Sporks have been around a very long time. Unbeknownst to me. I have just discovered them. Apparently, you make yourself a nice warming meal and out of your backpack you take a spork. You cut with it, swirl pasta around it and scoop up the sauce with it. I am impressed. And what a great thing sporks are. Try using one and I doubt you will leave home without it.
What is a Spork?
A spork is a combination of utensils. I have discovered it can be a spoon and a fork but some makers put a serrated edge on one side of the fork to act as a cutting device. Therefore, a spork can also be a combination of a spoon, fork and knife. That is what I have. I don’t always find the knife bit cuts but sometimes it does. I wouldn’t use it to cut a steak but would to cut soft foods such as a piece of fish or slice of cake.
History of the Spork
While I was searching the Internet to find a spork, I discovered that it has been around a fair while. In fact the spork dates back a very long time, to around 1874 when Samuel W Francis was issued with a US Patent for it.
What are Sporks made of?
Sporks are mostly made from ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) a plastic that Lego is made from. It is completely safe to use. I was a little worried that continued use may leach chemicals from it but so far so good! To buy a plastic spork click here. This is the type that I use. I take it on my travels but also use it if I ever get casual work roles and take my own lunch. You never know if utensils will be available at your work place so I always take my own.
Other sporks I have found are made from titanium which is a sturdy metal, that does not leave a metal taste in your mouth. To buy one of these click here.
Advantages of sporks
There are a number of advantages. They are:
- a combination of 2 or 3 utensils in 1 – a spoon and fork or a spoon, fork and knife.
- Light (around 25 grams).
- A length of 8cm (3.14”) – which allows them to fit into backpacks or handbags.
- Useful for camping, travelling, hiking or taking to work for lunch.
- Able to cut most softer foods.
- Allows you to eat most foods, especially soup, spaghetti, etc.
There are two disadvantages to sporks that I have found. Firstly, what they are made of can be a concern – can chemicals come out of them? I am assured they are safe. Secondly, they aren’t as strong as metal utensils but they do do the job.
Lastly – how did the spork get its name?
The name spork is a portmanteau (the combination of two words that create a new word). For instance, smog is the combination of smoke and fog and motel is the combination of motor and hotel. Spork is the combination of spoon and fork.
While I was searching to buy my spork I discovered:
- Knoon (knife and spoon in one)
- Splayd (spoon, knife and fork) apparently invented in Australia in the 1940s.
- Spife (like a noon – spoon and knife in one)
- Knock (yes, a knife and fork)
So a spork is versatile and easy to carry around and has joined my favourite travel accessories list of things I always take travelling. It has joined my other items I swear by that include my packing cubes, power bank, travel adaptor plug, travel wallet, electronic device bag and my messenger bag. I’m sure you will find a spork useful in your travels too!
Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. She has travelled with her family, as a single person, as one half of a couple and then with her own kids. Over her years of travel she has discovered some very useful travel gear and accessories that have helped make her travels easier. She reviews and sells them at The Travel Gear Store.