Katherin Schwab has written an interesting piece on FastCompany about a new utensil called the Goûte. It is basically a wand with a tear-drop shaped end. Users dip the thick end into viscous foods like yogurt, swirl to get the food to stick, and then put it in their mouths to eat.
The designer, Andreas Fabian, notes that there has been little change in Western cutlery for the last hundred years or more. If anything, we have seen a decline in the amount of cutlery, e.g., the pickle fork, over that time. Perhaps the increasing use of chop sticks is the only exception.
Certainly, the Goûte is novel, but is it truly innovative or merely a gimmick?
Fabian argues that the new utensil encourages mindfulness in eating. That is, it prompts people to pay more attention to their food, thus increasing their satisfaction with the experience of eating. Plus, its mode of employment is familiar: It is rather similar to dipping a finger into food and licking it.
Success for the Goûte would also depend upon its social acceptability. Licking your fingers is considered somewhat gauche, in my own experience. It is not clear that people would be happy to place a Goûte in their table settings next to the knives, forks, and spoons.
After all, a straw could be considered a utensil but does not typically appear in table settings. Like a straw, a Goûte might simply be used as a tool for special foods.
Then again, perhaps the association between the Goûte and finger dipping will pay off. After all, eating from a spoon is reminiscent of eating from a cupped hand.
So, is the Goûte truly an innovative, new utensil, a specialty item, or a gimmick?
Courtesy of Michael/Fabian.