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Anyone else not like soup spoons?

The thread on fork tines reminded me of the fact that I hate soup spoons. I just find the shape too big and too odd to fit into my mouth comfortably. I get the idea, but it doesn't work for me. Do you use soup spoons?

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  1. I, and everyone in my family, hate soup spoons - the shape is just annoying and I'm not the type to sip delicately from the side of the too big spoon!

    1. You're not meant to put the entire bowl of a soup spoon in your mouth. Hold it in front of your mouth, tip it slightly toward you, and consume the soup that way.

      40 Replies
      1. re: Querencia

        My mom mentioned this and I still find it frustrating for some reason.

        1. re: Querencia

          or in Europe -- they eat soup from the tip of the spoon, rather than the side. (so you're basically pouring the soup into your mouth from the tip)

          You're not supposed to put the whole thing in your mouth.

          1. re: sunshine842

            I had to refrain from spewing the hot lemon and honey all over my laptop while reading this, because of the imagery of someone putting a whole soup spoon into his mouth!

            I didn't know that the way I am used to eating my soup is the European way.

            1. re: sunshine842

              That might be the part of Europe that isnt the UK, sunshine.

              Here, we have round-bowl soup spoons and sip from the side. At least, that is what "proper etiquette" requires. But, then, we all know that most folk don't follow proper etiquette these days.

              1. re: Harters

                Yes, mainland, continental Europe sips their soup from the tip of the spoon.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Maybe, had we been dining with François Hollande, the instructions would have been different?


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Yes, it would have.

                    This video is intended as a cultural (and table etiquette) lesson (it's all in French), but you can understand the gist, and of the point specifically raised about soup:


                    The soup segment starts at 1:30.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Definitely cute, but then our hostess, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, also did the scoop away, and sip from the side. Who would I be, to correct her?


                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                        Yes, because the English sip from the side of the spoon. I have no idea why you would correct her when she's doing it in the manner accepted as proper.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Based on our Protocol Instructor, plus the "cues" from our hostess, I felt that what I had always been taught was OK.

                          Maybe the Italians look at me sideways, or perhaps the French, but that is what I had always been taught, and had it reinforced, prior to that particular visit to the UK.

                          Now, I still can only do "Euro" utensils to a certain degree. My wife can swap between UK/US, and never miss a beat, but I can only do so much.

                          Same for chopsticks - she is delicate, very traditional, but struggles with tiny items. I am clumsy, laughable to any Asian, who knows chopsticks, but can pick up large items, or individual rice grains. Such is my life.


                          PS - All the best to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, on her recent health issues.

                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            the easiest thing to do is just hesitate for a moment and see what others are doing around you. Keep it subtle -- no staring or obvious gawking -- but it's pretty easy to fall back on observation if you're wondering which fork to use, whether to sip from the side or the tip of the spoon, or whether you're supposed to be drinking red or white with this course.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Remember, I am but a "daft Yank," so "gawking" sort of comes with the territory... [Grin]

                              Now, when it comes to wines with dinner courses, I am a bit of an iconoclast. Just last week, I bribed our server to get me an additional, clean glass, as I wanted both the red, and the white.

                              When dining out, it is not at all uncommon for us to have maybe 8 wine glasses in front of us - though that is seldom at a "State Dinner." There are maybe a dozen restaurants, both in the UK and the US, that seat us at a 6 - 8-top, due to our wine glasses.


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                <Remember, I am but a "daft Yank,">

                                I thought you were from Mississippi.

                                1. re: Jay F

                                  when you're outside the US, you're a Yankee, no matter where you were born.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    and IIRC he lives in AZ these days, wasn't even a state back when those lines were drawn...

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      That is correct. I think that I have living relatives, who are older than the State of Arizona. I know that my wife's major hospital is about 18 years older, than AZ is.

                                      By the time that we moved to AZ, they WERE a state, but not for THAT long.

                                      Coming from New Orleans, where history goes way back (but is very young by UK/Euro standards), we were amazed to read the history. It started in about 1960! I mean, how much history is THAT?

                                      Even in Denver, the "history" went back to the 1860's!

                                      Now, as my mom was DAR, there IS some history in the family, in the US. Most of the rest were hanged in UK/Euro, before they fled to the US. Luckily, there were few extradition laws, way back then, or my family would likely have just disappeared on the gallows...


                                  2. re: Jay F

                                    OK, I am but a "daft, daft Yank" then... with US English as my "second language."


                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                The Queen seemed to be doing fine, for a person of her age, upon her D-Day visit, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy her state dinner with François Hollande, complete with foie gras (which her eldest son disapproves of).

