pattern.

I have, oh 5 pieces of Cornflower Blue Corningware from my Mom, and I cherish them.
posted by mikelieman at 3:00 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Growing up we had the True Blue pattern and 40 years later we still use them as our daily plates. I really can't think of a better plate or cereal bowl.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:03 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

For Sydney folks, there is a Corning Ware outlet in Alexandria where you can pick up stuff cheap. This also includes the Snapware line of containers, Corelle and cooking tins by Baker's Secret. Really, I would throw some money at them but I do not have a car and that stuff is bulky.

My family had a combo of blue snowflake and plain. But really, the family used melamine, which I loathe with the heat of a thousand suns. But I dig Corelle though I am swimming in Dansk due to the husband deciding that we needed multiple replacements of our Danskware.
posted by jadepearl at 3:07 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another child of immigrants who grew up on (plain white) Corelle, here! My parents still have their set, but I had to leave mine with my brother in the US when I moved back to Switzerland and it’s the only thing I’ve really missed in the years since. IKEA recently came out with their own knockoff version of the plain white ones — they’re not quite as pretty, in my biased opinion, but they’re about as light and compact, and so far seem to be as tough! Ask me again in 20 years.
posted by bettafish at 3:08 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I also had not made an immigrant connection, especially given that my grandmother has had the gold butterfly pattern (as has my mother) all my life, and the cornerstone on her barn is dated 1800-something. But I loved and missed Corelle so much that as soon as I started living in sin with my now-spouse and got off the roommate-go-round, I hopped on eBay and bought myself a full set of the Old Town Blue pattern, and I do mean FULL - 70s-era teacups and saucers, a margarine bowl, serving dishes, so many things. All made to survive the apocalypse, easy to lift from the cabinet, and every now and then I find a piece in Goodwill that I don't already have. Corelle dishes just feel like home to me.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 3:15 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's weird cause I've ever thought about it, but we have some Ikea serving plates that are basically plain white Corelles. I can't put my finger on it but I've preferred not to use them. They're thin, so I can't preheat or prechill the plates to keep the temperature of the food. The edges are slanted which reduces the effective serving area when what I want is a really big plate to arrange several items on. And I could be suddenly mistaken but I believe the bottoms are rounded, which makes sauces run around and look bad. It's functional but if I'm doing more complicated and effortful cooking I end up finding I need something a little more of the tableware in terms of appearance as well as performance in order to complement the food.
posted by polymodus at 3:17 PM on July 17, 2018

We were another Butterfly Gold family. We were blue-collar non-immigrants. After 25+ years of Corelle, Mom got rid of that set and bought a fancier stoneware set, which of course chipped at the slightest touch. (Pfaltzgraff maybe?) Ten years later, she is back to Corelle, this time Garden Sketch Bands.

I have one of her Butterfly Gold plates and a bowl, from an offering of leftovers when I was young and broke. I adore them.

(Now that I'm a real adult I have Gourmet Mickey plates.)
posted by kimberussell at 3:23 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

As a former child, I can tell you that Corelle plates can be broken.
posted by lagomorphius at 3:29 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yep, Butterfly Gold. (We also had avocado-green appliances.) My grandpa worked at a high-end Manhattan hotel for decades, and everybody took summer road trips, so the Corelle stuff mixed with deaccessioned lux serveware and kitschy souvenir mugs.

My own cabinets hold boring-ass whiteware, a smattering of never-used Wedgwood (four-ounce tea cups, and it's all hand wash?!), and weird, enormous mugs.

Experienced a Corelle dish blow-out only once, in my twenties, which was more than enough.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:30 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Cut off; should read "... more than enough to stay my hand, despite my rampant nostalgia."
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:34 PM on July 17, 2018

My grandma had Snowflake Blue Corelle. I wish I had those dishes now. We got some Corelle dishes when we had kids. It’s pretty much all we use now. The kids have managed to break one bowl, but that’s it. We probably won’t go back to our Fiestaware until the kids (currently 3 and almost 6) are a fair bit older.
posted by Anne Neville at 3:54 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

I wonder if there's any overlap between having a vegetable garden and owning Corelle. They both seem like things that appeal to the frugal.
posted by clawsoon at 3:58 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Metafilter: more than enough to stay my hand, despite my rampant nostalgia.
posted by Anne Neville at 4:07 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

I was, however, warned that when they do break, they explode spectacularly. Has yet to happen, though, even with a 4 year old.

