I have seen Charger Plates in stores ever since I can remember and I have always read the same thing "not intended for food" and I always think the same thing "THEN WHAT IN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSE TO DO WITH IT IF I CAN'T PUT FOOD ON IT?". I decided to look up the purpose on the internet and here is what I found on Wikipedia, which I am sure ya'll know has to be gospel because anyone can give information *okie hopes folks know that was said tongue in cheek and wonders why we say tongue in cheek when we really mean we are being a smart azz*...
Charger plates or service plates are larger decorative plates used to dress up dinner tables at parties, weddings, and other special events. While the charger plates have been around since the 19th century, they returned to popularity in the late `90s. Since food is not actually served on chargers, they are often called underplates or chop plates. The word "charger" originated around 1275 - 1325 from the Middle English "chargeour". Formerly, a charger signified either a large platter or a large, shallow dish for liquids.
They are usually larger than most common dinner plates. Since they are not used for food, charger plates can be found in a variety of materials, from traditional china, to metal, wood, glass, plastic and pearl. And they may be decorated with substances that can be toxic if ingested.
Charger plate etiquette and use varies among caterers and restaurants. Some professional catering companies remove the decorative charger plate as soon as the guests are seated. More commonly, charger plates are kept on the table during the serving of soups and first courses, and act as a base on which food-bearing bowls and dishes are placed. In other instances, when the design of charger plates complements the design of dining plates, charger plates are left on the table throughout the course of meal. However, charger plates are always removed before serving desserts.
So you see, from Wikipedia it also says that the plate is not meant for food. I know it explains the decoration part but I thought that's what placemats for tablecloths were for. I will accept it can possibly give accent to your dinnerware but to remove it as soon as someone is seated? *okie raises one eyebrow and wonders if anyone is making sense of this useless plate*.
So it is a decoration for dinnerware. But now here is the thing...if you are gonna put vinyl in the middle and make it look so nice then what the hell do ya do with it? Do you put a plate on top of the Charger and cover up the design or do you go out and buy all clear plates so you can see the design? I am wondering if people collect charger plates and then have to wonder at the size of their plate rack for such a collection, does it take up a whole wall in their dining room?