                                1. re: lagatta

                                  the Parisian papers said it's a particular favourite of hers.

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    <<You're not supposed to put the whole thing in your mouth.>>

                    Agreed. The spoon barely enters your mouth, mainly resting on your lower lip. The size is to deliver an appropriate amount of liquid in each bite.

                    I adore soup spoons, and all my sterling place settings: salad forks, seafood forks, serving utensils. They're so lovely to use on a daily basis with wonderful food.

                    Please research the difference in shape between cream spoons, gumbo spoons and soup spoons. The cream and gumbo spoons are smaller and rounder in shape, almost like a small circle. The oval shape of a soup spoon varies in size.

                    In any case, if your dislike of soup spoons is because they're too large to go into your mouth, they're not supposed to! But it's your choice to use soup spoons or not.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Perfectly stated! I can't believe all the discussion this thread has elicited!

                      1. re: josephnl

                        Me neither, I have had many regrets about ever starting it.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          regrets? really? it's been a cool thread. so easy to overlook the small things. as someone who did study industrial design for a while it's interesting to observe how simple tools are actually used.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Please harbor NO regrets.

                            It IS a good thread, though there are some differences of opinions. The discussions have been good, and pretty well focused.

                            No one has called me a four-letter word, at least not yet.

                            I think that it IS a good thread, and one well worth the bandwidth.

                            All diners are not created equal. All "soup spoons" are not created equal. All dining instances are not created equal. All personal preferences are not created equal. Such is life, and the discussion has been enlightening, entertaining, and hopefully useful to all, who read it.

                            Thank you FOR posting,


                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Yea, I've learned quite a lot about soup spoons. I felt a minor heart twinge with comments which made me feel like 1) a lunatic for not thinking they are clearly the spoon to be used to eat soup and 2) my parents failed to teach me proper etiquette. But, yes I never imagined it would be so extensive and interesting.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                I have enjoyed this thread. I discovered I eat soup wrong. I think I do it that way, putting nearly the entire spoon in my mouth tip-first, in order to avoid slurping.

                                Nothing is grosser IMO than slurping while you're eating, and I'll bet my grandmother, who taught me table manners, was of the same opinion, though I don't remember specifically being taught how to eat soup.

                                Because of this thread, I learned that the reason I hate one particular soup spoon I have, Tiago by Thomas O'Brien, is because it was made for side-sipping. There is no other way to use this soup spoon. It won't fit in my mouth.

                                Anyway, I would not have known this if it hadn't been for this thread, which I think has been a great success.

                                1. re: Jay F

                                  Are you saying you must slurp to side-sip? Slurping means you are using suction -- drawing in air noisily -- to vacuum the soup into your mouth. Side-sipping quietly is what you're after. The spoon rests on your lower lip, slightly inside your mouth. Your upper lip pushes the soup into your mouth. Also, you tilt the soup spoon upwards slightly so that gravity aids in transferring the soup from spoon to mouth.

                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                    I'll have to try that, Maria Lorraine. Thanks.

                                    To the slurpers: how do you get the soup into your mouth?

                                    1. re: Jay F

                                      this is why I don't like chunky soups. if we must, then give me a fork or some chopsticks as well.

                                    2. re: maria lorraine

                                      In training the grandkid, I tried to explain that rather than slurping or sucking in the soup, think of it like pouring the soup into your mouth. That seemed to make sense.

                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Predicated on this thread, while we were dining at Guy Savoy, I observed my wife's handling of the soup spoon on the soup course. Unlike me, she DOES rotate the spoon to sip from the tip. The utensils offered were not round (as several of our sets of flatware has), but oblong. I went from the side, and she rotated to use the tip. I mean, who knew?!?!?

                                    Thanks for the thread,


                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                  no, no! this has been really interesting! don't be sorry you asked a question. :)

                            2. re: sunshine842

                              You should not lump Europe together in your generalised statements. The way people eat soup in France is completely different to UK, for example, each country has different rules regarding etiquette, there is no standard European way to eat soup!

                              1. re: cdnsybarite

                                But there is a standard French way to eat soup and a standard UK way to eat soup? Really...and fascinating!! Please educate us? And do Parisians eat soup differently than diners in Provence?

                                1. re: cdnsybarite

                                  after having worked in Europe for a couple of decades, and lived there for several years, my observations of dining all across Europe have turned up no discernible difference.