Can confirm. My Corelle dishes have survived a number of kid-related incidents, but once a saucer exploded into a million tiny shards.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:14 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Replacing my random assortment of grad student dishes with several sets of identical Corelles was the moment I realized I had become an adult.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:16 PM on July 17, 2018 [8 favorites]

My mother bought me a Corelle Winter Frost 27-piece set when I moved out to LA. I loved it then, I continue to love it still, and I suspect having those light, clean, durable dishes made me seem a lot more on top of things to my LA friends than I actually was.).
posted by infinitewindow at 4:30 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

To me, Corelle is the cheap crap you buy by the piece in Safeway. It chips easily and explodes like a fucking grenade when you drop it. When I was a kid we used Corning's previous product, Centura, and those dishes survived three boys without a scratch. I've told my mother that she shouldn't die anytime soon—or at all, if possible—but I'm getting the Centura when she does.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:31 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

We had a set of plain white Corelle for most of my childhood. However, we also had a pair of the bowls that were from Campbell's Soup, with the "M'm! M'm! Good!" on the sides!

However, I faintly remember that before that, we had these Hull Pottery Brown Drip dishes. What really surprises me with those is that having never looked them up before, a simple "70's brown dishes" search brought it up.
posted by evilangela at 4:45 PM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

I grew up eating off Corelle's Meadow pattern. The results page sends me back instantly to my childhood, it's as close to time travel as I've ever gotten. And my immigrant parents still use them daily, more than thirty years later. Though it may be an immigrant thing, I think Corelle was THE middle class tableware brand for much of the 60's - 80's, because it was a good value. Mr honey badger's non-immigrant family had their set of favored Corelle, too, so it was inevitable that we would buy our own set once we became a joint household.
I've so enjoyed looking at everybody's canonical Corelle patterns in this thread while reading the loving stories!
posted by honey badger at 4:46 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh, whaddaya know, Grandma Infinite's everyday china was Corelle Crazy Daisy! I miss her and hope Uncle J is taking care of those dishes.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:58 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think the important point of the article is that immigrants loved Corelle as a point of assimilation. So the point is that it doesn't feel like an immigrant thing, it feels like an American thing that was accessible to them.

Which totally makes sense to me. Corelle was the dishware of choice of my All American Summer Camp. I loved that the dishes were all so uniform while maintaining a bit of personality between the various patterns. When it was my cabin's turn to set the tables in the dining hall, I would always try to quickly pull out enough of one pattern to keep my tables uniform.

When I was older, and it was my turn to help clean the dishes, I appreciated they were all the same size, stacked neatly, and the entire stacks could be carried easily to the cabinets.

I considered tracking some down when I was decided I was old enough for matching dinnerware. It felt so indulgent and fancy after the typical college experience of hand-me-downs. I decided I wanted a bit more color and picked Fiestaware. But Corelle was definitely a contender.
posted by politikitty at 5:12 PM on July 17, 2018 [8 favorites]

Another green-flower child here! Last year, I went to an Indian restaurant in NYC and they set the table with my grandma's purple-iris Corelle dishes. It seems weird to be nostalgic about dish sets, but I liked seeing it in a different setting.

I am happy that someone thinks Corelle is cool, because the green flowers are mine now and I'll never be able to justify getting rid of them. (I did break a plate. Once. Twenty years ago.)
posted by mersen at 5:52 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Corelle green flower. Strong memory of being five or six, pouring probably half a cup of sugar from the Tupperware sugar server into a green flower bowl, layering the top with Cheerios, then pouring milk on just enough to float the cereal. If I couldn't see the sugar mounding on the spoon through the milk, I would just pour sugar on the spoon.

Still my favourite dishes.

