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Old 10-13-2007, 04:25 PM
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Weird Ikea flatware - huge dessert spoons, tiny teaspoons

I made a roadtrip to Pittsburgh last weekend to shop at the closest Ikea store to Pittsburgh. Checking out their flatware, I noticed that the spoons were all ... well, odd. The soup spoons seemed much larger than the soup/dessert spoons I've seen in flatware normally sold in the US, and the teaspoons were much smaller; just a wee bit larger than the souvenir state spoons that your kitschy Aunt Joan collects.

So, my question: what's the deal with those goofy Ikea spoons? Are they considered normal sized in Europe?
Old 10-13-2007, 05:22 PM
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The Ikea I go to only has what I consider normal spoons. What are "normal" spoons to you?

Last edited by Septima; 10-13-2007 at 05:22 PM.
Old 10-13-2007, 06:11 PM
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Something like this:

http://crateandbarrel.com/flatware/

By comparison, here's an Ikea set.

http://ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60091766

Last edited by elmwood; 10-13-2007 at 06:14 PM.
Old 10-13-2007, 06:54 PM
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Without any measurements it's not so easy to tell what your spoon would be in our flatware taxonomy but it seems to match the smaller fork (which could be salad/dessert fork or what we call a "menu" fork depending on the scale.) To me that means that "your" spoon is not the direct equivalent of the IKEA spoon. Here, the IKEA spoon would be considered normal for tea, coffee and dessert (in all but the most formal settings.) The other spoon appears far bigger than anything that I would stick into my coffee or tea cup.
Old 10-13-2007, 07:08 PM
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Yeah, I own those Ikea spoons and they have strange dimensions. I think it's kind of hard to tell from the picture, so I'll try to describe it: The soup spoons are about the same width as a regular soup spoon, but comparatively long and drawn out. The tea spoons are kind of tiny, as they have the same length as a regular tea spoon, but are sort of squished. It feels somewhat strange eating with them, they never seem to fit in your mouth like regular flatware does...

To answer your question: I think it's an IKEA thing, it's certainly not like other European spoons I know.
Old 10-14-2007, 04:04 AM
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They're basically the size Carl-Gustaf Jahnsson thought would look the coolest.
Old 10-14-2007, 05:07 PM
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Espresso spoons?
Old 10-14-2007, 08:46 PM
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As a Brit in America I find the teaspoons huge and the soup spoons tiny or non-existent. Soup spoons are not the same as dessert spoons. Those pictured in the link to Ikea are dessert spoons and the teaspoons look like what I would normally expect to see in the UK.

Here is a picture showing a dessert spoon, soup spoon and teaspoon.
Old 10-15-2007, 01:34 AM
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I noticed the same thing too last time I went to Ikea. The teaspoons were really tiny compared to any other teaspoons I have seen, and the soup spoons were too big. I thought it was really strange.
Old 10-15-2007, 05:21 AM
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The teaspoon looks to be the same size as a European teaspoon in the IKEA photo. The soup spoon looks nothing like a soup spoon I've ever seen, though, whose head's tend to be nearly circular in dimension (IME).
Old 10-15-2007, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarone
As a Brit in America I find the teaspoons huge and the soup spoons tiny or non-existent. Soup spoons are not the same as dessert spoons. Those pictured in the link to Ikea are dessert spoons and the teaspoons look like what I would normally expect to see in the UK.
I'm with you on this one. I believe traditionally a dessert spoon is pretty much a full-size spoon, but a different shape from what you normally eat your soup with. Then there's tea spoons (small) and coffee spoons (even smaller). However nowadays it's not unusual to eat a dessert with a teaspoon rather than with a 'proper' dessert spoon, and to only have one 'full-size' spoon and one 'small' spoon in those four/six place mini-canteens of cutlery (rather than the full range of table/soup/dessert/tea/coffee spoons). This is either the dawn of a brave new world of cutlery-related efficiency, or the beginning of the collapse of civilization, depending on one's point of view. Either way I'm hearing everything in this thread read in the voice of The Tick......
Old 10-15-2007, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphead
However nowadays it's not unusual to eat a dessert with a teaspoon rather than with a 'proper' dessert spoon.
Aagh - I emigrate and the country goes to hell in a hand-basket.
Old 10-15-2007, 09:23 AM
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Well, it's been pretty well covered, but as a self-appointed silverware expert, I feel I must chime in. Yes, it's a soup spoon and a coffee spoon you are seeing, rather than the dessert spoon and teaspoon that are usual in American services. When I interrogated a 30-ish German man about the standard place setting in his childhood, IKEA's spoons are the two he cited as being usual at the table.

And about civilization coming to an end: the silverware explosion happened at the same time as the Industrial Revolution. Before then, there were big spoons, small spoons, knives, and forks--and that was (aside from a few frivolous dessert services owned by the rich, and possibly bird forks for traveling) it. The Industrial Revolution, which made goods cheap and accessible, came at about the same time as a change in fashion from service a la francaise, in which all food is put on the table at once (or, at a grand dinner, in two or three covers), to service a la rousse, in which the food is served in courses. People began to think it necessary to have different plates and silverware for each course, and since you're getting a new fork for every course, you might as well have a special fish fork... a special fruit fork... etc.

Arthur Inch, first footman to Winston Churchill at Blenheim Palace, says that this extravagance of silverware never touched the upper classes. There were no fish knives at Blenheim.

So what we have now is the contraction after the expansion. Here in America we've settled down on having a four- or five-piece place setting, usually of luncheon-sized knife and fork, teaspoon, and dessert spoon, maybe with a salad fork and maybe with a steak knife. In various places in Europe they either didn't subscribe to the silverware explosion, or have recovered from it differently. There is no end of civilization, just a return to our senses.
Old 10-15-2007, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sattua
Here in America we've settled down on having a four- or five-piece place setting, usually of luncheon-sized knife and fork, teaspoon, and dessert spoon, maybe with a salad fork and maybe with a steak knife. In various places in Europe they either didn't subscribe to the silverware explosion, or have recovered from it differently. There is no end of civilization, just a return to our senses.
What? Not even cake forks??

My all-time favourite eating implement is the set of DeathSporks my mum has. They're sort of vaguely triangular spoons, with one edge serrated and the tip formed into two lethal tines. Allegedly they are for eating cake with, but you can use them successfully on anything from soup to steak, and for the inexperienced they turn eating into a sort of russian roulette. Mind the tonsils!!
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