                              2. re: Querencia

                                Yes, of course that's how you are supposed to use a soup spoon, I just find that an annoying way to eat soup. How about just use a regular spoon and eat the darn soup? Or use chopsticks for the solids and slurp the rest out of the bowl? These are much simpler and less fussy methods

                                1. re: Lmonach

                                  Thank you for voicing my opinion ever so clearly. This is exactly why I dislike them, it seems to make it more complicated than it needs to be and I just want to put the soup into my mouth.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Yes, because using a spoon as a delivery system is so needlessly complicated.

                                    1. re: ferret

                                      Ouch, it's the fact that unlike other eating utensils with a soup spoon I can't just stick the whole thing into my mouth but thanks for your opinion.

                              3. I have always preferred the soup spoon. In my current flatware, knifeforkspoon by Jasper Morrison, it is called the dinner spoon. I like it.

                                I was going to buy another set of flatware, Tiago, by Thomas O'Brien, but the soup spoon was unusable, in just such a way as the OP describes. The bowl is conspicuously deep (the edge hit the roof of my mouth), and shaped in such a way (sides so flat they're literally parallel to each other) I couldn't get it in my mouth comfortably.

                                My grandmother made sure I had proper table manners, and she never mentioned sipping from the side.

                                15 Replies
                                1. re: Jay F

                                  dip the soup from the far side of the bowl, lift to your lips and sip from the rim of the spoon.


                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    DH sometimes starts out eating his soup that way (but gives up after a few spoonsful), which just seems counter-intuitive to me. Why must I spoon it away from me when my mouth is the direction I want to aim for?
                                    Table manners are a wonderful thing, but sometimes these etiquette rules are just plain silly.

                                    1. re: jmcarthur8

                                      not counter-intuitive at all. You spoon away from you so that any drips waiting to happen, happen over the bowl, and not down your chin (or your clothes)

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        I thought about that, too, sunshine, and it does make sense....but it's just so awkward!

                                        1. re: jmcarthur8

                                          not when that's the way you were taught, or the way to which you've become accustomed.

                                  2. re: Jay F

                                    wow JayF - Jasper Morrison is one of my very favorite industrial designers, there's exactly zero ego in his work (unlike a certain Philippe S.). I've been watching his output for about 15 years now.

                                    that said, soup spoons really only work for clear and strained broth. no solids.

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      What do you use instead of a soup spoon? (Except for that Tiago soup spoon, I've never had a single issue with a single soup spoons in my life.)

                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        I suppose I was replying more to those who feel the need to jam the whole spoon into their mouths, which is not needed for broth and being the minimalist I am (please ref the J. Morrison appreciation above. god I love his torsion box chair from around 1990 or so http://www.bonluxat.com/a/Jasper_Morr...)

                                        for eating, a smaller delivery vehicle is preferable for 'chunky' soups than a bowl-ish spoon.

                                        1. re: hill food

                                          That's a nice looking chair, but just having the one bar across the top to rest your back on, well, it looks as if it might be uncomfortable.

                                          The Jasper Morrison knifeforkspoon spoons come in five sizes (in descending order): table, dessert, tea, coffee, mocha. The set comes with the table (7.75") and coffee spoons (5"). I use the table spoon for soup. I ought to buy the dessert spoon (6.75"), too.

                                          The handles are thin compared to what you're probably used to on other flatware--or let's say they're more minimal than the handles on most flatware.


                                          1. re: Jay F

                                            I have a hunch it wasn't designed for lounging or a bad posture requiring back support.

                                            I like small handles, at my Mother's (where there are several co-mingled sets of daily ware) I have been known to re-set my place when the flatware has been found un-acceptable.

                                            1. re: hill food

                                              You should probably try knifeforkspoon. I find the spoons a particular joy to use, but I like the entire set. I chose the thinner, one-piece knife after buying one of each. It really does feel better in my hand.

                                              fitzsu.com is the most dependable retailer. eBay and amazon have a seller or sellers who want 4x the MSRP for each piece. Avoid entirely.

                                              Also, there's a restaurant here that seats you in Jasper Morrison's Air chair. http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/cor...

                                      2. re: hill food

                                        And I thought you were speaking of Jim Morrison. I think he would condemn plastic sporks.

                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                          I sort of wonder if Jim Morrison ever actually ate any solid foods.

                                          1. re: hill food

                                            That is a good question. He inhaled many.

                                    2. There are different shapes for soupspoons, and the larger spoon included in most common place settings is not the best shape, because it is not specifically for soup. Have you tried the ones with a rounder shape?


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        Yea, actually I feel like I've seen those more than the others and find them just as awkward.

                                      2. Agree. I do like the asian spoons, off-white , oblong, with a flat bottom (can anyone post a pic?), which can also serve for single-bite appetizers. Fit quite nicely in my mouth, and do not have the thermal properties of metal.

