I had always been told that using a spoon is bad manner, and that Italian people would never do it. I recently discovered that my Italian friend, on the opposite, thought that only the French did not use a spoon.
I decided to do some research, and posted a questionnaire to Reddit SampleSize. 300 persons participated (you too, feel free to fill the questionnaire right now!), which makes it the largest spaghetti—spoon research ever published!
62% of the respondents have never used a spoon when eating spaghetti, while 17% ALWAYS use a spoon.
Here is a map showing countries where people sometimes use spoons, the greener the spooner:
(Maps should be taken with a grain of salt. Countries with 9 respondents or more are: Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, USA)
What if your neighbour uses a spoon?Reactions range from "I don't care" and "It is normal" to "It's offensive and disgusting" and "They are filthy casual":
Northern Europe is rather spoon-tolerant, but other countries less so:
Spoon: Formal or informal?There is an extremely surprising antagonism:
- 2% use a spoon only in informal situations,
- 9% use a spoon only in FORMAL situations!
Let's focus on the formal/informal divide. Apparently, the spoon is considered formal in Poland/Denmark, and to a certain extent in Germany and North America. It is considered rather informal in the rest of the world:
A fine Finn respondent concludes this way: "[Using a spoon] is the proper way, although knife and fork is considered normal around here." You read it right. "Knife". That might be the topic of my next article.
I have made the raw data available, public domain.