Tucked away in Newell, West Virginia is The Homer Laughlin China Company. Since 1871, it has been creating dinnerware that has become a passion for many people, including me. The dishes have an Alpha Alumina body. I have no earthly idea what that means, but I can tell you they are beautiful, versatile, and incredibly durable. It is what I stock my main plate rack with, what I grab for first, what I use when I don’t want to worry about the prospect of chipped dishes, and what I gravitate to when I need a spot of color. If you’ve never owned Fiesta, go buy four plates, all the same color, or two each of two different colors, or four different colors. I predict you will use these dishes to the exclusion of most of your others. The word “fiesta” means party in Spanish. This dinnerware brings a party to your table.
Did I mention they are microwave, freezer, and oven safe? In the more than two decades since I’ve been using Fiesta, I have never had a single piece get chipped — and with the number of meals served around here and the number of people “helping” in the kitchen, that’s a minor miracle.
I can’t remember what my “first” Fiesta color was. I do know that I purchased 3 lilac bowls before the color was retired. Just having 3 seemed a bit impractical, so I sold them on eBay. Ten years later, I was back on eBay, buying all the lilac I could find, ultimately ending up with a full place service for 12. See all the mix and match possibilities? Persimmon and black for Halloween, for instance.
The bright colors lend themselves naturally to a Mexican setting, but look how good the red and black look with the whimsical ladybug placemats.
One color combo makes you hungry for tacos. The next calls out for Asian food.
The combinations are endless. Note the double napkins. Simply place one napkin offset within another, fold and insert into your napkin ring. It’s a great way, as shown in both these pictures, to pull two colors together.
Depending upon what you pair them with, Fiesta dishes can look feminine or masculine.
This doesn’t even begin to show you the fabulous pitchers and other unique pieces. Little bowls (I have no idea what they call them) that we bake creme brulee in. I’ve baked French Onion Soup in the full-sized bowls, microwaved cakes in the mugs, cooked bacon on the plates with a few layers of paper towels.
If I had paid more attention in math class, I could add up the number of pieces I have (I only partially raided my cupboards for this photo shoot), the number of placemats and napkins, and do one of those fancy calculations that would tell us the total number of unique combinations, but alas, I don’t remember any of it. And, besides, it’s much more fun just to haul them out and play around!