                                        11 Replies
                                          1. re: mwhitmore

                                            I use those spoons as well as the traditional ones at home, and I also actually prefer using the porcelain ones, especially when no one is looking (because they do not match the rest of the dinnerware unless I am eating Asian style!)

                                            The porcelain/ceramic spoons do not burn my lips like the metal ones do, and the very slightly pointed shape and deeper bowl seem to make it easier to get the soup into the mouth without spilling.

                                            1. re: vil

                                              These are my 2nd favorite for soup. First preference is a squared off melamine spoon
                                              It's a handy shape both for cooking and eating soup, larger volume than a teaspoon, but not as wide as a soup spoon.

                                              It is also a good design for skimming fat.

                                              1. re: vil

                                                The porcelain Chinese spoons are just so very awkward--watch the judges on The Taste--even experienced "eaters" look clunky using those things!

                                                1. re: pine time

                                                  Are they incorrectly putting the side of the spoon to their lips?

                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    That's because people started using these spoons as mini dishes for bite size foods.

                                                    These are suppose to be use for soups, and you are suppose to sip from the side of the spoon.

                                                2. re: mwhitmore

                                                  how can you cram one of those in your mouth? I thought you were supposed to sip from the side, as everyone I know does...

                                                    1. re: Sarah

                                                      From the side? That usually makes a mess. My family and I sip from the front as the girl in the video below does.

                                                    2. re: mwhitmore

                                                      This is the only soup spoon I have ever known. So I know for sure I was never taught the American/English way with those soup spoons. And one time when I was living with other Americans, they preferred those spoons for their soup over any other spoon in the house.

                                                      1. re: mwhitmore

                                                        Those are what I thought the original post was referring to and I was really confused by all the hate. Those spoons are the best! I would never dream of using another spoon to eat soup at home. And I can't remember the last time I ordered soup in a non-Asian restaurant, so flatware soup spoons aren't even on my radar.

                                                      2. Yes, I use soup spoons for soup.

                                                        BUT>>>>there are shapes and sizes of soup spoons for specific types of soup. If you find the large oval soup spoon to be too large, then try a smaller round cream soup spoon.

                                                        Also, the shape of the spoon makes it easier to eat from different shaped soup bowls and plates. A large flat bowled oval soup spoon is perfect for eating a broth from a shallow soup plate, while a cream soup spoon is great for eating a cream of mushroom soup from a cup or mug.

                                                        I have many flatware sets. My 'holiday sterling' service has a 12 piece place setting with 3 different soup spoons.

                                                        1. Yes, I use them all the time. For soup but also for scooping things out of jars as well as using them as serving spoons for small dishes at the dining table.

                                                          As others have mentioned, when they are functioning as serving spoons, I don't shove the whole thing in my mouth but tilt it to "pour" soup in. Being a larger, flatter vessel, the soup cools a bit while in the soup spoon and that is good because I serve my soups hot, usually.

                                                          1. I'm going to be watching people eat soup now everywhere I go for I can't say how long.

                                                            It's like the way I'm helpless to not check out everyone's eyeglasses. It's the first thing I see when I look at a person, mainly because eyewear got so atrocious-looking sometime during the last decade.

                                                            1. I don't use soup spoons for eating. I prefer teaspoons for soup and cereal.

                                                              1. How in the world does someone put an entire tablespoonful of hot soup in their mouth? Even if you could fit it in their, wouldn't you burn yourself?

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Steve

                                                                  But you will still burn your mouth sipping from the side of the spoon, if the soup is too hot. Believe me, I know this from experience! I am apparently more sensitive than most people, because I can burn myself on the same soup that others are eating happily. Yes, getting the soup to the correct temperature _for_you_ , without burning your mouth in the process, is a major problem. And the reason I usually avoid soup.

                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                    i love my soups scalding hot, the only way i really enjoy them...i ether have built an intolerance to heat in my mouth...or it's in my korean genes :-)

                                                                  2. Yes. My focus is always on the soup not the spoon.

                                                                    1. Soup spoons are essential for certain kinds of soups such as vegetable, chicken noodle and Scotch broth. But for the soups that are creams, consomme or broths I find it much more convenient to serve them in a cup or mug.
                                                                      Of course maybe I'm the only one who dribbles with the liquidy soups.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: mexivilla

                                                                        but that's highly unlikely at a restaurant or as a guest...unless you're on very familiar terms with the hosts.

                                                                      2. I like soup spoons. I don't particularly like to eat soup with regular spoons - especially something chunky.

                                                                        I also miss Italian restaurants that would provide a spoon for twirling your pasta. Anyone else like the twirling spoon?

