I have been very curious about a new type of disposable plate that I have been seeing pop up more and more, lately. The name of the company producing them is Verterra. I was recently given the opportunity to try them for myself. At first glance, this is probably some of the more attractive disposable dinnerware I have ever seen. It appears to be wood. Literally, you can see a grain, each piece is similar and yet unique with a the variegated appearance of woodgrain. The plates are square and come in two sizes, dinner plate and salad/dessert plate. Bowls and serving dishes are also available.
The interesting thing about these eco-friendly plates is that they are made entirely from fallen palm leaves. Yes, I did say leaves. The leaves are layered and compressed using steam and heat and pressure. The plates are about the same thickness as a typical styrofoam plate and honestly, much sturdier. They can also stand up to liquids and reasonably high temperatures. I was surprised to learn that they can even be placed in the oven for up to 45 minutes at 350° and microwaved on high for up to 2 minutes.
Verterra dinnerware did not add any taste to the food, which I almost expected. I’m not sure why, but I really did not think this dinnerware would live up to its claims. However, they definitely do and they do it well. Hot food, cold food even liquids were served with no issues. I used a knife to cut food and the plate was not damaged. The company and products have undergone stringent inspections and safety testing, passing with ease. Overall, this attractive disposable dinnerware does all it claims and looks good besides. Plus, surprisingly, it is quite sturdy, as disposable dishes go. It is compostable, naturally breaking down in about two months and actually adding healthy nutrients to the soil, enhancing plant growth.
My conclusion about Verterra products is that they definitely do all that they claim, they’re attractive and environmentally friendly. They can be used in the same ways your everyday dinnerware can, in most cases ,and definitely hold up better than paper plates and are sturdier than styrofoam. The only disappointment, for me, was the cost. It was not something that would fit our budget on a regular basis, coming in at around $4.89 for a package of 8. If it was a “special” dinner, where disposable would be more convenient, but I wanted something more elegant and the number of dinner guests was not too great, then it would be a fun alternative, occasionally. But on an everyday, frugal budget and with the large numbers of people we cook and serve food to, these would not be affordable. I love the concept and think the company is amazing. I’m just not able to consistently justify the cost.
If you would like a chance to try this unique and eco-friendly dinnerware, you can visit the Verterra website and input your zip code to find a location near you that carries Verterra products. You will also find several online options for making the purchase.