Ramekin is thought to come from a Dutch word for "toast" or the German for "little cream."




Ramequin, Ramekin dish.


(ramə kin)[RAM-ih-kihn]ræməkin


English Noun




A type of dish




French Ramequin from Low German ramken, diminutive of cream, circa 1706. middle Dutch rammeken (cheese dish) dialect variant of rom (cream), similar to old English ream and German rahm. Ancient French cookbooks refer to ramekins as being garnished fried bread.


1. A food mixture, (casserole) specifically a preparation of cheese, especially with breadcrumbs and/or eggs or unsweetened pastry baked on a mould or shell.

2. With a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 oz), it is a small fireproof glass or earthenware individual dish similar in size and shape to a cup, or mould used for cooking or baking and serving sweet or savoury foods.

3. Formerly the name given to toasted cheese; now tarts filled with cream cheese.

4. A young child usually between the ages of 3 months and 11 years exhibiting a compulsion to force or "ram" their head into various objects and structures.

These days, a ramekin is generally regarded as a small single serve heatproof serving bowl used in the preparation or serving of various food dishes, designed to be put into hot ovens and to withstand high temperatures. They were originally made of ceramics but have also been made of glass or porcelain, commonly in a round shape with an angled exterior ridged surface. Ramekins have more lately been standardized to a size with a typical volume of 50-250 ml (2-8 ounce) and are now used for serving a variety of sweet and savoury foods, both entrée and desert.

They are also an attractive addition to the table for serving nuts,dips and other snacks. Because they are designed to hold a serving for just one person, they are usually sold in sets of four, six, or eight. Ramekins now are solid white, round, with a fluted texture covering the outside, and a small lip. Please bear in mind that whatever you ask for them on Internet auction sites, someone is still getting the same thing in an op shop for peanuts.

However, there are hundreds of decorative ramekins that came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They came in countless colours and finishes and many were made by our leading artists and ceramicists. My collection has ramekins with One handle only, fixed to the body at one point only. If it has no handle, it is a bowl. If it has two, it is a casserole dish. But the glory day of the Australian Studio Art ramekin is well and truly over. See some here, ask questions or leave answers.

P.S. Remember, just as real men don't eat quiche, real ramekins don't have lids or two handles. Also remember, two handles makes it a casserole dish. Also, please note If it aint got a handle, it's just a bowl.

P.P.S. To all you cretins who advertise your ramekins by associating them with "Eames" or "Eames Era". Get your hand off it, you are not kidding anyone. The Eames people have told me that they never made ramekins.

P.P.P.s To all the illiterates out there in cyberspace, just as there is no "I" in team, there is no "G" in Ramekin. I am the Rameking, they are ramekins.

If you have a set of Grandma's ramekins at the back of a kitchen cupboard, have a look through the site, maybe you will identify them. Thank-you for looking.

There are many of you out there that have knowledge of Australian pottery. Please let me know if you have anything that I can add to the notes. It is important to get the information recorded. You probably know something that nobody else does.

Please note that while your comments are most welcome, any that contain a link to another site will no longer be published.


Monday, February 3, 2014

NASCO Brittany

This tureen (or casserole or soup pot) and ramekin set was made by the National Silver Company of Nagoya, Japan and marked “NASCO Brittany”. It could be used as a fondue set also.   The chances are that it was made by one of the many ceramic companies in the Owari province.  This area produced varieties of porcelain and pottery over many centuries, more particularly Seto ware. 

It consists of a metal frame holding a ceramic bowl over a metal container for a flame to heat the contents.   Six ramekins are held by metal hooks on the outside of the metal frame, through holes in the underside of the handles.  This set came in two different metal frames, the other being a tree holding the ramekins vertically. 

Various other china dinnerware has been produced by NASCO, but it seems that NASCO Brittany was a one-off, short lived experiment.  You can find many odd ramekins in op-shops for not much money.  Rarely do you find a full set like this.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Old Cheese Factory Craft Centre

Not known
Not Known
Stamped “Cheese Factory” to foot ring. Plus gold label printed in black ink attached to outside “Hand Crafted The Cheese Factory Craft Centre Ballingup W.A.”
Glazed earthenware clay
Wheel thrown glazed earthenware clay bowl with extended knob handle, open at the end.  Unglazed base.  Brown glaze to bowl, handle end in brown, but with a blue overglaze to the rest of the bowl.
Very Good
No number
Production Date
Width at rim
Width at Base
Length (with handle)
Vinnies, Oakleigh, 1st Feb 2014.
Rameking Reference Number
OCF 001

This ramekin was made at the Old Cheese Factory Craft Centre, the largest privately owned craft centre in Western Australia.  Originally the Manjimup Dairy Produce Company Ltd, established in 1933.  It is located about 500 metres off the South West Highway on the Nannup Tourist Drive.  After changing hands a few times over the years, it became a craft centre in 1979 when it was purchased by Stephen Cox and potter Beverley Smitchens, producing works in ceramics, timber, wood turning, furniture as well as Aboriginal art and handcraft.  They sold to Des Milburn in 1985 and later Jennifer Taylor in 1985.  In 1997 it was bought by Mary Kent and also sold antiques and collectibles.

Potters Wendy Wishart and Gary Hambleton operated there before Gary moved to the nearby “Old Stables Pottery ” at Mallinyup.  This ramekin does not look like the work of either of them, but bears the printed label “Hand Crafted The Cheese Factory Craft Centre Ballingup W.A.”  These is also a stamp “Cheese Factory” on the foot ring.

Wendy Wishart