The Sauce Spoon

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When a server at Astrance (see my post “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”) dropped off this knife and “spoon,” I had no idea what was coming next in our tasting menu (which you do not choose and is the chef’s surprise). All that I could surmise is that there would be meat because of the knife. But I also see this flattened spoon with a notch alongside fish, especially in France. The course was, in fact, chicken with a truffle parmesan sauce. This cuillere conundrum led me to do some research, and on further inspection I learned that it is, alas, a sauce spoon.

It was invented in 1950 by Chef Rene Lasserre of the restaurant Lasserre in Paris, which is still there. The shallow bowl of the utensil allows the user to scoop up sauce without tipping the plate–apparently a faux pas. The notch is said to provide a place for oil or fat to escape. Typically, this would indicate a separated sauce, which is an error in technical execution by the saucier, unless I’m missing something. I will continue to sample sauces and anticipate dishes until I know for sure…

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