Why We Should Only Use Wooden Spoons
In Ancient Egypt, the wooden spoon wasn’t used for food exclusively, but also for applying cosmetics and even rituals. And they came in the most bizarre forms, like as a dog chasing a fish or a squatting cat-god. Unfortunately, nowadays, wooden spoons are often neglected in favor of metal, plastic, or silicone ones, despite the many benefits they provide.
We at Bright Side learned a little more about this versatile material and want to share our knowledge with you.
1. The material influences the taste of the food.
Depending on the wood type, the spoon can complement the flavor of the meal, unlike plastic that makes everything taste, well, like plastic. Different woods have different flavors. For example, fruitwood and beech add more sweetness, while the olive tree, walnut, and oak give off a bitter taste due to the high amount of tannins in it, which can enhance spicy, heavily seasoned food.
2. Wood feels better.
Wooden things feel amazing, there are no 2 ways about it. Compared to metal, plastic, or silicone, wood is softer, more malleable, and generally more pleasant to touch. Wooden utensils also have thicker handles, making them easier to hold. Some hand-crafted spoons even have twisted handles that mold easily to your grip and your palm’s shape.
3. Wood is safer.
Wood is probably the safest material in the kitchen. Metal can provoke an unhealthy acidic reaction, and plastic releases chemicals when it comes into contact with hot dishes. Both of these materials also have sharp edges that can damage your oral cavity. Wood doesn’t have any of these disadvantages. It doesn’t melt like plastic, nor does it conduct the temperature like metal, so you won’t burn yourself and can safely leave the spoon inside a hot pot.
There’s a common misconception that wood harbors more bacteria than metal and plastic do, but it’s nothing but a myth. Germs are not big fans of wood since it possesses natural microbe-killing properties. On that note, any material can shelter bacteria if it’s not washed or cared for properly.
4. Wood maintains tradition.
Wood reminds us of cultural traditions in the way no other material can. Wooden spoons may be passed on as heirlooms through the generations — and it’s hard to imagine a silicone spoon receiving that similar honor. As it’s said in the Sicilian tradition: “No other spoon is powerful enough to ward off Satan.”
Wood retains visible signs of use and age, changing color, shape, and texture. Furthermore, the wood “remembers” the flavor of the dish it was used for. If you consistently cook the same recipe with the same spoon, the wood absorbs the tastes of the meals. So, perhaps the wooden spoon is the secret ingredient to your grandma’s sauce!
5. Wood is more practical.
Wood is strong and sturdy. A wooden spoon’s thick handle is less likely to break or become deformed, making it easier to use when stirring dense meals like a stew or caramel. Wood, being naturally soft, doesn’t scratch cookware as metal does, and it doesn’t trigger crystallization in temperature-sensitive recipes. Plus, wooden tools can last a lifetime if they’re properly cared for.
6. Wooden spoons are better for the environment.
Naturally, wood is an organic, renewable resource, so if you want to stay more eco-friendly, opt for a wooden spoon. Since they aren’t made of dubious chemicals, they won’t find their way into the environment — or your home. A wooden utensil is also often hand-crafted by local artisans, so it’s easier to find ethically produced tools.
Bonus: how to take care of wooden spoons
Wood is a demanding material, requiring more love and attention than its counterparts. It doesn’t do well in the dishwasher or soaked in water — instead, it must be washed with soap and dried immediately after use. Once in a while, it needs special “care” in the form of protective oil like that of flax, sesame, or poppyseed.
What family recipe has been passed down to you from your parents and grandparents? Share them with us in the comments!