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                          I still use a fork and spoon for my spaghetti

                                                                          1. re: Kalivs

                                                                            I don't know anyone that doesn't.

                                                                            1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                                              I don't. I eat it the Italian way.

                                                                          2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                            We serve a fork, knife and "soup" spoon when we serve spaghetti or linguine at our restaurant. And we're just a bar with food, not fine dining nor "authentic" Italian dining.

                                                                            Should the customer not prefer to wind his/her spaghetti or other pasta using the spoon, it's taken up with the rest of the place-setting and washed. How wasteful could that be?

                                                                            Also, I have never, in 30 years of restaurant service, had a customer ask for a smaller spoon for his/her soup. In fact, the opposite is what often happens; the server's lazy and pulls out a teaspoon instead of a soup spoon, which results in a management complaint...

                                                                          3. I guess my parents just never taught me how to use a soup spoon correctly though I still don't like the practice of tilting the contents into my mouth. I get the idea and it makes sense with a food which is usually fairly hot but I guess it's just a personal preference.

                                                                            1. I think similar to the fork debate about how some people place the fork in their mouth upward and remove the contents into their mouths others take the fork and place it in their mouth "upside down" and remove the contents into their mouth in a downward motion.

                                                                              Perhaps you can try the same method with your soup spoon. Instead of the conventional way try flipping it last minute perhaps you will find this method more pleasing.

                                                                              Please report back after you have tried this!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                That's how my brother always ate his ice cream or pudding. He would flip the spoon just as he put it in his mouth. He grew out of it, expect when my mother was watching because it drove her crazy.

                                                                              2. I like my soup pretty hot, so I personally don't like the big wide flat bowls that soup typically comes in at nicer Euro/Western restaurants. By the time I get to the bottom of the bowl the soup is barely warmish. Especially in a restaurant setting where I should be paying some attention to conversation, friends etc... I get quite focused on my soup instead, trying to eat it while it is hot :) At home I have these narrow, deep soup bowls that actually narrow at the top (sort of rounded hexagon shape), I find that much better.

                                                                                1. I hate them. I understand the idea of sipping from the spoon but for me it feels a lot more like slurping, which bothers me. I would much rather have a regular shaped spoon that I can place wholly and securely into my mouth without worrying that I'm dribbling broth down my chin.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl


                                                                                    Not to mention, like a few others mentioned above, it's a little difficult to tip/pour/slurp a thick soup like a chowder or beef stew, especially if if has chunks in it.

                                                                                  2. I much prefer eating soup directly from a ladle. It seems to be just the right size!

                                                                                    1. I use soup spoons. They serve a purpose.
                                                                                      As a matter of fact I have a favorite soup spoon my Grandfather always used that is my "go to" in the drawer when needed.

                                                                                      1. I love the 2 old soup spoons-they are silver and worn down, but large and deep-I can't find any quite as nice.

                                                                                        1. I hate them, and only use them when all of the regular spoons are dirty (which is often).

                                                                                          My fiance, however, would rather use a soup spoon than a regular one for whatever he's eating. The smaller one gives you "just enough to piss you off", as he says. He tried to make me buy 22-oz glasses instead of 16-oz ones for the same reason, and even that's small to the cups he likes to use. Grew up eating/drinking really big portions of everything. (He also likes his forks to have nice long tines so he can spear more food in every bite. It's quite silly, really.)

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                            Meanwhile I'd use a cocktail fork to eat a steak if I could.

                                                                                            1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                              I guess I'm a fussy old catlady, but that would be a relationship breaker. I can't abide those gigantic North American cups and glasses.

                                                                                              But long tines tend to be European, as the fork is turned upside-down in North American terms. My favourite fork is like a miniature version of the Euro type, with relatively long tines, but very small over all.

                                                                                            2. Absolutely we use soup spoons. And large ones; "tablespoons" to some.

                                                                                              I think it's the only hospitable way to serve a liquid, which otherwise would take an eternity to eat.

                                                                                              I gotta laugh at someone who's so dainty he/she can't manage anything more than a teaspoon of bouillon, noodle soup nor chowder at a gulp.

                                                                                              Soup spoons can be used neatly and politely.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: shaogo

                                                                                                Well, laugh away. I have a small mouth and enjoy tasting my food, not trying to cram in more than I feel comfortable with and having to gulp it down.

