Runcible spoons…edible spoons. The first is pure nonsense, the second pure genius!
First, the nonsense: From the age of 16, Victorian poet-artist-illustrator Edward Lear (the 21st child of 22 children!) was drawing “for his bread and cheese.” A few years later his Audubon-caliber ornithological drawings were published and, for a while, he found himself giving drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. Over the course of Lear’s life his landscape paintings were highly regarded, and he remained a serious painter until his death at age 75. But in his own lifetime–and still today–Lear is most known and best remembered for his literary nonsense. The final stanza of his most famous work, “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat,” appears below:
Although the word “runcible” appears in many dictionaries and warrants a Wikipedia entry all its own, no such spoon exists outside the nonsense realm of Edward Lear. Puzzlingly, the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines runcible spoon as “a sharp-edged fork with three broad curved prongs,” but it’s clear from Lear’s own illustration from a different bit of nonsense that his runcible spoon is more ladle than fork:
The Dolomphious Duck,
who caught Spotted Frogs for her dinner
with a Runcible Spoon.
Examining the visual evidence, we’re struck by the fact that Lear’s fantastical spoon looks more like one of Jules’ “fantactual” edible spoons than it does a pronged fork, although (at least up to now) Jules has had no special orders for edible spoons filled with ready-to-leap frogs, spotted or otherwise.
Edible spoons are enormously popular with Jules’ clients and staff. Event Sales Manager Elissa Kupelnick says, “From a service standpoint, we love being able to offer these to clients because they’re so convenient, not just for us but for them. Whereas the typical plastic or porcelain spoon has to be collected soon after whatever filled them has been eaten, edible spoons just disappear! Party guests love them because they’re a tasty novelty. Also, not having to hold onto an emptied porcelain or plastic spoon–even for a minute–is one less thing for guests to have to juggle.”
Invented in 2003 by Jack Milan of Boston-based edibles by jack, spoons may be either savory or sweet and used to ‘deliver’ both hors d’oeuvres and desserts. And when it comes to spoon-fillings, the sky is the limit!
Some popular filling-and-spoon combinations for hors d’oeuvres include:
- Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa in a Coconut Curry spoon
- Crabmeat Salad with Saffron Aioli in a Corn and Lime spoon
- Grilled Chicken Medallion with Mediterranean Salsa in a Parmesan Basil spoon
- Eggplant Caponata with Goat Cheese Crumbles in a Parmesan Black Pepper spoon
- Roasted Turkey with Stuffing and Butternut Squash Brulee in a Cranberry spoon
Moments later, spoons now filled with Coconut Shrimp and Pineapple Salsa are ready to be served.
Sweet options include:
- Lemon Curd and Raspberry Gelee in a Poppy Seed spoon
- Mocha Mousse with Chocolate Shavings in a Chocolate spoon
- Hazelnut Mousse with Chopped Hazelnuts in a Chocolate spoon
Wikimedia Commons: Edward Lear and Dolomphious Duck
Liz Muir: All other photos