A titanium spork sitting on a wooden desk

The spork is, perhaps, the most unfairly ridiculed and grossly under-appreciated eating utensil on the planet.

I think most people’s mental association with the word “spork” is the gimmicky plastic version that KFC (at least traditionally) throws in with your chicken bucket, alongside a couple of biscuits and a wet wipe. Don’t be dissuaded by this sad approximation, which is sure to leave you disappointed.

You yourself probably have frustrating memories of the spork. Perhaps the last time you tried to use one, one of the tines snapped off into your food. Maybe you accidentally impaled yourself with some overaggressive vittle shoveling. Or perhaps the manufacturer of the spork you last used got the ratio of bowl-to-tine wrong, a classic sin that is sure to taint an otherwise pleasant sporking experience.

But today, my friends, I’m here to speak to the sheer brilliance of the spork, and to explain to you why it’s arguably the finest multitasker to keep on hand.

Everybody feels like they have to eat everything with a fork these days. If it ain’t a liquid, you’re supposed to just fork your way through your meal.

A while ago I learned that many Asian people use spoons for eating fried rice (I may or may not have learned this by watching an Uncle Roger video). I realized I had never tried using a spoon for eating fried rice, and the experience was transformative. It was so much easier to get delicious, fluffy pillows of rice into my mouth, and the experience was much more satisfying. Only one problem: I typically have my friend rice with Teriyaki chicken and vegetables, yet the spoon was not up to the task of getting it into my mouth without awkwardly scooping up the pieces of meat and veg.

At that point I remembered that I keep a titanium spork in my backpack, just in case I’m ever out and about and the restaurant I’m eating at doesn’t provide me with utensils (or if I want a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic forks and spoons). I used to eat lunch in my car a lot with my previous job, and the number of times I needed a utensil but wasn’t provided one was too high. Since then, where my backpack goes, so does my spork.

But I hadn’t ever really given it a proper test drive before, and used it only for emergency purposes.

So I dug my spork out of my backpack, buried it in my rice, stabbed a bit of chicken, and put the lovely combo in my mouth. I normally never use this word, as I detest it, but I find nothing else can adequately describe it: what I experienced was the pinnacle of synergy.

Since then, I have only grown more resolute in my love of the spork. Not only is it good with Asian dishes, but I’ve discovered it’s a perfect combination with Mexican food. Once again, it’s great for spooning rice, but scooping up some refried beans and then jabbing bits of your fajitas at the same time? What a delight!

Not only is it a better convenience, but it’s also a time saver. If you ever find yourself eating food combinations that typically require a separate spoon and fork, the efficiency offered here can’t be beat. No swapping between utensils, no lost focus, just sheer culinary bliss.

Just about the only thing that it’s not well-suited for is a nice juicy steak, or anything where you want to be able to run a knife through the tines to cut off a sliver of meat. For those tasks, a classic knife and fork can’t be beat.

For most everything else, a proper, solid, well-designed, sturdy-yet-lightweight spork is a superior utensil for the enlightened person.