                                                                                              2. Soup spoons are a pet peeve of mine...They are usually TOO SMALL for my taste...barely distinguishable from teaspoons at times...Having said that..I dont like the "round" cream soup style spoon...it just feels unatural especially if the bowl of the spoon is too deep...I like the elongated oval soup spoons that have a gradual slope into the bowl of the spoon...Thats alot about spoons! but wait,theres more!! I "prefer" sterling but at least silver plate spoons...real silver dinnerware has a totally different feel on your lips when you eat with it...its like satin...Genearally speaking,real silver is more carefully made and has a balance to it that stainless steel often does not and the feel of that utensil in your hand heightens your dining experince...so drag that set of silver or silver plate out of the china cabinet and polish it up and USE IT...The more you use it the less you have to polish it!! And dont wash it in the dishwasher (terrible) Wash and dry it by hand...

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: flamale863

                                                                                                  Too small, I've found just the opposite but mostly I'm referring to the round cream soup style spoon. I have been on a soup kick lately and my lovely regular spoons work perfectly even when the soup is pretty hot, I guess I can understand the intended purpose of a soup spoon but just doesn't work for me.

                                                                                                2. For me, it depends 100% on the design of the soup spoon. Some are perfect, while others are not so good.


                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                    +1. I use the soup spoons in my tableware set more than the tea spoons. In other sets I've owned the soup spoons are too round, too deep, too something... :)

                                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                      I am with you. The design of the soup spoon is very important.

                                                                                                      When we're shopping for flatware, we look at all of the ergonomics, possible. Some are quite lovely, and I'd buy them, just for their art - until one considers that they will actually be used. Form should follow function, as Buckey Fuller stated decades ago.

                                                                                                      We also judge down on dinnerware, that is not as functional, as beautiful, when dining out. Some make a great presentation, but that is where the value stops. They can be dreadful to eat from, especially with utensils. Same for wine stemware - a 2' tall, hand-blown flute might look great, until one tries to use it.


                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                        sorry to be a wet blanket, but...

                                                                                                        while Bucky was of the school "form=function", it's often attributed to Mies van der Rohe (but he stole a lot of quotes) and it traces farther back. the earliest I've seen it directly expressed was by Adolf Loos who proclaimed "Ornament is Crime" although, once while he had hand-embroidered bedroom slippers for a client, on a later follow-up visit excoriated the client for wearing them outside of the bedroom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Loos

                                                                                                        although I suppose one might interpret the sentiment behind the sensibilities of Joseph Paxton (Crystal Palace) and those before as such.

                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                          My understanding is that it is generally attributed to Louis Sullivan, (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_fol...) for at least popularizing the phrase, if not coining it

                                                                                                          Mies is typically credited with the closely aligned aphorism that "less is more."

                                                                                                          1. re: masha

                                                                                                            I have a hunch Mies swiped that one too. he also claimed "god is in the details" and that goes back farther than the Renaissance. I'll believe you on Sullivan, it's hard today to see that for its time, his work was indeed a direct expression of the structure.

                                                                                                          2. re: hill food

                                                                                                            Nothing wrong with taking a great concept, and adapting it to the times.


                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                              OK as long we don't start analyzing Fibonacci diagrams in regards to DNA strands as represented in pasta. or the structure of a honeycomb. 'K?

                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                Heck, being a bumpkin from Mississippi, who knew that pasta had DNA?

                                                                                                                Gotta' bow to you.


                                                                                                          3. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                            Perhaps this is my problem, I've only encountered 1 maybe 2 types of soup spoons which seem to be minor variations on each other.

                                                                                                      2. I don't like most soup spoons because too much sloshes over after you dip them into soup. I definitely never use a teaspoon, it takes me too long to eat w/ a teaspoon. My preference is Chinese soup spoons. Between work and house guests mine have mysteriously disappear.

                                                                                                        I have one friend who uses a small ladle. When I was younger I would have been aghast, now I think it's endearing.

                                                                                                        Lately I have been eating the solids first and drinking the broth, For other soups I wait til it cools off and drink it if I am at a casual place or home.

                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                          A well-designed, proper soup spoon should be used in this manner.

                                                                                                          Dip into soup from near to far.
                                                                                                          Do not fill the bowl to overflowing.
                                                                                                          Draw to mouth, and sip from the side.

                                                                                                          Now, an improperly designed soup spoon is a task, and should not be used.


                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                            I completely understand the intent of the idea. It works for some, doesn't work for me. My regular spoon works fine and I can use it like every other spoon. My mom hates soup without a soup spoon and I hate it with so to each his/her own I guess. In public, I will just use a soup spoon if that's all I am offered, no use to request something different but at home, regular spoon it is.

                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                              I think that it might well depend on THE soup spoon. Some are useless utensils, where others are things of beauty.


