Saturday, March 3, 2012

In Defense of Rounded Wooden Spoons and Being Wrong in the Kitchen

There are few food folks I enjoy and respect more than Michael Ruhlman. He’s a celebrated, award-winning author; an influential and generous member of the food blogging community; and my favorite Iron Chef judge (best perplexed look in the biz). 

However, in this amusing “Had Something to Say” video, produced by friends Diane and Todd from White on Rice, Mr. Ruhlman reminded me why, when it comes to cooking at least, being right isn’t as important as being happy.

Everything Michael says about the rounded wooden spoon’s design in this “Stupid Kitchen Tools” video is correct. A squared-off, flat-edged wooden spoon is the superior stirring implement, but that doesn’t change the fact that my mother used a rounded wooden spoon, which was the same one that my grandmother used, which was exactly like the one that my great grandmother used.

So for me, it looks right, feels good in my hand, and contrary to what Mr. Ruhlman believes, serves as the perfect tasting instrument – lovingly associated with all kinds of delicious memories. I’m sorry, but tasting spaghetti sauce off a square wooden spoon is like a chef using oven mitts instead of kitchen towels; it works, but it’s just not a great look.

Squares and right angles are the work of man. It’s the shape of industry, not art. Nature is round, food is round, and people are, well, you know. Cooking equipment, like life itself, is much more about what you want, than about what you need. Our brains may grab for the square wooden spoon, but the soul of a cook reaches out for the rounded one every time. What say you?

Sincere thanks to Michael Ruhlman, and to Todd & Diane for sharing this great video with us! You can follow this link to get more information and read their original post. Enjoy!

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