The trouble with caviar, men’s style cliché James Bond once observed, is there’s never enough toast served with it. While we can’t solve that problem, we can definitely address the minor conundrum of what overdesigned utensil to eat it with.
In this age of the lowest common denominator, there still exist ways to make your pleasures individual but not solitary. Pictured are not reindeer antlers but oxhorn caviar spoons by the centuries-old English maker Abbeyhorn, hand-carved with a slightly morbid flair in the shape of sturgeons, the fish generally celebrated as the source of the finest caviar.
Those of us who tend to rationalize our fetishes can even find multiple justifications for using these spoons. I am informed that metal spoons are disfavored for serving or eating caviar as they supposedly impart a metal tang to the taste. Mother-of-pearl or horn is a preferable alternative (of course, I have heard that a plastic picnic spoon works fine but what might be the point?). Horn is useful and beautiful, and unlike tortoiseshell, another form of keratin which it can resemble, comes from non-threatened species, generally as a byproduct of the food industry. It also happens to be relatively reasonable for a luxury material, which is why Abbeyhorn’s catalog (a selection of which is carried in the ASW store), is such a temptation for whimsical impulse purchases such as these, or horn collar stays, clothing brushes, combs, shoehorns, and much else.
In a further nod to utility, each spoon of the pair pictured is carved in a different direction, catering for both right-and left-handed epicureans, his and hers… or for those gourmands who engage in double-fisting. And they work just as well with American paddlefish caviar as with Beluga from the Caspian. Or, more appropriately to this economy, with Wonkette brand hobo beans. But whether St. Valentine's Day finds you sharing a moment with a dear one, celebrating in Saturnalian throngs or simply contemplating the past in Lucullan luxe and solitude, may it anticipate a better love life to come.