                                                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                in the UK and US, Hunt. On mainland Europe, you sip from the tip of the spoon.

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  Sorry, but in the US, you sip from the side of a soup spoon.


                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                    I also just pulled my notes from some years ago, concerning soup spoons in the UK.

                                                                                                                    My wife was receiving an appointment from Her Magesty, Queen Elizabeth, and the event culminated with a formal dinner. As that was our first visit to the UK, and as it was a big deal, at least for us, we hired a Protocol Instructor, whose father had been Ambassador to Great Britain. I needed this more than my wife did, as she had adopted a Euro-style with her utensils, already, where I had not.

                                                                                                                    For the soup spoon, the instructions are the same, as for the US - "fill the bowl of the spoon partially, in a motion going away from the diner, then with the spoon perpendicular to the center line of the diner, it will be drawn straight toward the lips, and one will sip from the side." The spoon is not turned 90 degrees, to sip from the tip.

                                                                                                                    Now, maybe things have changed, since the 1990's?


                                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                      not unless the Queen is suddenly no longer from the UK, as I mentioned above.

                                                                                                              2. I prefer Thai soup spoons. They are the same shape as the porcelain Chinese version, except that they're made of stainless steel and are slightly smaller. The better grades cost a couple bucks for a dozen or so. Found in Thai and other Asian grocery stores.

                                                                                                                1. I love soup and I also love my soup spoons. I inherited a set very similar to the ones in this photo:


                                                                                                                  I recently found a stainless set very similar and was quick to scoop them up.

                                                                                                                  Perhaps it was because when I was young, the English silver soup spoons were only brought out for special occasions that I love them so. (otherwise my mother converted to the oval dinner spoon typically found in North American cutlery sets)

                                                                                                                  All that said, I also have, and love, some of the porcelain Asian soup spoons that I use when I'm serving Asian soups ... of course!

                                                                                                                  1. this thread made me very counscious of how I used my soup spoon (and the shape of the spoon) when I ate my chicken noodle soup at lunch! :)

                                                                                                                    1. OK, I really don't get what the op is saying. If you don't know how to use, or don't like soup spoons, use something else...a teaspoon or whatever. What's the issue??

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                        It's not an issue, I just wondered if anyone else disliked them. I don't see the point as I find a teaspoon works quite well. It was a question of interest - "is it just me?"

                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          I paid attention last night as I ate soup to how I actually ate it. First, I used a regular (oval, not very deep) soup spoon, and it seems I go from front to back and lift up a rather full spoon of soup, which I put in my mouth front-first, rather than side-sipping.

                                                                                                                          I tried side-sipping, and it's absolutely unnatural to me. I wonder if slurpers are side-sippers.

                                                                                                                          I don't slurp, won't slurp, consider mouth noise the absolute height of impolitesse (unless you're a mouthbreather, of course). Instead, I put the entire soup spoon in my mouth, then remove the spoon as I swallow.

                                                                                                                          I can't imagine not liking -- or liking, for that matter -- a soup spoon. They simply are. I use them when I eat soup. When I read the original post in this thread was the first time I ever considered whether it was possible for me to dislike a spoon, or how I used said spoon.

                                                                                                                          But now I know for sure I do not dislike the soup spoon at all (except for a particular deformed one I may have mentioned upthread).

                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                            I think it is. I've never heard anyone make such a complaint before.

                                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl

                                                                                                                              Some people don't like a food that you do and can't understand or prefer certain tines on forks (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/415862). It's not an issue, it's a preference.

                                                                                                                        2. I used to hate all soup spoons save the porcelain spoons found in many Asian restaurants. It's nonreactive, imparts no taste, doesn't loan itself to spillage, and generally of the size that doesn't require a gaping yawn to use it.

                                                                                                                          I used to until I was given a soup spoon at a restaurant in Ontario cottage country. I had something in my hand that didn't require the balance of a Cirque du Soleil employee to get soup from bowl to mouth. I was so excited (and we were returning from vacation anyway), we drove 90 minutes to the nearest Ikea and bought the set immediately. Yep, Ikea so the price is student friendly, shall we say. I've been happy ever since.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: Googs

                                                                                                                            Which style? The Dragon? (very nice design for something that cheap, and unlike their furniture, can't fall apart).

                                                                                                                          2. FLDHKYBNVA,
                                                                                                                            I'm sorry some of the comments felt bad to you. I was raised by wolves and commit so many faux pas the etiquette authors dedicate books to me. My Aunt taught me to eat pea soup "like a lady" when I was in 6th grade. I thought I was ready to teach a charm school class!

