Spoons vs Forks vs Chopsticks

(Disclaimer: This hub is next to pointless and I will not guarantee otherwise.)

It seems to me that everyone has some kind of strong preference for one of these--spoons, forks, or chopsticks--and some people will go to great lengths to assert how much better one is over the others at darn near everything.

I assert, however, that each one has its virtues and it's weak points because each has its specialization.

Of course, how good a certain utensil is for one thing or another can be further skewed by the user's perception due to the fact that the user is likely to be much more skilled with one kind over another.

Attempting to be as objective as possible, though, let's examine what each of these modern marvels of cutlery are best suited for:

Spoons are good for foodstuffs that are less than solid.

Or, really, even solid things that float in liquids. Like chunky soups or porridge.

Or fine, grainy solids too small to pick up with forks or chop sticks. Like very small cereal bits, or grits, or oatmeal.

Or semi-solids, like gelatin and ice cream.

Of course, all of these can be potentially eaten with a fork or chop sticks, but in terms of ease, spoons probably win.

Forks are good for individual chunks of solid foods, especially meat.

Anything with tissue that is densely packed--like potatoes and the various meats--or that can be raked up to ones mouth, like beans, lies within the range of forkable material.

The nice thing about forks, too, is that there isn't as much metal as a spoon, so that metallic taste is minimized when one bites down too hard or accidentally licks the utensil unpleasantly.

Trying to pick up too many layers however, or trying stab something too thin and easily torn with a fork may lead to disaster (or just breaking the food into smaller pieces accidentally). That's why I would say salads are actually not the domain of forks. How many times, really, have you tried to stab the same pieces of lettuce only to have them keep falling off your fork?

Which brings me to...

Chop sticks are good for things that are best left whole and unstabbed.

Also, things that are difficult to scoop up. The more obvious examples are things like sushi and salad, where it is best to pick up the individual components without having to pinch them, lest they break apart.

Aside from that, though, chop sticks are actually probably the more versatile of the three, as one can conceivably (with varying levels of efficiency) eat anything from ice cream and pie to a steak with a pair of these. Such usefulness in the face of such a degree of minimalism is admirable. When no one is looking, I also use them to stir sugar into my tea.

I would have to then declare chopsticks the generalist's tool. It may not be the best at everything, but it can be at least used for practically anything to some degree.

Chopsticks are also useful beyond the realm of dining, by the way, because one can use them to pick up darn near anything that one doesn't want to touch directly with ones bare hand. See a pesky cockroach on the floor? Don't fret--just bust out those sticks, pick him up, and throw him outside. Trying to do that with a fork would just be....

Well, you can probably imagine the result already, and it is quite messy by comparison.

Thusly, in the eternal battle of cutlery, I can't really declare a winner, as each is better than the others at some specific thing. Perhaps over time, I'll develop a more definite preference and stop being so wishy-washy about what I eat with. Until, then, though, I just noticed a bug on the floor, so I'm going to have to go grab a pair from the kitchen drawer.

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