I don't know about you, but when it's time to eat dinner, my tools of choice are usually either 1) my hands or 2) a (plastic) fork and maybe a knife. Sure, the more sophisticated repast requires me to use a steak knife or teaspoon or salad fork, and sometimes, when I'm eatin' chop suey, I even use these crazy things called chopsticks. The world of cutlery, however, is very diverse, and sadly, many helpful, albeit narrowly functioning, utensils have fallen out of fashion. Here are five underused, underappreciated and soon-to-be obscure eating implements.
5. Seafood Fork. The seafood fork shows up occasionally at schmancy old-school places, usually in conjunction with large towers of shellfish. Setting the table at home with one might feel a bit bougie, but these three-pronged mini-forks are the best for extracting those last bits of meat from a claw.
4. Grapefruit Spoon. "Only old people actually eat grapefruit," you say. Well, that's a damn shame, because grapefruit is delicious, and if you have a spoon with serrated edges, there's less chance you'll blind yourself with juice.
3. Nutcracker. Kids, I know this may be shocking to hear, but nuts actually come in shells, and in the olden days you actually had to crack them yourselves. No problem if you're eating peanuts or pistachios, but pure hell for walnuts and almonds. Nutcrackers expedite the process as well as generate that satisfying crrrrack sound. And, by the way, go for stainless steel tongs, not the furry wooden man your grandmother bought you at the ballet.
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2. Snail Fork. This tiny, two-tonged eating implement is perfect for wrenching succulent snails out of their shells. Granted, escargot aren't an everyday menu item for most Americans, but if and when you're lucky enough to get your hands on a plate of buttery, savory snails, make sure to use the proper fork.
1. Caviar Spoon. The only thing I probably eat less frequently than snails is caviar, but, by God, I'm not going to sully the gentle taste of my beluga caviar with some vulgar steel or stainless implement. A petite, demure mother-of-pearl spoon guarantees your fish eggs will be free from the incursion of nasty metallic flavors. And, besides, you couldn't possibly eat caviar with a spoon that wasn't just as sophisticated.