Still probably eat too much sugar.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:55 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

Proud possessor of an almost complete Corelle "Old Town" pattern set signifyin' here, thanks to Jewel grocery store "buy a plate a week" promotion and early years marriage pecuniary modesty.
posted by Chitownfats at 5:58 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

I've always used Corelle and thought it was more of a regional thing? It always seemed to me that there was a "Corelle Belt" centered around where it was formerly produced (in Corning, NY), stretching up into upstate NY and down through western PA into the Appalachians somewhere.

I don't recall its ownership being any particular signifier of being a recent immigrant, at least not in the Mohawk Valley in the 70s and 80s. It was definitely an "everyday" product, though; maybe the WASPy classist differentiator (there always has to be one, I suppose) was whether you'd feed guests off it, at, like, Christmas/Easter/New Years or some other formal occasion? Interesting, anyway.

Personally I don't know why anyone would use anything else. It's lighter, the plates are thinner and fit better in cabinets, they are harder to break, they don't show knife marks or wear out, you can microwave them without a second thought... It's just... a clearly superior material for making plates. Why stoneware hasn't gone the way of button-fly pants, and become simply an intentionally-anachronistic affectation for people who want to fly in the face of progress and civilization, is beyond me.

I kid. Button-fly pants have their place. In apocalypse bunkers, for when we will lose our ability as a species to repair zippers, mostly.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:26 PM on July 17, 2018 [9 favorites]

Button fly jeans and chinos are more comfortable, fit better in the rise and don't wear and warp around the zipper. They're also usually better finished all around.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:36 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love Corningware even tho I threw out my first set of Cottage Blue due to abuse by roommates. Walmart has had the Winter White 8-place setting boxes on sale for $8 after Thanksgiving something like four years in a row, so I own and use two sets. I just spent a happy hour identifying all the patterns among my extended family and wishing I had the Pyrex mugs of my youth.
posted by annathea at 6:42 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nthing the "not just immigrants" sentiment. We were sort of barely-middle-class I guess, and fine china was not in the picture. That gold butterfly pattern was what we had and wow does that take me back.
posted by zardoz at 6:43 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I went looking on youtube for expoding Corelle, but I got distracted by these much better videos:

Corelle Dishes - How It's Made. So many blowtorch-robots!

The first ever Corelle Domino Effect in Indonesia!
posted by moonmilk at 6:46 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

My gentleman caller was left with a horrendous set of mismatched stoneware plates after the departure of his ex-wife, of the variety so dense, clunky, and thick that you could turn them over and the food would be held in place by the gravity field generated by those wretched, chipped-up kitchen-hoopties. They were so coarse and leaden and clumsily badonkadonky that I just felt semi-secretly resentful every time I'd use them.

As our way of acclimating his neighbors to the fact that he's inexplicably and suddenly dating a dude, I've been facilitating smart dinner parties, and, though I wanted to replace his shabby "chic" with a sharp-looking set of Corelle in the sassy Memphis pattern, but we had decided to throw a big multifamily party and I assembled an 18-piece set of Ikea Oftast instead, which are their stark and even more delicate-looking variation on the laminated tempered glass theme at $0.79 a plate. They're not as sassy as I'd like, but as our picnic and party set, they're pretty unbeatable as an eco-alternative to paper plates and we've not managed to break one yet, even with a rambunctious six-year-old in the kitchen.

I love how something as simple as tableware ties into families of all varieties finding their feet in the world.
posted by sonascope at 6:57 PM on July 17, 2018 [22 favorites]

I may just have changed my opinions on Corelle when I saw the Febe pattern. I'm adding them to my Amazon wishlist and I'll just wear shoes in the house.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:06 PM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

We have Cornflower Blue plates, small plates, soup plates, bowls, and serving dishes. They weren’t our original wedding set...that was some Noritake stoneware, of which we still have lots of plates and bowls. The Corelle tends to shatter when dropped straight on its edge...we’ve lost a couple of plates in spectacular fashion that way. One of our bowls has a chip in one edge, everything else is perfect.

