In everyday life, people make do with a pair of spoons, a fork and a knife. However, in a guest or in a restaurant, it is often necessary to use different kinds of devices, among which there may be a dessert spoon, which has a number of important features. To use it correctly, it makes sense to know more about the product.
It is not very convenient to eat desserts with a large spoon. Therefore, dessert spoons were invented, designed for the consumption of sweet dishes, some snacks, fruits. Sometimes they are used for laying out food on plates or as a measure of weight or volume of products.
Dessert cutlery is made of different materials: silver, melchior, stainless steel, aluminum or wood. Each has its own characteristics:
- Wooden ones are usually used for trips to the countryside. Because of the fragility of the material, they wear out and deteriorate rather quickly.
- Spoons made of aluminum are also not durable, they easily lose their shape and color. Scientists have already proved that this metal is harmful to the body, so aluminum cutlery is rarely used. In addition, the appearance of such spoons leaves much to be desired.
- Dessert spoons made of stainless steel are very popular. They are characterized by long service life, resistance to acidic environment and a beautiful shine.
- Products made of melchior are strong, resistant to corrosion, but quickly lose their original appearance. Today, along with melchior, nesilver is used for production. Such spoons are marked MNTs. The difference is that in addition to copper and nickel in the alloy there is zinc.
- Devices made of silver are beautiful, but have a heavier weight. They are a source of pride to the owners, but they require special care to maintain their appearance for many years. Silverware is rarely used in everyday life, it is usually taken out to serve the holiday table.
- The main thing that distinguishes a dessert spoon from a tea spoon and a table spoon is the size. Interestingly, there are two varieties: British and American. More often than not, the second version is used as a measuring vessel.
The capacity of the American dessert spoon is twice that of the tea spoon. The British version of the instrument has a slightly larger capacity, although it looks the same. When there is a dessert dish on the table that does not need to be cut, a dessert spoon is placed over the plate, positioning it so that its scoop is on the left side.
It is generally accepted that a dessert spoon holds 10 ml of liquid. This volume is typical of the American variation, which is taken as standard. It holds one-third less volume than a tablespoon. The British version has a slightly larger capacity, it can hold 11 ml of liquid.
For bulk foods, the capacity will depend on their particular type. The spoon holds:
- 5 g sugar;
- 4.5 g vanillin;
- 4 g of rice;
- 6 g nuts;
- 6.5 g salt;
- 7 g beans;
- 8 g raisins;
- 5 g sesame seeds;
- 4-6 g dried herbs.
Many culinary desserts indicate the amount of liquid added in milliliters. If you do not have a measuring cup, you can use a dessert spoon, its volume (10 ml) is most convenient for correct calculations. This method is suitable for a small amount of liquid, if you need to measure 50 ml or more, it is better to use a glass or shot glass.
Dessert spoons can be used to eat ice cream, fruit, honey, cakes and other treats. Certain types are designed for certain foods:
- For ice cream, they differ from regular ice cream spoons in that they are shorter. The spoon has a more rectangular shape and slightly curved edges, which makes it convenient to scoop ice cream.
- For cold drinks – their scoop is narrow and elongated, the handle is longer than that of standard devices.
- For sugar – they look like a child’s scoop, the size corresponds to a teaspoon.
- For absinthe – mounted on the edge of the glass, they have a complex shape and a perforated scoop where sugar is poured before absinthe is poured into the glass.
- Grapefruit spoons are a special kind of dessert spoon, having a narrow and elongated tip with small prongs. With them it is customary to eat the fruit of various citrus or melon crops.
- For kiwis – are distinguished by a wider scoop of rounded shape.
- For olives – have a long handle and a hole in the scoop. The latter is designed to allow the liquid to drain out. They are also commonly used to eat olives.
- Broth – in size smaller than the table ones, but their scoop is a little deeper.
- Children’s – devices that have a plastic or rubberized handle. Convenient for feeding small children.
- For sauces – have a more elongated shape compared to the standard version.
- Cocktail – distinguished by a long handle, but a small scoop. They are used to mix cocktail ingredients. The difference between a teaspoon and a cocktail spoon is the shape of the handle. The size of the scoop is usually the same for them.
- For honey – are made of wood, instead of a scoop they have a small cylinder in the form of a barrel, on which you can see the transverse grooves. The unusual shape of the product allows you to accurately take honey without spilling a drop.
It should be noted that dessert devices are mostly available with decorative handles or scoops. They can be of twisted silver with nielloing, with images of flowers, patterns, signs of the zodiac, letters. There are dessert spoons that are designed for use by children. In this case, the handle may represent the figure of an animal or cartoon character.
In some varieties of spoons, the pattern is applied to the scoop. This can be done both on the inside and the outside. There are also instances with embossed images.
How to choose
Dessert spoons are rarely chosen for purchase separately, as in most cases they are part of a set of cutlery. Sometimes it makes sense to buy a reduced set for the right number of people. When purchasing, it is necessary to:
- Carefully inspect the edges of the items included in the instruments – they should not have burrs on them.
- Evaluate the appearance. Purchased items should not be subject to deformation. On the curve line spoons should be slightly thickened. You should also pay attention to the quality of the drawing or volumetric elements, if any. It is important that there are no dark spots on the purchased items.
- Check how the spoons smell. The perceptible smell of metal can transmit an unpleasant taste to the food when the cutlery is in use.
- Evaluate the size of the dessert spoon. It should be suitable for eating this or that delicacy, the products should not be too flat or too deep (the norm – from 7 to 10 mm). The optimal thickness of the spoons is from 1.5 to 4 mm.
On the instruments can be applied patterns or made decorative inserts. Such purchases require special care and careful use. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the appropriate hygienic conclusion and certificate of conformity, which specifies the data about the manufacturer. The presence of these documents will allow you to be confident in the quality of the purchase.
Since dessert spoons are more appropriate for special occasions, when a large variety of delicacies is served, it is recommended to buy special holiday instruments. They are distinguished by exquisite ornaments and more attractive materials. The minus of such products is a higher price.
In order for dessert spoons to serve longer and retain their original appearance, you need to adhere to the following rules:
- Wash immediately after eating. You can use a sponge with a liquid dish detergent applied to it for this purpose.
- If the spoons are made of stainless steel, they are allowed to be washed with a dishwasher. Sometimes iridescent or dark stains form on them – in this case, you can use folk remedies for cleaning, for example, citric acid or vinegar.
- When caring for spoons with plastic handles, it is inadmissible to use a dishwasher. When washing by hand, you should pay attention to those places where plastic and metal meet. There often remain grease particles.
- If you use devices made of melchior or nesilver, they need additional care. After washing, it is desirable to rinse the items with a solution of baking soda. For preparation, it is dissolved in an amount of 50 g per liter of water. Treatment of such spoons can be carried out only with the use of special cleaning pastes and tissues designed for this purpose.
- Spoons can also be cleaned with ammonia. To do this, you must prepare a ten percent solution and place the instruments in it for 15 minutes. After the end of the procedure, they must be thoroughly rinsed in clean water and wiped.
- Silver spoons require more delicate care. Since the metal is soft, it scratches easily. When washing silver cutlery, do not use sponges or detergents with abrasives. Mild discoloration can be removed with a baking soda solution. The washed spoons should be wiped dry. If care is not taken, black stains may form on the items, which will be very difficult to remove.
If the spoon contains decorative elements, they must be washed by hand and this should be done very carefully.