CORELLE FROST Gold Premier Series – A Review
Yes, one knows it when one has entered a unique phase in life when friends around you begin to settle down, get married, start families and raise kids. For some, this is when they’d realised that folks around them are no longer able to hang out as often as they once did for midnight suppers, movie marathons or pajama sleepovers. For others, this is when they’d realised that lunch dates with besties are interrupted and often prematurely truncated by “Hey, I’d gotta pick up my girl from her ballet class!” or “Oh My God, I forgot that I’m suppose to get this for my mother-in-law!” For me, I enter this phase in life on a rather interesting note. This is when I get asked by my friends for recommendations for home appliances, bakeware, cookware, tableware and etc. more often then they seek second opinion on a new watch which they’d been eyeing on, or a pair of shoes in the latest season that they fancy. But that is only because they know that I spend more time in the household department of malls and shopping centres than they would do in fashion boutiques. Yes, it is quite flattering, albeit in a rather strange way when folks turn to me for advice as such.
For tableware, my set of criteria in choosing is rather simple. They must be durable, in several ways. Physical durability is of utmost importance. Knowing that some of my friends have never prepared anything for the family, let alone cook instant noodles or even make a sunnyside up for themselves, the dishes must be able to withstand breakages, out of slippery hands and butterfingers. Some of them have never held a knife to peel a potato or core an apple. So the tableware must also be reasonably scratch proof, forgiving in some ways against the ignorance of my pals. Last but not least, they must be aesthetically durable, appealing to the eye with a withstanding look which one doesn’t get tired of easily, as these ware are expected to be in use and last over a long period of time.
Versatility comes as a bonus, where these tableware are able to withstand wear and tear from daily use, and yet be presentable to entertain family gatherings and dinner parties. This seems to be of priority to many of my friends who just started their own families and bought their first house, with hardly any spare cash for multiple sets of culinary ware for different dedicated uses.
Thus, when it comes to giving recommendations, one name most certainly comes to mind. My family have been using Corelle tableware for some years now. Our “Morning Blue” set came as a gift from my aunt when we got our current place back in 1998. So yes, it has been with us for a good 15 years and still serves us very well, be it regular family dinners or more elaborated gatherings over festivities. My favorite piece of the set is incidentally the largest of them all, the 32 cm serving platter which is very good for plating steamed whole fish, or chicken for one of our family favorites, Hainanese Chicken Rice. Size does matter! Despite its rather western outlook with classic floral motifs, it appears very elegant and apt for our mostly Asian meals at home, as with the Nyonya Chap Chye, Ikan Gerang Asam and 淮山 南北杏 排骨汤 in the photos.
Since we use it so much at home, why doesn’t it appear frequently in my food photos? Well, truth be told, the dainty floral motifs on the “Morning Blue Essential Series” has its restrictions in food photography, depending on the theme and type of cuisine being presented. But Corelle’s recently launched Frost Gold Premier Series is a totally different creature. Its embossed design takes the form of branch-like venation in a silvery silhouette, exuding a somewhat quiet elegance, noticeable but yet non-obtrusive. Its modern chic outlook perpetuates versatility which allows it to blend well into most modern home decor. I’m sure it would blend in well too in my food photos to come. But these are not ordinary transferware, as the designs are specially embossed, becoming part of the glass itself and thus scratch resistant, remaining intact and looking beautiful as if they were bought just the day before, even after years of usage.
Made in USA with the technology that uses Vitrelle, a tempered glass product consisting of two types of glass laminated into three layers, Corelle tableware from the Frost Gold Premier Series promises all the unique qualities which all preceding sets have been imbued with. The special thermal bonding technique employed makes all Corelle tableware über strong. It is also resistant to chemicals, staining and chipping allowing the entire set to look pristine despite regular and prolonged usage. I found the stain-resistance property rather useful as it meant that the dish washing process after each meal would be a breeze, almost without requiring any effort. Its high durability and chip-resistant property is perfect for the clumsy, like me! I have the “Morning Blue Essential Series” to vouch for that after a good 15 years of use (and abuse), and I’m confident that the Corelle Frost Gold Premier Series would be able to perform just as well, if not better!