The soup plates are the best. We struggled along with only four for years, then stopped at an outlet store a couple of years ago and got four more. Great purchase.
posted by lhauser at 7:42 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I started replacing our plastic toddler plates and bowls with winter white Corelle as my kids grew more adept at not breaking things (but, you know, still not trustworthy to have the "good" stoneware). I grew up poor; Corelle was our nice dinnerware, and Corningware was our nice cookware. (My parents still use the French White round casserole dish they've had since I was a kid; I expect that I'll inherit it one day, and it will take its place next to my Visions casserole.)
posted by candyland at 7:44 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love our white Corelle. At first my wife was dubious about ditching various stoneware but as a serious amateur cook she’s decided that food looks better on a white plate. Also I can stick my huge hands in the washer with fingers spread and just pull out 4 plates at a time per hand between my fingers. They take up so little shelf space! My kids also love the two sectioned plates that came with our set.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:12 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

To add to the numbers: my parents had Corelle Meadow, and my grandparents had Crazy Daisy.
posted by rewil at 8:13 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Corelle Old Town. When my mother sold our childhood home she gave me her wedding china and Corelle plates and plate bowls. The former I keep in a guilt box, the latter I cherish and use daily.

Growing up Corelle was the nice thing to have - the move up from paper plates. My aunt's also had these wood salad bowls I envied - they seemed so popular then but gosh if I haven't seen them new or thrifted since them. I'd forgotten them until this thread.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 8:23 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, man, did the salad bowls look like this? Because we had them, too.
posted by rewil at 8:33 PM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

I never really appreciated Corelle until I shacked up with my partner who had a bunch of miss matched Corelle pieces from his family. He made it clear he was firmly attached to Corelle ware, because it's practical and functional. I thought it was kind of hokey, but whatever.
It wasn't until the one day I dropped a bowl and it freakishly broke (only time I've had it happen!) that I appreciated Corelle. I freaked out, apologized, acted like the end of the world was happening. My partner just shrugged and said it would be easy to replace. It was in that moment that it made sense proper liked Corelle because it was affordable and practical. It was also clear that growing up a child in a family that used Heath stoneware for everyday dining really scarred my psyche because they broke all the time. And my mom would make us buy the replacements during their seconds sales, so like a bowl was a couple weeks allowance. I didn't understand it until I was an adult how crazy the set up was. We have the all white Corelle now because I'm over the trauma of freaking out when I drop a plate.
posted by kendrak at 8:39 PM on July 17, 2018 [5 favorites]

Plain white is great because you can always find an extra bowl or plate or 2 if you want them. Or to replace the occasional spectacular disaster (those splinters get everywhere in the kitchen, it can take a week or more to find them all).

My only beef with Corelle is that it seems somewhat more prone to making horrible fingernails-on-blackboard sounds when you scrape it the wrong way with a fork, and my daughters are so sensitive to it that I feel really bad for them whenever we have guests over that seem oblivious to the noise they are making.
posted by straight at 9:17 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

I’m another immigrant whose parents have a few sets of Corelle dishes. In our case, it had nothing to do with assimilating—we’ve always been focused on maintaining our own culture while in the US and not in becoming American. Instead, the Corelle dishes were ones we bought when we finally had the money to pick out a matching set of dishes from a discount store to replace the cast off dishes we used during the really poor part of our immigrant experience.

I moved into my first college apartment with my own set of Corelle dishes br replaced them a few years later with a “nicer,” heavier, more expensive set. The pattern has rubbed off of the few of those “better” dishes that have survived a decade, but the Corelle dishes my parents bought in 1994 are going strong (I once broke plate by dropping it so it hit the top of an open pickle jar, but that may have been the only casualty). I may need to go back to Corelle for my replacement dishes!
posted by capsizing at 9:34 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Saved up before my first marriage and bought a set of Pfaltzgraff Heritage for four, plus serving dishes and the cream/sugar plus teapot and a coffee server. I was given a Mikasa service of eight at the wedding. The first marriage lasted 2 years, and last of the plates and bowls left with the last kid to collage. Both sets are gone now, except the Pfaltzgraff teapot--my daughter treasures it. My kids did dishes everydaytheir whole lives, and the fact that I never had a dishwasher until a little bit ago might have contributed to the demise of the nice china. I still find occasional spoons and forks from my original wedding flatware out where some kid was digging holes in the back 40.

