The Hierarchy of Utensils

4. Chopsticks

There is just better technology out there, namely the other three items on the list.  Even a set of tongs beats chopsticks.  If you’re insisting on using them to adhere to the authenticity of the dish, you should reevaluate.  If you use them because you say, “I’m good with chopsticks,” then you should consider that just because someone is good with a rotary phone, it doesn’t mean they should keep using it.

3. Fork

Good for stabbing.  The tines really provide an advantage.  And if you really think about it, the fork is basically just four really small chopsticks.  The ranking of the fork vs. the spoon was a hotly contested subject within the writer’s office, but ultimately it was decided you can eat more things with a spoon that you can eat with a fork rather than vice-versa (see item #2 for further detail).

2. Spoon

A small cup on the end of a stick.  Pretty genius really.  As mentioned in item #3, the decision between using a fork or a spoon can be vexing, but the spoon usually wins.  When I see people eating mac and cheese or fried rice with a fork, I think, “Hey, friend, you could be getting more of that into your face faster with a spoon.”  The spoon is also essential for soup and cereal.

1.  Spork

It combines all the advantages of both the fork and spoon as the portmanteau suggests.  The first believed precursor to the sprork was patented by Samuel W. Francis in 1874.  Francis’ design included a knife-edge on the utensil, which means he must have forgotten you need to stick it in your mouth.  My experience with the spork originates with Taco Bell.  The Bell is one of the great innovators of our time in the culinary world, so it’s no surprise that they are also providing state-of-the-art utensils.  Additionally the Taco Bell spork is made  from durable plastic and can either be discarded, recycled or even reused making it a winner for people of all environmental proclivities.


Now, I’m sure there’s a smartass reading this thinking, “Oh, yeah, sure buddy, try to eat spaghetti with a spork.”  To that person I say, “It’s easier than eating cottage cheese with chopsticks.  And I know because I’ve tried both.”


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