4 06 2009


What (cutlery) you use when you eat comes down to where and what traditions you had (or created) when you were growing up. Growing up in Malaysia provided a variety of choices in which to consume food. In malay and indian tradition, they use their hands. The chinese obviously have chopsticks but this is where assumption blurs logic. This is how it goes in my world – 


Like all south east asian kids, I grew up on a staple diet of rice and noodles. Most of the time rice is served on a plate or shallow bowl and you have a variety of dishes to choose from – which you share with the rest of the table. I have seen people in Thai/Malaysian/Vietnamese restaurants trying to eat rice off a plate with chopsticks! Please don’t do this. It only works if the rice is sticky. Just because you are at an ‘asian’ restaurant doesn’t mean you HAVE to use chopsticks. Chopsticks are used mainly in chinese cuisine where rice is served in a little bowl, one where you can lift close to your mouth to ‘scoop’ with your chopsticks. Another thing that bothers me is the use of a fork with rice. Its not as bad a move as the chopsticks, but don’t you think a spoon would ‘gather’ more rice than a fork?

So what am I getting at?

Well, I was introduced to a new kind of cutlery when I first met my wife. Yes in the far western suburbs of Melton, I met the ‘Splade’. I guess it took me a little while to come to terms with one of these ‘hybrids’, but I don’t remember ever seeing one before. I have always made do with a spoon or a fork, and you can do just about anything with a pair of chopsticks. The only time a knife was used was when we had a steak. But this – splade – was offensive. It was a medium sized cupped fork, with bladed ends. Not sharp, just bladed. You could scoop, cut, poke and stab anything and all with this one tool. It came in a set of 6, in a flocked red case. I had heard of ‘sporks’ before in the past, but it was always more of a takeaway companion or picnic supplement. But this ‘splade’ was treated like royalty – only came out on special occasions and was handed down from mother to daughter. 



Today in our kitchen drawer lives a set of splades along with our forks. I still feel funny about the fact that they are a newly introduced species to me. I see them and they have come in good use at times, but given the option, I always grab a normal fork no matter the job. 

And then I discovered that the splade is the ultimate hybrid of cutlery. It comes from many years of evolution and proudly takes its place as the ultimate eating tool. But I still say the chopstick is the better invention.

This one is for you Sooz…





2 responses

5 06 2009

the other thing abt eating rice from a flat plate with a single fork…u almost always tend to end up using yr finger or something to push those last bits of rice onto yr fork. either that or you’d be chasing those last bits all over the plate trying to scoop it up.

5 06 2009

white people using chopsticks with two hands = classic.

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