Random Topic: Spoons

   Spoons are part of a category of utensils called flatware, or most commonly, silverware. They are a utensil comprised of a small bowl, (Head) oval or round connected to a handle. Present-day spoons are made of metal, wood, porcelain, or plastic. They are used to measure, mix, stir, and toss ingredients when used for cooking.

   Preserved examples of early spoons used by the Ancient Egyptians were made of ivory, flint, stone, and wood; mostly with religious symbols. During the Neolithic Ozieri civilization in Sardinia, ceramic ladles and spoons were already in use. In Shang Dynasty China, spoons were made from bone. Early bronze spoons in China were designed with a sharp point and may have been used as cutlery. The Greek and Roman spoons were made of bronze and silver, and the handle was usually in the shape of a pointed spike or a stem, and there are many examples in the British Museum in which this is represented.

         In the early Muslim world, spoons were used for eating soup. In Medieval times, spoons for domestic use were made of cow horn or wood, but brass, pewter, and latten spoons made their debut in the 1400’s. The full descriptions and entries about silver spoons owned by royalty imply that they were rare.

        The earliest known English reference is in a will from the 13th century. In the wardrobe account of Edward I for the year 1300 some gold and silver spoons marked with the fleur-de-lis, the Paris mark, are mentioned. One of the most interesting spoons in known history is the coronation spoon from the anointing of the English Sovereign.

Apostle Spoons

       The sets of Apostle Spoons, used mostly as christening presents in the Tudor times, the handles of which terminate in busts or heads of the apostles, are a special form to which antiquarian interest attaches. The earlier English spoons end with an acorn, plain knob, or a diamond; at the end of the 1500’s, baluster and seal endings became more common, the bowl being fig-shaped. During The Restoration, the handles became broad and flat, the bowl broad and oval, and the end is cut into “The Hind’s Foot”. In the first quarter of the 1700’s, the bowl becomes narrow and elliptical, with a tongue or a rat’s tail at the bottom, and the handle gets turned up at the end. The modern version, with the tip of the bowl narrower than the base and the rounded side of the handle turned down, came into use in the 1760’s.

       Spoons are used primarily for eating liquid or semi-liquid foods, such as soup, stew, or ice cream, and very small or powdery solid items which cannot be easily lifted with a fork, such as rice, sugar, cereals and green peas. In Southeast Asia, spoons are the primary utensil for eating; forks are used to push food on to the spoon as well as their western use to stab food.

      Spoons are most commonly used for cooking and serving. In baking, batter is usually thin enough to pour (or drop) from a spoon; a mixture of this type is called “drop batter”. Rolled dough dropped from a spoon to a cookie sheet can be used for rock cakes and other cookies.

     A spoon is similarly useful in processing jelly, syrup, and sugar. A sample of jelly from a boiling mass can drop from a spoon to a sheet, in the “sheeting” process. At the “crack” stage, syrup from boiling sugar can be dripped from a spoon, where it cracks when chilled. When boiled at 240 F and poured from a spoon, sugar forms a thread. Hot syrup is said to “pearl” when it forms a long thread that hasn’t broken when dropped from a spoon.

   Used for stirring, a spoon is passed through a substance with a continued circular movement to mann uses. Mixed drinks can be “muddled” by using a spoon to crush materials on to the bottom of the glass. Spoons are also used for mixing in powders to water to flavor it. A spoon can also toss ingredients.

   Clearly, spoons are very rich in history and monumental. After reading this, even thinking about spoons will bring you back to this.