From Wikipedia: “Ettore Sottsass (Innsbruck, Austria 14 September 1917 – Milan, Italy 31 December 2007) was a 20th century Italian architect, noted for also designing furniture, jewellery, glass, lighting, home and office wares, as well as numerous buildings and interiors — often defined by bold colours.”
Why am I telling you this? Because the Alessi Nuovo Milano Cutlery pictured above was designed by Ettore Sottsass. This cutlery has history and class. So make sure you have your story and trivia about Ettore ready when you lay this flatware out on the table.
This 24 piece set is made of dishwasher safe 18/10 stainless steel. It has a simplified elegance that many other have since copied. Each place setting includes a fork, knife, tablespoon and teaspoon.
Alessi Nuovo Milano Cutlery from Amazon
The very nice folks over at Domus have written a very interesting article about 20 cutlery sets that made design history. It is a really well researched piece about flatware through time that are influential in their design. This isn’t your regular knife, fork and spoon. And of course they have a slide show of photos.
“Extensions of our hands, they embody an etiquette that imposes rules on the use closely linked to social norms. Between continuity and experimentation with shapes and types, a selection of unmissable and iconic cutlery sets.“
“Cutlery is a clear symptom of (lack of) social belonging if it is used inappropriately. Placed on the plate in a certain way, it gives the waiters unequivocal signals about our appetite and the enjoyment of eaten dishes. At the table, it should be laid out according to a real etiquette. However, we do not care about it, preferring a casual table setting that rewards closeness and conviviality by sacrificing the etiquette itself.”
This is a great history lesson in design and form versus function.
Check it out at Domusweb.it
Which is which? Is flatware also silverware? Is silverware flatware? What’s the difference? Here’s a quote from the Big Bang Theory that helps set the stage:
Sheldon Cooper : Jacuzzi is a commercial brand, hot tub is the generic term, i.e., all Jacuzzis are hot tubs, but not all hot tubs are Jacuzzis.
Zack : Is that like all thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs?
The difference between flatware and silverware is that flatware are eating utensils. Cutlery, such as forks, knives and spoons while silverware is anything made from silver.
In the 1800s the word flatware was used to refer to anything shallow and flat used at the dining table to eat.
Cutlery is a separate thing altogether. Cutlery refers to knives and cutting implements and originates from the old French word “coutelier” (modern French: couteau) which means knife. So technically flatware and silverware could include cutlery, but cutlery would only refer to knives or cutting implements. But nobody really thinks that anymore.
So to sum up: All silverware is flatware or cutlery. But not all flatware or cutlery is silverware.
It’s the third birthday of our office kitten here at The Cutlery Review and we thought we’d post a silly picture of a cat to celebrate. This is not our cat, our cat has not shown in interest in flatware. He has no interest in either a spoon, fork or knife.
We aren’t mad at him for that, just disapointed.
Happy Birthday Furball!