In today’s world of hurried meals, quick bites and canned food, the measuring spoon, a humble yet powerful instrument of home cooking, is often overlooked and underrated. Unlike our parents and grandparents who cooked and ate a delectable meal at home, our generation today is harried to make-do with store-bought, quick-fix meals that capture none of the essence of true cooking - love and nourishment for the body and soul.
We understand the power of a meal made with love. That is why we believe that every kitchen accessory is an instrument - designed to aid the chef in their quest to create the perfect dish. A measuring spoon is a precision tool, calibrated to perfection and designed to ensure that only exact quantities of an ingredient make it to the cooking pot, ensuring a delightful flavour, colour, and aroma.
This begs the question, how did this small but essential instrument come into being? Is there a story behind this device that we treat with such casual nonchalance? The story of the measuring spoon and how it came to be will help us understand why spoons are of importance in traditional and modern cooking and why investing in a good quality measuring spoon is a good idea.
History of the measuring spoon
Spoons have their origin in Chinese history and went on to evolve into different shapes and sizes based on the need and social status of the people using them.
The first spoon
The ancient Chinese designed small spoons out of bamboo to scoop tea, herbs, and medicines from jars. These spoons were created out of natural materials to avoid altering the chemistry and taste of the ingredients. They also carried a long handle for easy access.
Spoons as a luxury item
The Egyptians and Romans, known for their opulence, used spoons as a symbol of status and power. Spoons first became part of tableware in the Roman era where they were shaped for tasting.
Instruments of measure
In England, almost a thousand years later, spoons were recorded for special purposes like baptism and social symbols but weren’t used as measuring instruments. What transpired after the English fascination for tea began.
The standardization of spoon sizes was driven by the cost of a pound of tea. Due to expensive rates, teacups became smaller than coffee cups thus bringing about a reduction in the size of the spoon. Sellers and brewers needed to dispense an exact amount of tea powder to brew flavourful tea while saving costs.
Apothecaries then adopted a common measure that aided the standardization of spoon sizes. With standardization, the spoon came to be adopted as an instrument of culinary measure.
Thus the spoon as we know it today is the culmination of several designs, sizes, and materials.
Investing in a good quality measuring spoon is a good idea.
Given the history of the spoon, its utility is of even more relevance today. Ellementary’s ideology is rooted in the belief that health and healing have been a traditional part of Indian cooking. Every ingredient has a purpose and every recipe, a story.
With more and more Indian families moving to traditional recipes and home remedies, it is important that we add ingredients in exact quantities. Indian systems of medicines like Ayurveda use herbs, leaves, roots, and spices often in powdered form. Each of these natural products has powerful qualities and medicinal properties that we must ingest in the right quantities. Too little may have no effect and too much could have vastly adverse effects on the body and mind.
Indian foods are often healing in their preparation. Only a sturdy, durable, non-toxic and sustainable measuring spoon can provide that security and confidence to the healer, cook, and patient that the body receives accurate quantities of healthful ingredients on a regular basis.
Preserving taste and flavor while measuring.
The humble origin of the spoon is fascinating. It was conceived to execute a simple, determined task - to scoop ingredients with ease and add them to a cooking pot, an infusion or a mixture. With today’s lifestyle and quick-fix solutions to everything, how do we ensure that spoons do not interfere with the flavour of the ingredients? That they are safe to use on a regular basis? To hold spices, tea, coffee, sugar, turmeric and other essential items that are so dear to Indian cooking?
The answer lies in our philosophy of using tenable materials borne from the Earth that are then fashioned into spoons and other kitchen accessories with precise form and function. All our kitchen accessories are crafted by artists with knowledge of the interplay between the material, design, and purpose.
Crafted with love. Designed with precision. Created to endure.
Hand-made products carry the distinction of imperfection. We believe strongly in this truism. Handcrafted products do not need to be perfect. Our products are crafted to be beautiful with utility. We work with materials like wood, ceramic and terracotta that have long been used in India and different parts of the world to create and serve dishes in safe, non-toxic containers that preserve flavour and promote well-being.
Our measuring spoons are prepared meticulously by artists that believe in lifestyles that do not harm the environment but add style, luxury, and sophistication to any home.
Ellementary is a brand that fuses subtlety with luxury to create home and kitchen accessories that endure through generations of use and enjoyment.