Whether it’s soup, cereal or ice cream you’re eating you need your good ol’ trusty spoon! It’s one of the oldest eating utensils on Earth dating as far back as the Paleolithic period. But did you know that there’s more to the spoon?! Keep on reading and we’ll spoon you up 25 facts.
Fact 1: A spoon is a cooking utensil, that has a shallow oval shape located at the end of its handle.
- It’s an essential type of cutlery that is used primarily for serving.
Fact 2: You can use spoons in food preparation, including mixing, stirring and tossing ingredients.
- Modern-day spoons are made from metal, wood, porcelain, and plastic.
Fact 3: There are over 50 different types of spoons around the world!
- This includes dessert spoons, baby spoons, teaspoons, tablespoons, and soup spoons.
Fact 4: Both the Greek and Latin words for spoon come from the word “cochlea” which is a spiral-shaped snail shell.
- The Anglo-Saxon meaning for the word “spoon” means a “splinter of wood or chip”.
Fact 5: Archaeological evidence suggests that spoons with handles were used for ancient Egyptian religious purposes as early as 1000 BC.
- Most spoons at that time were made from ivory, flint, wood, or slate. The spoons were also covered in ornate decorations and hieroglyphics.
Fact 6: It was common to find bronze and silver spoons in the homes of the wealthy during the Greek and Roman empires.
- This remained true up to, and through the Middle Ages.
Fact 7: The first documented evidence of spoons being used in England was in 1259.
- It was an essential item in King Edward I’s cupboard.
Fact 8: Much like the Egyptians, spoons in Britain during the 1200s were also used in ornate ceremonies.
- Apart from being an eating utensil, spoons also symbolised wealth and power. For instance, before the coronation of every British king, the new monarch has to be anointed by a ceremonial spoon.
Fact 9: During the Stuart and Tudor periods, it was common for people to give spoons as a christening gift.
- This is known as an “Apostle Spoon”.
Fact 10: The rich would send a gift of 12 spoons to a christened child and their parents. If you were poor you would only send 1 spoon to them.
- A 13th spoon can be added eventually and this is called the “Master Spoon”. It also bores the figure of Jesus Christ.
Fact 11: Spoons only became a staple of modern tables during the 18th century.
- Spoons came in different variety, from soup spoons to caviar spoons.
Fact 12: Modern derivatives of spoons called “sporks” and “sporfs” now exist.
- They combine the bowl of the spoon with the tines of the fork, and the cutting edge of a knife.
Fact 13: Spoons are often used to measure food.
- Aside from baking, spoons are usually used to give medicines to patients as you can create a spoon that suits the dosage of the medicine.
Fact 14: Spoons are also sold as souvenirs and as a collector’s item all over the world.
- Some antique spoons can sell for $2500.
Fact 15: Today’s method of manufacturing metal spoons starts with a flat metal sheet that is cut and shaped into spoons using dies.
- For machine-made spoons, the basic shape is cut out from a sheet of sterling silver, nickel silver alloy or stainless steel.
Fact 16: When you stir a spoon, people generally make a circular motion as this can prevent ingredients from sticking to the bowl.
- Mixed drinks may be “muddled” by working a spoon to crush and mix ingredients such as mint and sugar on the bottom of a glass or mixer.
Fact 17: In the 18th century, spoons along with forks and knives were often stored in knife boxes.
- These boxes are usually made out of wood, have a sloping top, and feature ornate designs.
Fact 18: On the table, an ornamental utensil called a “nef”, shaped like a ship, would hold a napkin, a knife and a spoon.
- Some nefs were used either purely for decoration or to hold some sort of condiment.
Fact 19: In 2009, the short-film “Spoon” featured a murderer that used spoons as his weapon of choice.
- It currently has over 34 million views on Youtube and has won various Youtube awards such as being the #5 – Top Favorited of all time in Film & Animation and the #11 Top Rated of all time in Film & Animation.
Fact 20: Pictures of spoons were featured in the 2003 movie “The Room”.
- The film featured numerous photos of silver spoons in various settings.
Fact 21: Spoons are commonly paired with forks.
- Forks are kitchen utensils that come with a long handle, this handle ends with a head that branches into several narrow and slightly curved tines. Forks are used to spear food or to hold them when cutting with a knife.
Fact 22: During Medieval Europe, spoons were made from cow horns, wood, brass and pewter.
- It was around the 15th century when durable metal spoons started replacing wooden spoons.
Fact 23: Spoons also had religious functions.
- A Cochlear spoon is a religious spoon of the Eastern Orthodox Church that is used to serve consecrated wine.
Fact 24: There’s also a type of spoon specifically designed for eating caviar.
- A Caviar spoon is usually made from mother of pearls, gold, wood or animal horn because silver tends to change the taste of caviar.
Fact 25: The world’s largest spoon collection has over 5,400 spoons in it.
- You can find the vast collection at the Passaic County Historical Society’s Lambert Castle Museum in Paterson, New Jersey.