A bowl is a round dish or container typically used to prepare and serve food. The interior of a bowl is characteristically shaped like a spherical cap, with the edges and the bottom forming a seamless curve. This makes bowls especially suited for holding liquids and loose food, as the contents of the bowl are naturally concentrated in its center by the force of gravity. The exterior of a bowl is most often round but can be of any shape, including rectangular.
The size of bowls varies from small bowls used to hold a single serving of food to large bowls, such as punch bowls or salad bowl, that are often used to hold or store more than one portion of food. There is some overlap between bowls, cups, and plates. Very small bowls, such as the tea bowl, are often called cups, while plates with especially deep wells are often called bowls.
In South Asian cultures, the bowl is still the typical form of vessel off which food is eaten, and on which it is served. Historically small forms were also used to serving both tea and alcoholic drinks. The main rival for food is the flatter plate, which predominates in Western culture and many other cultures, as forms of cup do for drinks.

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