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May 6, 2012 02:04 PM

Spoon fed: how cutlery affects your food, By Fuchsia Dunlop

"So you’re having friends for dinner. You’ve worked out a delicious menu, paying careful attention to the colours and flavours of the dishes. Perhaps you’ve even thought about music and lighting. But did you remember to consider the flavour of your cutlery? "

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  1. Very interesting! I never thought about that before.

    Incidentally, "cutlery" has a somewhat different meaning in American English -- i.e. knives, which is not what this story is about ... it's about what in U.S. would be called flatware, tableware, or (inappropriately for this story) silverware.

    3 Replies
    1. re: drongo

      Thanks, I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it looks interesting

      drongo - I use the term cutlery and I have found that I correct myself at times and call it silverware (which annoys me because it is rarely ever silver). I guess I subconsciously realize that other people do not call it cutlery and will be confused by my use of the word. What I hadn't realized until I read dronog's post is *why* I call it cutlery. My mother is Canadian and growing up in the '50s she must have been exposed to the more British usage for cutlery and I got it from her. Now I know, Thanks!

      1. re: Justpaula

        Despite having lived in U.S. for 30 years, I still use the word in the British manner -- for example, I'll ask my (U.S.-born) daughter to put the cutlery on the table and she'll look at me as though I'm mad -- why do I want all the knives on the table?!

        1. re: Justpaula

          When I was 18 I spent a summer as a cook at a very ritzy camp in Upstate New York. Many of the other workers were international students, including a few from England. During the orientation week before the camp started we ate all of our meals using paper plates and plastic utensils. At one point I asked one of the others to grab some "silverware" for the table. One of the English lads chuckled and said "'Silverware'? How droll. Quite funny. Pip pip." (OK, maybe I'm misremembering exactly what he said.)

          He thought I was making a clever little sarcastic comment about us having to eat with plastic utensils. In reality, that's just what my family had always called knives, forks, and spoons.

      2. Interesting, love these 1st world issues. I'll stick to my chopsticks, either wood or bamboo, if by the restaurant, and either plastic, stainless or Ivory if using my personal ones.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Quine

          But does food picked up by the stainless chopsticks taste different from the food picked up by the ivory??

          Btw, I notice that the tasting was "served with a flight of seven beers". I'm sure the praises were highest after that seventh beer, lol.

          1. re: drongo

            Well, since I normally use the Stainless steel ones at home, and the ivory ones very rarely for prime quality sushi out (going with the caviar on ivory spoons theory), I have not yet compared them.

            Heck those ivory ones are rare themselves, ain't for everyday dining. :-)

            I know, I sorta did a mental "screeech!" when I read about the beers as part of the testing.

        2. never thought about the taste but I hate when forks have wonky prongs.

          I use the word cutlery but then I'm English, I too laugh at the word silverware when it means stainless or plastic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: smartie

            OMG! I swear by some strange karma, I get wonkie forks at AYCE places, that my Mom and I, LOL and comment every time at AYCE places. I honestly have *no* idea what previous folks do to them to make the so.

          2. Ice cream tastes better with metal spoons. Wood is ok. Plastic is the worst.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Agreed! I think this has more to do with the utensil's ability to hold tempurature.

              1. re: emmekin

                Interesting that you would say that, as the colder the item, the less it affects the taste buds.


            2. That was a pretty interesting read. One thing I wondered about was the effect of the various metals on smells. In the long run, however, I'll stick with my favorite food delivery implement - my fingers.