I like its sleek design, being ultra thin, another important attribute of the Vitrelle tempered glass technology. This allows the plates and bowls to be stacked and kept away without taking up too much cabinet space, amidst all the pots and pans, and baking molds and trays which one would have collected and accumulated over the years. For me, cabinet space is really precious “real estate” in the kitchen, and I’m sure many of you would agree. The tableware in the Corelle Frost Gold Premier Series, like all other Corelle tableware does not have a foot rim on the underside, thus allowing the dishes and bowls to be stacked neatly without towering and taking up too much space. One little inconvenience which comes with this design, is that one has to be careful when handling bowls with hot soup or stews in them. The base, without the foot rim as act as finger support, may become hot to touch rather quickly after the liquids are poured in. At home, we simply get around this little “problem” by placing the bowl on another plate and serve both together onto the dining table. Otherwise, this design really has more pros than cons, as it really allows the plates to be kept compact during storage. Unlike ceramic ware which are very strong and thus could be stacked rather high, traditional glass ware cannot be stored likewise as the glass plates may crack due to the stacking pressure. But Corelle’s Vitrelle tempered glass technology takes care of this rather well. Moreover, ceramic ware of the same size is much much heavier compared to Corelle tableware, that weighs virtually next to nothing.
I think a lot of people out there are like me, initially skeptical of the claim of Corelle ware being crack-resistant. Well, being crack-resistant does not equate to be “unbreakable”. No, I’m not about to put my precious new Corelle “Frost Gold Premier Series” to the test by dropping it off a 20-storey building. Neither am I gonna risk those from the Corelle “Morning Blue Essential Series”. They don’t deserve to be treated that way after 15 years of impeccable service. But I did find some videos over Youtube on such tests being carried out on Corelle tableware. I’m not sure about you, but I am pretty much convinced. You can find the videos here, here and here… The Titanic was dubbed as being “unsinkable” and look what happened to it. So I think Corelle ware did better than the Titanic! In any case, World Kitchen (Asia Pacific), the local distributor for Corelle promises to replace any Corelle Vitrelle dinnerware that should crack, break, chip or permanently stain within one year of normal household use from the date of purchase. If that’s not a sign of assurance, I do not know what is.
UPDATE: I was informed by Jane through the comments below that in order to facilitate the exchange process, one has to perform the exchange for defective ware at the same place where the Corelle Dinnerware were purchased with the original receipt as proof of purchase. And as Joyee mentioned, do give the store a ring to check for stock availability before making your way down. Thank you ladies for your input!
The Corelle Frost Gold Premier Series comes in a 20-piece dining set. It includes 1 x 32 cm serving platter, 1 x 1.4 litre square bowl, 4 x dinner plates, 4 x bread and butter plates, 4 x soup bowls, 4 x soup plates and 2 x 10 oz square bowls. So this is really quite ideal for a family of four. The tableware are versatile in their usage of course. For example, I doubled up the bread and butter plates as dessert plates to serve cakes and traditional kuihs, and use the soup plates as serving dishes for stir-fry vegetables and sweet & sour pork, while the small square bowls are excellent for sambal belachan or satay gravy.
For folks like me in Singapore, Corelle’s latest Frost Gold Premier Series is available in the household department of all major stores which are listed here. They are also available at selected NTUC Xtra and NTUC Finest outlets so do check them out on your next grocery shopping trip. Open stock may also be available in selected stores. Excellent way of purchasing extra tableware and customise to your own dining and culinary needs. I’m very sure you would enjoy using them as I do.
For more information, check out their website at worldkitchenasia.com.
Thank you World Kitchen (Asia Pacific) for the opportunity to review this excellent set of Corelle Frost Gold Premier Series through Ogilvy & Mather (Singapore).
For recipes of the dishes presented in the photos, please refer to the following:
Ikan Gerang Asam (Peranakan Spicy and Sour Fish)
Nyonya Chap Chye (Peranakan Cabbage Stir-fry)
淮山南北杏排骨汤 (to be featured)