Charger
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A Charger is an optional, decorative, larger plate on which other plates are set. Think of it as the decorative place holder at the center of the place setting on which the Soup Bowl, Salad Plate, Dinner Plate, etc. will each, in turn, rest. 

Chargers can be up to 14 inches in diameter. They usually have decorative edges, which are designed to seen even when another smaller plate is sitting on the Charger. 

Culinary Uses

Chargers are set at the center of a place setting and are mainly used for decoration, though they can also be a handy catch-all for falling food. Plates for the separate courses are set upon the charger as they are brought out and rest on the Charger during the course. When the course is completed, the plate for that course is removed but the Charger remains to support the plate for the next course.

Chargers are typically used in more formal place settings. They are cleared before the Dessert course.