September 23, 2014

Cheese Domes

No, that’s not the name of some sports stadium in Wisconsin (but it might be!). It’s something I found at auction the other week and since I acquired it, I’ve been doing a little research on cheese domes. I am not talking about those glass and teak cheese domes that everyone who got married in the 1970’s and 1980’s received as a wedding present.

This is what I am talking about. A seriously big, porcelain dome! Very trendy during the Victorian era, and like so much during that time, frequently over-decorated!image

Many of the majolica cheese domes were made by George Jones & Sons, an English pottery, active in Stoke-on-Trent from 1861 to 1951. They specialized in majolica, and cheese domes fit within their line of wares. image

The cheese dome I got is similar to some of the majolica ones from George Jones, but much simpler. While it has the basket weaving around the base, and the branch handle on the top, it lacks the dogwood flowers. To see a whole range of George Jones cheese domes, click here.
image

Hmmm… looking at the one on the left makes me wonder if I don’t have the plate upside down! It has the same basket weave on it and I was curious why it would be on the bottom of the plate!

Since there are no markings on the platter, it’s hard to tell!

Here’s another one with the fencing, or basket weave.image

Cheese domes like this were used to keep cheeses at room temperature, as they are better that way instead of straight out of the fridge. Especially soft cheese like brie or Camembert. imageA tall cheese dome like the one I got might be used to store an English cheese like stilton which is often in a tall cylindrical shape. It is another cheese that benefits from being eaten at room temperature.image

There is also another style of cheese dome, and that’s in a wedge shape.

This would be for smaller cheeses, and perhaps ones that are more wedge shaped, like a nice English cheddar or a Welsh Caerphilly (which is what I wanted to name Connor). image

The cheese wedge I have has some small ridges to keep the cheese slightly elevated, and make it easier to cut.

All of the ones I’ve seen have a small hole in the lid so that the cheese can breathe. If a cheese can’t breathe, it can acquire that ammonia smell which is rather unpleasant.

If you’d like to see more cheese domes, do a search on Pinterst. There are plenty to see!

11 comments:

  1. We were married in the '80's and somehow managed to dodge the teak/glass dome gift. All these years I've been letting my cheese come to room temp on a plate lightly covered in plastic. What a heathen. I need the real thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's something that's a bit of a compromise: you can find the glass cheese domes in any thrift shop, so take that and get a great plate and use it that way!

      Delete
  2. Your simply elegant cheese dome is my favorite. Do you know if it is American? Nineteenth century?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I am not sure. If I had to guess, I'd say it's English, and 19th c. It doesn't seem that America had the same tradition of cheese domes as the UK.

      Delete
  3. For Janet and Joel's wedding I got them an antique cheese dome because of their shared love of cheese which really cemented their relationship early on. It was a very large hand painted over transfer-ware piece from the aesthetic period that I was so tempted to keep -haha. I've been dying for one of the wedgwood fern cheese domes for years like you have pictured but they are always hideously expensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love cemented by cheese! That's brilliant! xo

      Delete
  4. LOL Clear dome, teak base - 1982, got one! Yours is much more appetizing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The teak clear glass is very minimalist. I found a cheese board with a ceramic insert printed with lettering- cheese . It has slots for a missing acrylic cracker tray and I am no doubt missing the glass/ 'acrylic cover boo hoo --perhaps other estate sales or thrift stores will surface. signed hopefull. need to note measurements for size.

    ReplyDelete
  6. what an interesting post + I want one also + great photos. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Meg I actually love the simplicity of your cheese dome. A very interesting feature!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Haute Couture Ateliers

    ReplyDelete
  8. OMG - I can't believe you've blogged about this! I just recently went on a search for one of these (I like the wedge kind) because I read that I've been storing cheese wrong for my entire life... wrapped in plastic cling. I read a whole article on how the bacteria reacts with the plastic to cause bad flavors, and how much better it is to wrap cheese lightly in wax paper and then put it in one of those cheese domes. Honestly, I think the cheese I buy is a) not very high-dude and b) gets eaten too quickly to really be damaged by cling wrap.... but as an avid vintage kitchen nut, I just want one! Still hunting for the perfect one. I'm not into floral... maybe a white one with a blue stripe would do... hmmm......

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.