Kitchen Tips

Peranakan Kitchenware

Peranakans are a culturally rich and diverse community that not just have a variety of cuisines, but also have a wide range of cutlery and kitchenware. Porcelain ware is extensively used by the Peranakans.

In the Peranakan culture every occasion is celebrated by using different porcelain ware. The motifs and art work on the porcelain differentiate the crockery for every occasion. The Nyonya porcelain cutlery is marked by bold colours such as fuchsia pink, cobalt blue, turquoise green etc.

Intricate work of dragons, peonies, phoenix, floral motifs and other images are seen on the kitchenware. The motifs used on the kitchen ware represent purity, goodness, longevity, happiness and many other aspects of life and its growth. The bold colours, motifs and porcelain resemble the Chinese kitchenware.

The Peranakan kitchenware represent the royalty and lavish lifestyle enjoyed by the Chinese Malaysian during the colonial period.

Peranakan Kitchenware
Image Courtesy: -Damian- used under the Creative Commons Licence

Some of the popular kitchenware are

1. Bowls are an integral part of Peranakan kitchenware. They are used as plates and for serving purposes.

2. Kamchengs or covered jars are used to store food items. They come in various sizes and are used to store cooking ingredients, condiments, desserts etc.

3. Tall tea cups are another speciality of Peranakan kitchenware. They are both short and tall variants of them.

4. Chupu is a tall bowl that is used to store tonic soups. It is a single piece of pot that comes with a smug fit lid.

5. Spittoons were used by nyonya’s (women) of the Peranakan community. They chewed beetle nuts and used the spittoons to spit them out. These too are made of porcelain.

Spitoon - Peranakan Kitchen ware

Image Courtesy: Michele Ahin used under the Creative Commons Licence

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