You may think you don’t need such a frivolous item, but we’re here to tell you that you do.
You might know there’s different kinds of forks used for eating different kinds of food: salad forks, fish forks, fruit forks, dessert forks, and of course your standard table fork. If you’re fancy, you might even have sets that include all of these and more, with enough forks to impress even The Little Mermaid. But does your dinglehopper collection include a fork specifically designed for eating pasta? Mhm, I didn’t think so.
One-stop-shop and 100-yen store Daiso can help you out with that. And even though you’ll only be spending 100 yen (94 U.S. cents) to add one to your collection, you won’t be sacrificing on looks with this fork: in keeping with its place as part of the “Crafstman’s Art” collection, this fork, which is designed to “make pasta more delicious”, looks sleek and classy, like it should cost a lot more than a dollar. Maybe even two.
Our Japanese-language correspondent Go Hattori fell in love with this fork at first sight. The more he read about it and the more he looked at it, the more he wanted to eat spaghetti with it. “It just looks like a really nice fork,” he said, turning the unopened package in his hand.
After he brought it home, something drew his eye to packaging: the design on the bottom right hand corner that says, “Made in Tsubame”. “Tsubame?” he thought, “That reminds me of that paradise island, Tuvalu!” Carried away by his already romantic impression of the fork, he began to imagine it being molded by hand by a skilled island craftsman somewhere in the Pacific.
But then his eyes were drawn to the top of the packaging, “Made in Japan”. Oh. Nevermind.
The full title of the collection is “Craftsman’s Art: From the Artisan Village of Tsubame”, and after some Googling, Go learned that Tsubame is a city in Niigata Prefecture that specializes in metalworking. The city has been known as the “Artisan Village” for many years, and is the proud producer of about 90 percent of silverware that’s made in Japan.
In spite of not being crafted by a native Oceanic tribe as he originally thought, with this discovery the Tsubame Pasta Fork sparkled even more brightly in Go’s eyes. A fork of such impressive origins, for only 100 yen? This can’t be anything like your ordinary 100-yen fork, he thought. He couldn’t wait to try it on some pasta.
Aside from its origins and its apparent high quality, what makes this fork especially good for pasta are the ribbed outer edges of its tines, which catch the pasta and allow it to twirl easily. Go found this design appealing, but needed to make sure it was practical. After all, if it didn’t work, there was no purpose to it, however pretty it may be.
Eager to test out his new fork (and now hungry from thinking about all the pasta he planned to eat with it), Go set about preparing one of his favorite childhood meals: Pasta Coco Corn Cream Soup Spaghetti, with toast. Sprinkle a little bit of parmesan, a drop or two of tabasco, mix it up, and dip a crunchy slice of toast in the soup, and voila! You have heaven in a bowl!
But Go was prepared to put aside his toast for now. The fork was waiting. It was time. He picked up his new pasta fork and prepared to twirl his pasta…
Look at that form!
How perfectly it twirls!
It makes such a satisfying ball of pasta that holds perfectly in the grooves, and it doesn’t slide off easily, either. Twirl twirl twirl…chomp! Twirl twirl twirl…chomp! Easy and delicious!
Go’s conclusion: it works! It’s not a gag, and it’s not a hoax. It brings the deliciousness of pasta more easily to your mouth, stress free. And somehow, he said, his beloved corn cream soup pasta is even more delicious, when eaten with his equally beloved pasta fork. It lives up to its name!
Now before you rush to Daiso to get your very own Craftsman’s Art Pasta Fork, allow us to suggest that while you’re there you pick up some of Daiso’s 100-yen wine to pair with your pasta dinner, so you can pretend to have a nice fancy meal, without breaking the bank.
[ Read in Japanese ]