A spoon-tasting dinner in London
My piece about this unusual event is in this weekend’s Financial Times Magazine here. Since that memorable evening, I’ve noticed myself on a few occasions unconsciously sucking my cutlery, just to see what it tastes like… One intriguing question that I didn’t have space to explore in the article is why we are sensitive to the tastes of different metals:Â could it be so that we can avoid those that are harmful, and are drawn to those that we need for our health? Zoe Laughlin told me she had noted that â€˜men of a certain ageâ€™ have a penchant for copper; while Mark Miodownik cited a recent study backing up the suggestion that zinc, taken with Vitamin C, can help to stave off a cold. â€˜Perhaps, instead of shelling out fortunes on mineral supplements,â€™ he said, â€˜We could just stir our hot lemon juice and honey with a zinc-coated spoon.â€™ You can find out more about the materials adventures of Zoe, Mark and their colleagues here, at the Institute of Making.
P.S. My article about a cheese-tasting in Shaoxing (which appeared in the FT last year) won the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for Food Culture and Travel on Friday night! Thrilled!
5 Responses to “A spoon-tasting dinner in London”
Congrats on the award. I’ve had occasion to reference the cheese article in several conversations.
Congratulations on your award and many thanks for inspiring me to cook dishes that do not normally feature on your average take-away menu. I have tested many of your recipes from the “Sichuan Cookery” (being a fearless Polish girl, well versed in the art of pierogi making, I even tried my hand at home-made wontons!) and they all have been a huge hit.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask you if you might know about good Chinese cookery classes in London. Or maybe you’re running courses and I just don’t know about it? I would really appreciate your help on that.
Thanks to both of you!
And Gosia – I know Divertimenti do some Chinese cookery classes. I do classes for them occasionally and will be running one in June. You could also try looking at Authentic Ethnic.
Thanks so much! Just booked a place for your demonstration class. See you there!
How ironic that the experiment was tried by using metal cutlery on Indian food. Indian food is traditionally eaten with the fingers(except by Westernized people). This is not because Indians are rustic boors who have never evolved to the great cultural heights of attacking their food with metal weapons.
There is an Ayurveda based theory of eating with the fingers, that food is a sensual and personal experience, and much of the “guna” or intrinsic quality of the food comes from contact. This is especially important when feeding very young children, when the importance of loving contact is supremely important.
That said, silver plates and tumblers have been traditionally prized by wealthy Indians, again because of theories that silver is one of the purest metals (second only to gold) and will have the least effect on food.