I have a beautiful set of replacement 'company dishes' in the top of the cupboard that has maybe come out ten times in the last 20 years. I'm not much on fancy meals. Most of my 'company' eats right along with us on the everyday plates*--good ol' Corelle--some given to us, some found at thrift stores or yard sales. I can field sets of four and six in three different patterns. Family holidays are now celebrated on paper plates. There's enough cleanup in preparing a big meal, and who wants to be in the kitchen when everybody is playing games or talking?

Corelle is weird stuff. I've dropped plates on my tile floor and cowered in fear only to have the stupid things bounce. I've also had them go off like a bomb and fling shrapnel over three rooms and into the hallway.

*None of those useless coffee cups and saucers. We only use mugs for hot drinks in this house!
posted by BlueHorse at 9:39 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

I used an objectively hideous STATUE OF LIBERTY JULY 4TH 1991 plate from 1991 to 2011 at least. It was the only Corelle in the house--everything else was stoneware and china--and intended just for me.

It was also one of the few concessions my parents made for a child born years after they expected to be done with all that; we had white couches and carpets and walls and curtains but by god, give the kid a Corelle plate or she's gonna do some damage.
posted by librarylis at 9:39 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

BlueHorse: Corelle is weird stuff. I've dropped plates on my tile floor and cowered in fear only to have the stupid things bounce. I've also had them go off like a bomb and fling shrapnel over three rooms and into the hallway.

Yep. This exactly.

My then-stepkid dropped one once. It fell flat onto a wooden floor. I'd never heard a bang like that or seen a horizontal spray of miniature shards. There was only powder at the point of impact. I was so impressed that I didn't even give the boy a bad time about the breakage.
posted by bryon at 10:02 PM on July 17, 2018 [4 favorites]

I spent last week on a houseboat on Sushwap Lake in BC. It slept 24 and the kitchen featured exactly 24 of everything, e.g., cutlery, wine glasses... and Corelle Winter White place settings in perfect condition. We started trading nostalgic Corelle stories and I decided to start accumulating it at garage sales and second hand stores to use at our giant summer parties. Now I wonder if the vintage patterns are going to become hip and desirable a la old Pyrex.
posted by carmicha at 10:19 PM on July 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

My grandma, whose house didn't change as much as a towel in 30 years, had other tempered glass plates, in a blue-ribbon-and-ducks pattern, but had Cornelle coffee cups and saucers. White ones with orange pattern. What a trip of a memory.

On that note, my grandma passed three years ago. It hit me super hard; my wife got to see me cry, hard, for the first time when I had to throw away a novelty M&M's snack bucket that had lived in her cabinet since the early 80s. All those memories in the little things like cups and place mats and jelly jars. Memories never left that house; they just accumulated.

Anyway, what I wound up taking from her house was mostly small, practical objects. I use her measuring cups and mixing bowls. My potato masher is hers, as is the coffee mug that says, "I Was There: San Fernando High School 30 Year Reunion 1980". We sit in her dining chairs and use her quilt. My wife has done the same thing with her grandma's possessions: measuring spoons, records, aprons, mugs, and so on.

We've been filling up our house with ghosts! Every other thing I touch belongs to an ancestor. But the good news is they're friendly ghosts, who I'm glad are around. I recommend the practice to anyone.
posted by skookumsaurus rex at 10:26 PM on July 17, 2018 [16 favorites]

rewil, those salad bowls. They came from the first salad bar I ever saw, at Burger Chef. You paid for a bowl and could refill it as many times as you like. The restaurant considered them disposable, they were yours to throw out. But my parents took them home and served salad in them there too. We had huge numbers of them.

I hated those bowls and don't have any, but I bet my parents still do.
posted by elizilla at 6:05 AM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

I grew up with Corelle; but I don't consider it an immigrant thing? I just knew it was a step up from the melanine plates some people had, and not quite dinner party fancy. My parents still use the plain white as their main set; it's super minimal, light, and uniform, and hard to break (although when it breaks... ooooh boy that's exciting- my mom called everyone she knew when she broke the first plate sometime when I was in HS). My grandparents had mismatched stoneware for breakfast/lunch, then plain white corelle for dinner, or if family was over for a weekday meal, and weekend meals/holiday meals were always set with the good china.