                                                                                                                            I like soup spoons for "properly" scooping away from me and daintily sipping the contents of broth or cream soup from the side into my patiently waiting mouth. But at home, eating my chunky minestrone I use a spoon that fits into my improper, impatient mouth...oh WAIT that would be what is commonly called a tablespoon! This I accomplish by a rabbit like method that delivers the beans-veggies-ground sausage right where it belongs. Even better for this is the flat bottomed Asian spoon. It's neither proper nor attractive and I don't much care. For years I thought my gregarious, soup-loving husband was odd for requesting a mug and a teaspoon for my hearty soups, which he often enjoys while watching the news. Not odd, merely efficient. He piles a teaspoon high and eats like its a solid, the spoon disappearing into his appreciative mouth. In public we are more civilized. At home, it's all about the food.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                                              Thanks, but of course all opinions are welcome. I am quite the clutz with the flat-bottomed Asian spoon as well

                                                                                                                            2. Yes, I use soup spoons.

                                                                                                                              You're not supposed to cram the whole spoon into your mouth.

                                                                                                                              1. what do you mean by "soup spoon? There are the dessert spoons palmed off as "table spoons," but round bullion, cream, chowder, gumbo, and others according to use. Good God, but I'll bet you don't know which way to tip your bowl, either western nor eastern!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                  In my head I had standard restaurant the more circle shaped spoon on the table, the one you'd find in any standard cafeteria or mess hall. Clearly, you're more sophisticated than I am.

                                                                                                                                2. I suggest you don't try eating salad with a salad fork and spoon.

                                                                                                                                  1. The round shaped soup spoons are for 3 different dishes. The small round spoon is for bullion or a clear soup that would be served in a bullion cup, the little bowls that have handles on each side. It is also permisable to pick up the bullion cup and to sip from it. These have pretty much gone out of favor. Those little handles get broken off easily.

                                                                                                                                    Next is the cream soup spoon which is larger and would be served in a deeper bowl, no, picking it up and sipping directly from the bowl is not acceptable.

                                                                                                                                    The largest is a gumbo spoon.

                                                                                                                                    The oval bowl soup spoon, just larger than a teaspoon, is usually what one would get with other soups, chunkier etc. A spoon larger than it would be a serving spoon. They were, at one time available in 2 sizes. In some cases there is even a larger spoon known as a rice, casserole, or stuffing spoon. The stuffing spoon is about 12.5"

                                                                                                                                    The other posters were correct when they told you that the entire spoon is not put in your mouth. You sip from the side of the spoon.

                                                                                                                                    More on round bowl spoons. I neglected to mention egg spoons. They are one of the smallest round bowl spoons. They are for scooping egg out of the shell of a soft cooked spoon.

                                                                                                                                    1. I use soup spoons 90% of the time I am eating with a spoon.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. I have no problem with any shape of spoon but I cannot abide slurping. I do not do it and don't want to hear it - which means I will never tour the Orient, I know!

                                                                                                                                        For those who worry about dripping when sipping from the side of the spoon: once the spoon is full and has been lifted out of the soup, dip the bowl partway back in, then lift it out to your mouth. This type of "double-dipping" allows fluid dynamics to pull away the liquid on the bottom of the spoon (or ladle) so it won't drip. This means that filling the spoon by moving it away from you - theoretically this is to scrape off the bottom to lessen dripping - is unnecessary. It doesn't work as well on thick chowders/purees, but those are slow enough to drip that odds are you'll get the spoon to your mouth before any drips have a chance to fall.

                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: greygarious


                                                                                                                                          I was taught that filling the spoon by moving it away from you just gives you a better chance of dripping in the bowl, rather than down the front of your shirt.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                            It doesn't seem logical to me, either, and I couldn't care less if my spoon goes up, down or sideway.
                                                                                                                                            My oh my, how hard is using a spoon, assuming we've all been using them since we were 3 or so?
                                                                                                                                            it's just not that hard!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                                              I know...and for most of us a spoon was the *first* utensil we learned to use....!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                Sad to think you could be using them wrong for so long.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                                  and geez, I didn't know I was suppose to hate them....

                                                                                                                                          2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                            That's a good tip. I learned that one when plating food for banquets. Dip the base of the ladle into the sauce to pull off the drips before saucing the food.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                              Not all table manners are affectations!

                                                                                                                                            2. Straw. Suck it up. Spoons are so 20th century.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. You're not meant to put the entire soup spoon in your mouth?? Try eating breakfast cereal without putting the entire soup spoon in your mouth!!! Solution? Buy a few melamine plastic Chinese soup spoons. They are the best for eating soup and cereal, but you still need to keep a napkin handy just in case.