Thrift Mystery: Yellow compartamentalized plates

One of the things I like about thrift shopping is that I’m always learning something. I especially enjoy sussing out the purpose of an unfamiliar objects: they’re little portals to a way of life that doesn’t exist anymore.

I’ve looked at these mysterious plates at the the chi chi DAV (at Central & Edgemoor) for months now. Though I’d never rank yellow among my favorite colors, I’m strangely attracted to yellow-colored housewares. I happen to have some yellow and white basketweave-patterned footed tumblers that would fit perfectly in the circles on these plates, so I’m always perversely tempted to buy them even though I don’t really know what I’d do with them or what their intended purpose is in the first place. I took this picture on the third during the citywide DAV 50% off sale and didn’t buy them still–they were $1 apiece and I don’t need plates and then there’s the aforementioned mystery.

I’ve spent a long time googling grill plates, but didn’t find any that resemble these. They couldn’t be sushi plates or fondue plates or even appetizer plates, because how to explain the moat/spout part? I am passionate about food-specific dishes and tools (corn on the cob ephemera, candle holders for baked goods, deviled egg trays, fondue pots, egg cups, salad sets, cake stands … the more occasional-use they are, the more I desire them). So please clue me in, or at least take your best guess. What are these plates for?


Filed under Emily, Thrift Mysteries

10 responses to “Thrift Mystery: Yellow compartamentalized plates

  1. Funny – I’m pretty sure Dustin almost bought that plate, or one like it, last time we were there together. (He got a bunch of other yellow dishes there, but that one didn’t quite match, or something.) Anyway, I’m not sure what it’s for. Something involving a lot of sauces, like what you get with papadum wafers at an Indian restaurant? Who knows…

  2. Emily Christensen

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the same plates, because they’re in a pretty prominent location and they’ve been there for ages. I wish that DAV marked product down after it’s been there for awhile.

  3. I think they’re fondue plates–and the little trough is for your fork! But, I don’t know….for sure. My guess.

  4. dgstrong

    Yes, they’re fondue plates, and smart ones at that – they don’t usually have the fork trough. These are made by Roshco, which I think still exists.

    Ebay has an identical set right now.

  5. Emily Christensen

    Brian & DG: I should have expected the two of you to know. I never considered the fork-holder theory. Is the circular part for a drink or just another compartment for food before it’s smothered in cheese? Does one tend to circulate at fondue parties? I wouldn’t know. (But I did just purchase a fabulous red fondue pot…)

  6. dgstrong

    The round part is where the end of the fork with a giant hunk of meat on it would rest. Then the long handle of the fork goes in the trough.

  7. Emily Christensen

    Well, darn it. I think I want those plates now. And I’m flat broke.

  8. Now I was figuring (remembering my midwestern childhood among a bevy of chain smokers) that it was a combination dinner plate and ash tray. I don’t think my aunts ever put out their ciggies, and puffed away between bites. And yes, most of the family died of emphysema!

  9. Queen: They make plates specifically designed for smokers? I will certainly keep an eye out for some of those! Not that I ever smoke indoors, or when I’m eating, but that’s just plain fascinating!

    And yes, Emily/Steph – I have had my eye on those plates for months now, and pick them up every single time I’m at the “chi chi” DAV (is that what it’s really called, or is that a nickname?)

  10. Elaine

    I know what the dishes are used for. fondue plates. I’ve had a set in green since the 70’s along with an electric fondue pot. Just because things go out of vogue doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun with them. I’ve fondued everything and my grandchildren in their teens and twenties love the idea. You cook meat in hot oil. There is a place for the raw meat and compartments for dipping sauces and yes you rest the meat that is cooked in the long handled part. These are really unique and I’m looking for some for my granddaughter who wants her own set.

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