Move Over Pasta Bowl 'Blates' - Chunky Plates Are The New 'It Girl' Dinnerware

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"How saucy is your pasta?" is a natural consideration when you're ready to dish up your next penne, spaghetti, or pasta fazool. In the case of the latter — a bean and pasta soup — things do get very saucy indeed, so you'll need a particularly deep piece of dinnerware. The plate-bowl hybrid, or blate, has been the go-to for most other pasta dishes. It even works well for things as varied as rice pilafs, salads, and Asian stir-fries. Now, Chunky Plates are bringing the same versatility in a chic new design that's functional and eye-catching.

The winning combination responsible for the blate's popularity is a flat center to support the food and raised edges to hold in the sauces. The resulting shape of the crockery is clean and elegant, with neat lines that draw your attention to the food. Chunky Plates have a totally different vibe, but with their plump rounded edges and bright pastel colors, add jollies to any plating. So here's the lowdown on Chunky Plates, what dishes you can serve on them, and whether they are a legitimate upgrade from blates and other functional-chic dinnerware. 

Chunky Plates are chic and functional snack plates

We've come a ways from upturned plastic sombrero-styled dishes whose wide edges can only be used for decoration or precariously balancing accompaniments. Pasta and similar dishes benefit from flatware that slopes towards the center, ensuring the sauce doesn't get away from the noodles. The same can be said for salads with runny dressings. 

While Chunky Plates have the same wide and shallow shape as blates, they are generally flat-bottomed and are, therefore, more suited to thicker sauces that adhere to the food. Ideally, you won't be serving pasta or salad on Chunky Plates. Instead, they are perfect for snacks as those bulbous edges keep corraled in everything from trail mix to crudités sticks. These edges are also wide enough to support oversized foods, so you can serve breadsticks or chicken wings at the next Superbowl party with a bowl of dip in the middle and the snacks resting on the plate's edges.

The chunky style suits sandwiches, desserts, and even coffee

If you have your heart set on Chunky Plates but find it difficult to justify purchasing a stack of them — these Portuguese-made ceramic beauties currently go for $55 a pop — fear not as they are versatile enough for you to get a lot of use out of them. The broad edges leave the perfect amount of real estate for a breakfast sandwich or a stack of pancakes, with the edges acting as a useful barrier to help mop up stray sauces and syrup. 

Want to bring them out at your dinner party but can't fit an elaborate main course on them? Save the smaller Chunky Plates for dessert. Ice cream scoops, pie wedges, tarts, and cake slices all fit perfectly on them. They're also aesthetic enough to replace your fruit bowl and can easily accommodate 3-4 apples, oranges, or a banana bunch — though it's better to skip the grapes.

Finally, true fans of the chunky design can even get Chunky Cups. Considering the mug affects your coffee-drinking experience, this drinkware is a great way to regularly enjoy the distinctive design or pair up with your chunky dinnerware. You can also find a variety of chubby cups and saucers online, which reflect a similar aesthetic despite not being part of Gustaf Westman's original line.

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