a few weeks ago, i posted a venn diagram that i made on the topic of cutlery. for whatever reason, this struck a chord in internetdom which allowed me to come into contact with some pretty unusual characters who, like me, shared a fondness for either 1. venn diagramming or 2. hybrid cutlery. one of these individuals, my new friend tudza, offered to send me a splayd so that i might see its full hybridity first hand.
i have been using tudza’s splayd (this sounds like a weapon from world of warcraft) to eat every meal for the last two weeks (i even took it out to restaurants with me). the first thing i noticed was how formidable it seemed—it had the tines of poseidon’s trident and the angles of a stealth bomber yet the knife component was dull and awkward. was this utensil the cutlery singularity that i had been hoping for or an unwieldy chimera best suited for the wunderkammer of a mad hobbyist?
spooniness: because of its deep tines, the bowl of the splayd has about 60% of the volume of a normal spoon. i would trust it with chowder and maybe even cereal but trying to eat a thin broth would be like bailing out a sinking rowboat with a shot glass. it excelled at stirring, but so what? a stick can excel at that.
forkage: the splayd is certainly more fork than a spork is fork as its tines are much deeper. i was able to jab everything from tofu to turkey breast as if i were using a miniature pitchfork. it can hold anything that a normal fork can and i was even very close to developing a successful pasta twirling technique with it.
knifeability: i was skeptical about how much a knife that it is and my skepticism proved reliable (as per youzh). one could cut through mashed potatoes with it but smashed potatoes might prove too trying. there is no honed edge to the blade component and it is as blunt as a spoon. in spreading, it faired only moderately better and functioned like an unfamiliar butterknife with half the surface area.
were i to ascribe percentages i would say that the splayd is 50% fork, 40% spoon and 10% knife—which leaves the holy grail of hybrid cutlery (one third of each piece of flatware) still an unreached goal for which modern science may still yet strive.