Utility of a notched spoon

I went to a nice dinner a couple of weeks ago, to celebrate a couple friends’ visit to the Bay Area. The restaurant offered some tasting menus, so the more adventurous indulged in the six course offering, with a variety of tastes and textures. In line with current trends, flavoured foams accented between a quarter and a third of the different dishes served. It turns out some people really aren’t interested in eating foam.

At one point in the meal, a waiter positioned a peculiar spoon at my side, which looked something like this:

A notched spoon
Peculiar because of the pronounced notch, clearly indicated by the red arrow above. Since the next course had “lobster” as a named ingredient, I speculated that the spoon might be tuned in some way for shellfish, as the utensil engineers have never really nailed down the best toolset for eating crab, lobster, and relatives. (Clawed lobsters have been around for 140 million years or so, and the fork for over a thousand.) Perhaps the notch was for trapping an errant leg.

The lobster turned out to be in the form of a purée or a bisque (but not a foam), so the bowl of the spoon was needed and the notch only useful for artful dribbling. Notched spoons were also provided for the dessert course, but no other mysterious utensils were manifested that night.

Update. Dan’s link to the L. A. Times has broken with time, so I’ll link to a reasonable Yahoo! answer. Since that may also someday fail, the answer is the term “sauce spoon”.

  • Alan

    Foam is something you either a) put on your face before you shave b) put in furniture to make it comfy c) insulate your house with It is not an acceptable foodstuff.

    As for the spoon, my theory is that the notch was caused because a previous diner decided that the cutlery was more likely to provide nourishment than the food, and bit a chunk out in a desperate attempt to satisfy their hunger.

    And according to wikipedia “Foaming around the mouth can be a symptom of rabies”. You have been warned.