Crate & Barrel

It’s the 2-for-1 dining combo that far outshines the spork.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

When it comes to setting a pretty table for baby shower brunches and family birthday parties, there’s nothing more classic for celebrating the occasion than your grandmother’s hand-me-down china. Nothing makes dainty petits fours and cream cheese biscuits shine quite like Grandmother’s Wedgwood. But sometimes, the dishes we want to serve aren’t the best match for Grammy’s finest, and we need to turn to the best goods our modern home stores have to offer: Enter the blate, the plate-meets-bowl combination we’re wishing we’d stocked up on long ago.

I’m all about products that work double duty…except for one: I’ve never really understood the purpose of a spork. I can’t think of a single dish that would be more easily enjoyed with the help of the spoon-fork hybrid, though I would love for you to share any contesting opinions in the comments. I’m curious.

The blate, though, is no spork.

For me, an occasionally messy, always enthusiastic eater, there’s no disputing the functionality of the blate. It offers the flat, sprawling surface of a plate that gives you room to cut food into politely chewable bites, while also offering the bowl’s mess-preventing walls to corral runaway sauces and marinades. Warm pasta dishes and hot soups cool down more quickly in the shallow plate-bowl combo, their sauces and broths easily contained; and leafy salads have room to stretch out and be tossed together, without dressing spilling over the edge or croutons sliding off onto the placemat.

The blate proves you really can have it all.

While the term blate may not yet have earned its place in the Southern lexicon (those spots are hard-earned, you know), plenty of retailers all over the country sell the plate/bowl combo: Crate & Barrel calls them low bowls, but they’re not fooling us: Flat surface, low curved walls…they’re blates. And in case you had doubts about the blate’s legitimacy, well, California-based Etsy shop Clay + Craft by Nicole Novena calls a blate a blate: Shop her pretty handmade ceramics collection of plate/bowl twofers here.

But whatever you call them, it’s clear that the plate/bowl combo is what our favorite Southern dishes have long been waiting for. Bring on the shrimp & grits, and put ‘em in a blate.

WATCH: How to Make Shrimp & Grits

Will you be adding blates to your china collection? Let us know in the comments.