If you can't dig out that last chunk of grapefruit, what's the point even

By Margaret Eby
Updated February 13, 2018
EC: Insufficiently Narrow Spoons Are Harshing My Mellow
Credit: Illustration by Lauren Kolm

There is a scene in the last season of HBO's Silicon Valley in which Erlich Bachmann, the churlish software designer and "incubator" director played by T.J. Miller, runs into a problem with spoons. "I specifically posted a note on the refrigerator saying that the more narrow spoons be reserved for the eating for Fage yogurt by me," Bachmann complains. The problem is that the wider spoons are useless for scraping the jam portion out of a cup of Fage yogurt, leaving a crucial portion of the yogurt inaccessible for eating. "Half the yogurt's going to go unused because one-quarter of the jam can't come out!" he says.

I have never felt so seen by an episode of comedy. Because in my experience, this is true: over the past few decades spoons have become larger and wider, more shovel-like and flattened out. And that's great if, say, you're serving rice, or trying to eat soup. But for a more delicate extraction application, those wide-ass spoons are pretty much useless. A good narrow spoon can be used to dig out that last hiding chunk of grapefruit flesh, or extract precious remnants of stuck-on-just-right rice from a paella, or scrape out the end of your jar of queso. A narrow spoon is your friend in these cases, and a wide spoon requires the additional use of a knife, fork, and/or chopstick. And why? Why should that be the case when the world could just have more narrow spoons?

Granted, the packaging of Fage yogurt is part of the problem. As a person who generally eats one sad yogurt in front of my computer every morning, a process that often takes literal hours because I keep forgetting it's there and remembering again, I long ago gave up on the Fage model of yogurt plus jam or honey that you spoon in separately, because the jam compartment made no sense in terms of the amount of yogurt it came with, at least to me, and because the spoon model that I have doesn't accommodate the packaging.

But as a spoon enthusiast, the problem of ever widening, ever rounded spoons is real. That's just fine—they have their place, too. But let us never forget the magic of narrow spoons. They are our comrades. They are our friends. Do not banish them into the back of the drawer.