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Oct 24, 2013 06:12 PM

Flatware alternatives

HI all-

There are many forums on which stainless steel flatware to buy but I haven't found much on alternatives to stainless steel. I read that stainless steel is both reactive and corrosive, has some properties that can change the flavor of foods (true?) and, I know, holds heat for a long time. Plus, the 18/10 Oneida stuff I bought 3 years ago looked great out of the package but now is faded, has scratches and hardly seems presentable.

I always like the ceramic spoons I get at Asian restaurants and even the single use wooden chopsticks seem to feel better in the mouth. So, is there any sort of flatware out there made of wood or something othere stainless steel that someone would recommend?

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  1. I've got 18/10 stainless flatware that's probably ten years old and goes in the DW all the time and still looks good. I don't know about reactivity.

    1. I had some bronze flatware once, but it needed hand washing. Looked fabulous with my Blue Willow plates, I'll give it that.

      Seriously, stainless steel is one of the most durable materials for flatware and serving ware. Like c oliver noted about hers, my 6 year old flatware still looks great. Yes, it's got some scratches, but it's certainly not faded.

      FWIW, stainless steel is prized for being non-reactive.

      1. I've been using the same Oneida Community stainless for about 45 years, and can't relate to what you are writing. I also have basic bamboo chopsticks which I've had almost as long. If you want wooden utensils, I suggest you just use those.

        9 Replies
        1. re: GH1618

          Good point- bamboo chopsticks are infinitely reusable and washable in the dishwasher. After a year or so if they get stained you can use them for your gardening. They have lots of uses.

          1. re: EWSflash

            The fancy enameled ones make excellent hair picks. I used to wind my wet hair into a bun-type thing, stick a pair of pretty chopsticks through it, and head to work. It would stay perfect all day long.

            1. re: DuffyH

              i know -- and there are some beautiful designs! ;-).

              1. re: alkapal

                And if you have a teeny-tiny drill bit, drill a hole in the thick end, and you've got a place to hang all those orphan earrings you can't bear to throw away...

            2. re: EWSflash

              EWSflash, good point about the bamboo. I wonder if they make fork, knife, spoon out of bamboo? Hmmm, I new point of research here. Thank you.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Hi DuffyH-

                  I finally bought some bamboo utensils albeit not the ones listed above but some from my local specialty kitchen store here in Portland, Maine- LeRoux Kitchen.

                  The mouthfeel is incredible, the taste of my food seems enhanced (or maybe just entirely natural being unadultered by stainless steel) and an added bonus (that has probably become my favorite feature) is that bamboo doesn't hold heat or cold like stainless does. This means that when eating soup the utensil doesn't trap heat and burn the lips or tongue and when eating, say, ice cream the spoon isn't frigid and unpleasant to the touch.

                  Here's the only problem: the bamboo grains have started to fray a bit. I assume from washing. They were relatively inexpensive to buy so it's not a huge deal. The other thing is they are shaped kinda weird. Oblong, kind of more utilitarian than pleasant. I'm willing to make that trade though for now. Still hoping something better pops up.

                  1. re: spection

                    I'm glad you like the bamboo. Try treating it with a beeswax and mineral oil cream. Food safe, it will help the utensils last longer.

                    Even a simple mineral oil rub will from time to time will help.

                    1. re: spection

                      Without rereading the entire thread, it occurs to me that I don't think anyone suggested melamine or nylon utensils. Are those something you'd use?

              1. I have had Oneida Community stainless for 35 years and my mother's stainess is at least 55 years old, all in great shape even though it has all been in the dishwasher. They both have a satin finish which does hide the scratches and they probably have now developed their own patina of life. I have seen stainless rust but it was a lower grade. I have some silver too but it is much more reactive.