Soup spoon

From Academic Kids

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Chinese_spoons.jpg
Typical Chinese porcelain soup spoons

A soup spoon is a type of spoon used for eating soup. The idea of including a separate soup spoon in a table setting originated in the 18th century, when bowl shapes varied widely, deep or shallow, oval, pointed, egg-shaped or circular. Spoon shapes became more standardized in 19th century silverware.

Today there are at least two types of soup spoon. One is shaped like a tablespoon but larger and generally with a deeper, more circular bowl for holding liquid. Modern soupspoons are typically of stainless steel or silver, but in the past wooden and horn spoons have been more common. The other type is a ceramic Chinese soup spoon, which is differently shaped.

The soup spoon is placed innermost at the right of the plate on which the soup bowl will be set, with smaller spoons ranged outside it.

A good soup spoon is large enough to deform the mouth when it is pushed in like a shovel. Sipping soup from the side of the spoon might be too refined for some company; sophisticated diners adjust their table manners to suit others. Etiquette for eating soup from a wide, flat bowl with a spoon does vary, but classical manners do consist of these points:

  • the soup spoon is tipped up and drunk from while holding it outside the mouth;
  • the soup spoon is filled in the bowl by movement away from the eater;
  • the bowl itself may be tipped slightly to fill the spoon, but should be tipped away from the eater.

The logic of the second and third points is to avoid spilling soup in the lap.

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