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Wooden chopsticks
A Western-style, formal place setting. It includes a butter spreader resting on a crystal stand; a cocktail fork, soup spoon, dessert fork, dessert spoon and an ice cream fork, as well as separate knives and forks for fish, entrée, main course and salad.

A variety of eating utensils have been used by people to aid eating when dining. Most societies traditionally use bowls or dishes to contain food to be eaten, but while some use their hands to deliver this food to their mouths, others have developed specific tools for the purpose. In Western cultures, cutlery items such as knives and forks are the traditional norm, while in much of the East, chopsticks are more common. Spoons are ubiquitous.


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In some cultures, such as Ethiopian and Indian, hands alone are used or bread takes the place of non-edible utensils. In others, such as Japanese and Chinese, where bowls of food are more often raised to the mouth, little modification from the basic pair of chopsticks and a spoon has taken place. Western culture has taken the development and specialization of eating utensils further, with the result that multiple utensils may appear in a dining setting, each with a different name and purpose. With the evolution of people's eating habits, further modification continues to take place, mostly in the West.

List of utensil types

Utensils for specific foods

A fondue fork

Some utensils are designed for eating or preparing specific foods:

Combination utensils

Main article: Combination eating utensils

A spork – spoon and fork – in packaging, on the left, and a spife – spoon and knife – on the right
Four types of spork

Over time, traditional utensils have been modified in various ways in attempts to make eating more convenient or to reduce the total number of utensils required. These are typically called combination utensils.

Disposable utensils

Prepackaged products may come with a utensil intended to be consumed or discarded after using it to consume the product. For instance, some single-serve ice cream is sold with a flat wooden spade, often erroneously called a "spoon", to lift the product to one's mouth. Prepackaged tuna salad or cracker snacks may contain a flat plastic spade for similar purposes.

See also


  1. ^ "Food Pushers". CooksInfo. Retrieved 18 October 2022.
  2. ^ Oulton, Randal (2018-05-10). "Asparagus Tongs". Cook's Info. Retrieved 2019-09-08.
  3. ^ "And all I got was this lousy.. Chopforks!". Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  4. ^ Gim, Sarah J. (2007-02-16). "Chork: Chopstick forks for your Asian fusion cuisine". Slashfood. Archived from the original on 2011-12-27.
  5. ^ Cognito (2007-03-27). "The Chork - AKA The Chopstick Fork". Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  6. ^ "From Spork to Chork « Will BLANK For Food". 2010-06-02. Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  7. ^ Tisah Tucknott. "Cheater Chopsticks - Forkchops Lets Westerners Eat Like Asians (GALLERY)". Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  8. ^ "Combination eating utensil".
  9. ^ "Spifork".
  10. ^ "TESS -- Error".
  11. ^ "The Nutella Spife". The Cutlery Review. Archived from the original on 2018-10-24. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  12. ^ "Australian field ration eating device | Australian War Memorial". Retrieved 2023-10-29.