There is a trend that is sweeping the foodie nation, working its way into restaurants, bars coffee shops, and even festivals. It reminds us of our childhood, of camping trips and family picnics. Our grandparents started it, and now we’ve made it cool again. Yes, we’re talking about enamelware. Have you seen it? The blue rimmed camping plates of bygone eras, the lightweight tin mugs that you use to sip marshmallow topped hot chocolate from by a campfire (you might still!)? Now you can sup soup from them at your favourite trendy caf! Who would have thought state of the art London eateries would be choosing to serve their food on picnic plates? Is that not the equivalent of serving your champers in polycarbonate cups , you ask? Well, the quick answer is no! It isn’t.
I personally have always loved the enamelware so when we noticed it creeping back into fashion in the S/S 2015 product launch, we did get rather excited. But there are a number of reasons why we, as a nation, are simply enamoured with enamel.
Ok, we’ll get the practical stuff out of the way first. The fact that enamel is trendy is a bit of a godsend for commercial kitchens, the most obvious reason for this being its strength and durability. Enamelware can be used again and again and will last an awful lot longer than its breakable counterparts, porcelain, china or glass. This is a clear bonus for a restaurant, coffee shop or tearooms where crockery is frequently broken and needs to be constantly replaced. Enamelware can be chipped if it has a bad fall or a serious knock, but your plates and dishes won’t break and little chips only add to the rustic charm.
Another practical reason to use enamelware is its functionality. Enamel pie dishes can quite happily be used for both cooking and serving pies, vegetables, sides, sauces, puddings and much more. They go in the oven or on the hob and then straight to the table. Less fuss, less mess, still bucket loads of rustic charm. Just don’t microwave them please, whatever you do!
The heat conductivity of enamel ware also makes it fabulous for cooking. No longer will your pie have a soggy bottom or your lasagne be burnt on the edges and cold in the middle. So you get perfect results using cookware that is stronger, lighter and more versatile. That’s a win win right there if ever I heard one!
Ok, that’s the boring (but necessary) stuff out of the way. Let’s get down to the good stuff. In a nutshell, enamelware is cool!
I think the first thing that springs to mind when we see traditional blue rimmed enamel plates and mugs is childhood memories and a lovely warm sense of nostalgia. Summer picnics on hazy days, lounging around on a picnic blanket or frolicking in a meadow. Family barbecues and beautiful sunsets. Or a Sunday roast at Grandma’s house, cooked in her favourite old enamel roasting tin. We love to look back on the good old days, even if we’re only in our twenties and they aren’t really that old! And enamel crockery, just like grandma’s old gingham picnic blanket, sparks a wonderful warm and fuzzy feeling that we just can’t get enough of.
One of the biggest attractions to enamelware is its outdoorsy-ness. The rise in popularity of festivals, camping trips, barbecues, hiking and outdoor sports plus the ease with which we can share our experiences with the world in carefully framed and filtered pictures on social media (has anyone else noticed how utterly brilliant the social media generation are at photography?) all lends itself perfectly to this insta-friendly dining ware. Whether it is the traditional blue and white or an updated version like our Living Nostalgia Vintage Enamel range, or even a beautiful printed design like the gorgeous pieces we’ve seen on various blogs from companies like Emalco in Poland, who will print anything you want onto your enamel or offer their own stunning designs.
Whether you want it plain, branded or to customise your own, there’s no doubt that your cupboards, picnic baskets or camping kit will benefit from introducing some enamelware. Its retro style and vintage charm will always be a popular choice and the variety of shapes and sizes available mean you can tailor your collection to your needs perfectly. A practical crockery and cookware set that serves your needs perfectly but invokes fond memories and warms a nostalgic heart each time it’s used. What more could we ask for?