I remember eating off melamine Happy Meals plates when I was young. We didn’t get trusted with the stoneware or the “good” china until we were older and, even then, I often preferred the lighter weight and easy cleanup of the melamine dishes.
Turns out, melamine experienced a big boom in the 50’s and 60’s as a safe plastic alternative to stoneware. It’s an interesting history if you care to read about it here,
So, is melamine safe? An online search shows the powder form is used as fertilizer in some countries (it’s a great source of nitrogen), and has been used as an additive to trick testers into thinking there is more protein present than there actually is (many laboratory tests use nitrogen as an indicator of protein). All that being said, when used as a resin to make dinnerware and kitchen utensils, melamine is considered safe. You can read a more detailed account from the FDA here.[warningbox]Always follow the instructions! Melamine should NOT be used in the microwave as it will melt under high temperatures; always transfer food to a microwave safe container to re-heat. Our melamine dinnerware IS top rack dishwasher safe. [/warningbox]
No plastic dishes hold up well to steak knives and tomato sauce, but they still have a place with campers, families, and the generally rowdy. They may scratch, but they don’t break! Typical melamine offerings come covered in designs and colours… fun for the kids, but a bit tiring after awhile. We’ve discovered an attractive line from Myles Table with simple dinnerware and great serving pieces for those of you who like to entertain, especially outdoors. With its light weight, it’s also great for conveying cold dishes and appetizers to a potluck!
On to drink ware. This year, we’re introducing a clear acrylic design, also from Myles Table. We have sets consisting of a pitcher and four tumblers, sets of heavier tumblers and wine glasses, as well as chiller pitchers with a central freezable ice column. The tumblers and wine glasses are all one piece, so you needn’t worry about the bases falling off after heavy use.
Finally, for the bargain hunters, we have some gorgeous turquoise acrylic tumblers and wine glasses in limited quantities, on special from last year. There are also a few turquoise dinner plates left for a smokin’ deal.