- Published: 14 April 2009
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Wendy Stones, age 10, of Lousana, Alta., Canada, for her question:
Why are good dishes called China?
The best dishes are made of porcelain, and this fine material was first made by the potters of China, perhaps 2,000 years ago. It was far better than the earthenware made in the rest of the world. The kings and rich nobles of Europe wanted dishes of porcelain, but the Chinese refused to show them how to make it.
Treasured dishes of porcelain had to be imported from China for centuries, and peop1e came to call it chinaware or China. They continued to call it China even after they learned how to make it in factories of their own. An old habit is hard to break, and we still call the best dishes China.