Food does look good on plain white plates. I personally ended up with a bunch of Ikea FRODIG glass plates that are proving to be similarly indestructible, and despite looking kind of frilly, are really nice to wash/get clean. (leftovers from a friend who left... and then I went and bought more because hot damn, being able to serve dinner for 12 on nice plates is kind of nice occasionally and the women in my family live so long I'm not inheriting any china until I'm well into my 60's.
posted by larthegreat at 6:55 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

The breakage mode is a tempered glass thing I guess. What aramaic said about the Picardie tumblers is accurate -- when they do manage to shatter it's like they had some kind of secret explosive inside them. You have to sweep, vacuum, mop and then vacuum again.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:58 AM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

Korean family, we had these. My parents had all the Gold Butterfly stuff. I have 3 plates in True Blue which I'm sure I took from my mom. A couple of years ago my mom bought a very plain, very square set from Crate and Barrel to replace what she considered her outdated Corelle set.

But she didn't actually replace them. The Gold Butterfly still comes out when she serves cut up fruit after dinner, as Koreans do. I don't think it would look right to me if it was served on anything else.
posted by like_neon at 7:52 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Both sets of grandparents had Corelle, we had the plain white plates and bowls growing up, and my sister bought some square Corelle plates with a fancy swoosh pattern when she was in college.

Now that she's a Real Adult, she decided she needed to get some better plates...but she ended up going with Corelle again. And last year I picked up a package of plain white Corelle plates after my Pottery Barn plates started chipping, just as a temporary measure...I use them more than anything. One of my grandmothers is an immigrant, but the rest of the family is not. We just love Corelle, I guess. I didn't realize it until seeing this post.
posted by zoetrope at 8:10 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Both my mother and grandmother had Corelle Crazy Daisy (tiny green flowers), and I have Corelle Callaway (green ivy). I started with four place settings bought in a box for my first apartment, but in grad school I lived a few miles from the Corningware outlet so I graduated with 12 full place settings acquired on the cheap whenever they had a sale. (Also nice four big "pasta" bowls, two platters, a spoon rest, a gravy boat, and other assorted coordinating pieces because, hey, OUTLET SALES!)

If you are upgrading from Corelle, bone china is light and much sturdier than stoneware. I use my wedding china on the regular (Wedgwood St. Moritz) and let all three of my kids use it, haven't lost a piece yet (knock on wood). My two concessions to it being fine china are I don't let them CARRY the platter and I don't let them pour their own gravy from the gravy boat, because those are the hella expensive pieces that I would be extremely unhappy to have to replace. But other than that, they bang away on the plates the way small boys and toddlers do, and it's no big deal!

Actually now that we are a family of five I was just thinking I might need to somewhat increase my Corelle plate supply, because on weekends we run out of plates before dinner and SOMEHOW nobody who's using 8 billion plates in the morning thinks to start the dishwasher before mom starts cooking. (Oh God I am my mother)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:15 AM on July 18, 2018 [5 favorites]

Our household has a mixture of cheap IKEA ceramics and Corelle. I can also attest to the unpredictability of Corelle (a small plate I dropped sent shards halfway across the house and nicked my wife's ankle) such that my heart rate increases whenever our toddler wants to "help" load the dishwasher.

But otherwise those things are awesome.
posted by pianoblack at 10:48 AM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

We went to the glass museum in Corning, NY once. In the gift shop they were selling Corelle factory seconds from a production run for a commercial client. $1 per plate and so forth. We pawed through the whole stock and picked the pieces with the fewest flaws.

