Corelle: my preferred dinnerware in my 30s

When I was a young child, I used to have (very riveting) fantasies about the future fancy china I would own. I wasn’t sure if it would be English or Japanese or Chinese, but I did know that they would be handcrafted, in some cases hand-painted, and very beautiful to look at. Back then, I never thought about important things that adults would usually think about when making a big ticket purchase on something like dinnerware… such as, is it durable? Is it dishwasher-safe (most bone or fine china absolutely are not)? If I knock it against another dish, will it be quick to chip? So when I finally became an adult and actually looked at how much these things cost (a lot) and how durable they are (not very much — AT ALL), I started rethinking how important a beautiful, fancy set of dinnerware really was to me. And I got to this point where I realized that I would rather spend more money on better ingredients for the food I put into my and my family’s bodies than invest thousands of dollars on a bunch of plates and bowls… that my child would likely break someday sooner than I’d like, or (gasp) I myself would break because of general wear and tear and the occasional clumsiness.

I had moments when I was in Taiwan, salivating over some beautiful hand thrown pottery that was hand painted (most definitely not dishwasher safe. And if I remember the price, a single tea cup from that set was around $80-100 USD). The tea sets and teeny tiny serving bowls and plates in Japan enamored me both times we visited, but both visits, I knew I was never going to buy any — they were merely eye candy. Then, when we were in Portugal, which is world renowned for beautifully crafted ceramics and tiles, I gazed longingly at all the shiny azulejo ceramic bowls and plates, all hand painted. And while the prices for ceramics in Portugal were relatively reasonable, nowhere as frightening as they were in Taiwan or Japan, I just thought of the hassle of carting them back to the U.S. (not to mention the luggage space they’d require, plus the anxiety I would have at them potentially breaking en route), and I quickly decided – nope — not coming home with us.

Now in my 30s and as a parent, I’m a lot more pragmatic about dinnerware. Sure, I want the dinnerware we have to look good, but I’m more focused on cost, durability, and the ability wash them in a dishwasher. And that’s when the oldie-but-goodie Corelle comes in: it’s what I grew up with (along with many other practical Asian families), and it’s so durable to the point where if you drop them, they may not even break! They’re all dishwasher safe! They don’t scratch or get bent up easily! They’re well-priced! And they’re very lightweight, so if you’re suffering from even temporary carpal tunnel, you will still be able to hold them and carry them to the table! They basically tick all the boxes. So when we returned a holiday gift back to Amazon in January and I remembered I wanted to replace two of our broken bowls from last year, I didn’t even hesitate: I immediately did a search for “Corelle bowls,” and I found a simple white bowl in the size I wanted. It was six bowls for $24 — where else are you going to get a deal like that…?! I ordered them, and I never looked back.

The oldies are oldies for a reason — they are goodies.

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