Whether they’re made of metal or plastic (or ceramics), eating utensils can be found in most American kitchens and dining rooms. I emphasize American because you may not find them in the homes of other countries.
In some of the places I’ve been, they use a spoon for everything. It’s usually the larger spoon most Americans are familiar with. I’m not even including the places where they use chopsticks or other kinds of eating utensils.
I’m ignoring the combination pieces of cutlery for now. Most people don’t use them. Focusing on spoons, the type commonly found in American homes are called teaspoons and tablespoons. Don’t confuse them with the measuring units with the same names because the volume in each isn’t the same.
You can find all types of spoons in places outside the home. Good restaurants tend to carry soup spoons and iced tea spoons. Fancier places tend to carry spoons I’ve never used once in my life.
Some people have two fork sizes, small and regular, in the kitchen or dining room. Some people only have the regular size. People tend to buy their cutlery in sets at a department store, so it depends on what comes in those boxes.
The smaller fork is sometimes called a salad fork, but it really doesn’t have a special name.
A cutlery set usually includes butter knives. Steak knives are usually purchased separately.
Butter knives are used for more than butter, naturally. I use mine for spreading peanut butter, mayonnaise and other spreadables, along with butter and margarine.
If you get a chance to visit Filipino homes, you can see them eat without using eating utensils. Many Filipinos eat with only their hands. Other Filipinos use spoons for everything, even for things better suited to forks and knives.
The names of their eating utensils in Tagalog:
How about pots and pans? While I’m focusing on eating utensils, it’s useful to know their names for familiar pots and pans in Tagalog:
These are the only ones I can remember hearing around here.
I’m familiar with sporks, which I’ve only seen in plastic. I once saw them being sold as party supplies but I don’t remember where. I’m sure I saw them at a KFC in the United States. I haven’t seen them at any KFC in the Philippines.
I’ve never seen a spife (spoon and knife) or a splayd (spoon and fork and knife). That’s okay because I would never use either. Even when I used a spork, I only used it as a spoon for scooping mashed potatoes at KFC.
I have other knives in my kitchen, including a huge carving knife and a meat cleaver. I can’t tell you where they came from. We may have shipped them here when we moved here in 2006 (using balikbayan boxes).
I know we shipped the kitchen cutlery (enough for eight people) and the steak knives. We haven’t bought either in more than 11 years. The tablespoon-sized spoons have all but disappeared – I think we have two left in our kitchen. Relatives who live nearby are kitchen thieves.
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