As a result, our household Corelle pattern is Amtrak.
posted by tss at 11:13 AM on July 18, 2018 [27 favorites]

Another person who grew up with Crazy Daisy over here. My parents still have them, plus a set of Country Cottage (an inferior pattern to Crazy Daisy in my opinion) and I've never seen one break. I've been trying to talk my partner into ditching our chipped stonewear plates for years to get a set of Corelle and haven't yet been successful...
posted by urbanlenny at 11:14 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

This thread has just about convinced me to get rid of my current two sets of relatively cheap dishes and replace it all with Corelle. But I will probably never be able to decide on a pattern.
posted by TedW at 1:06 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

For us older lower working class, we used melamine dishes. Which as you can see are now available in a fine dining format for the nouveau riche.
posted by evilDoug at 1:24 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

Melamine here, too. Corelle was the fancy stuff, for when guests were over.
posted by clawsoon at 2:22 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

I have the spring blossom green that I picked up at an auction. Then, when my grandma passed away, I asked for her entire set of plain white. I have enough plates to feed a fucking army, they stack so tightly together that they take up about three inches in the cabinet, and my grandchildren can use them to scoop my ashes into a plastic bag for disposal because I am going to be breaking long before they do. CORELLE 4 LIFE.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:34 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

Mom still has her all-white Corelle set and since we live with her, that's what we use now. She's from the Midwest and I never heard of an immigrant connection with Corelle until I read this post!
posted by Lynsey at 3:01 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

My grandparents have some Corelle, although I associate it with staying in condos to go skiing. Which makes complete sense, because it's basically indestructible.

You want real fun with a Picardie glass? Have a large one detonate in the dishwasher. That's fun.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 6:29 PM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

The indestructible dishes I associate with travel are enamelware, specifically spatterware enamelware.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:17 PM on July 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

I grew up with plain white Corelle. To me, it's a little too closely associated with my parents' complete lack of interest in aesthetics to retain any nostalgic fondness. Also, it gets weird silvery-gray scuff marks on it. I wish I could love Corelle the way you all seem to.
posted by the_blizz at 7:28 PM on July 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

This post had me starting to think that I should get matching corelle instead of the random hand-me-down bunch I have now from my Cuban immigrant grandmother (Hers is Snowflake, plus I have some Goodwill Crazy Daisy and Butterfly and some random newer stuff) but then I started reading comments and now I have a new obsession with crazy Corelle patterns. I want librarylis's Statue of Liberty one and some of tss's Amtrak. There is WEASEL WESTERN STYLE corelle and two different Spaghetti-o patterns.

I just finished completely decluttering my kitchen. I must resist the allure of weasel dishes.
posted by artychoke at 9:52 PM on July 18, 2018 [6 favorites]


posted by darkstar at 11:28 PM on July 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

Weasel, weasel, if you please-l!

I think that's actually a black-footed ferret (which is still a weasel).

And I still want them, too.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:58 AM on July 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

Also tss, does your Amtrak-ware look like this? Because if so that's really damn cool.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:11 AM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

> I wish I could love Corelle the way you all seem to

I'm a dishware collector (for my use, not for display) and I wish I loved Corelle. It has a blue tint that I find unattractive.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:30 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

For your perusal, I bring you a compilation of patterns....

posted by mightshould at 10:42 AM on July 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was drawn to the Corelle section in Big W today and thought of you all. Managed to escape without more plates.
posted by kitten magic at 6:08 PM on July 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I just asked my Indian immigrant wife what kind of dish ware she had growing up.

“Corelle. Everyone we knew had Corelle. Why?”

My lower middle class white family had Corelle growing up and I recall thinking it odd that my wife’s family, and all of their friends, had the same green flower pattern we had growing up. It’s weird discovering this is a whole immigrant “thing” across the country and that my (now) fully Americanized immigrant wife has known all along that Corelle is the flatware of all immigrants

We are solid stoneware now (probably a wedding registration thing) but now I kinda want that Corelle ware of my youth
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:09 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Just while the thread's open:

We lost a Corelle bowl last night. Luckily the shrapnel didn't go much beyond a 5 foot radius, this time.

Note to self: plastic bowls for the kid until she's a bit older. Plastic.
posted by pianoblack at 6:53 AM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

Since reading this thread, in the past few days, I’ve slipped-caught a Corelle dish four times, with a barely controlled clatter on the counter or sink that I think likely would have chipped or cracked a lesser dish.

So now I’m wondering if this thread has made me more fumble-fingered than usual, or if it’s just drawn my attention to the regular abuse I these things without even noticing it usually.
posted by darkstar at 5:37 PM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

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