Some people swear food is tastier when you eat it with your fingers. Even those who prefer a more formal dining approach would admit that eating with a spoon creates a different sensation than a more manual method. Now, design team Michel/Fabian has created a utensil that’s meant to mimic that finger-lickin’ good sensation without actually getting your hands dirty.
Goûte (named after the French word for “taste”) is a wand-shaped utensil intended to replace a spoon as a way to eat foods that are viscous enough to stick to it – think things like yogurt, honey and Nutella as opposed chicken noodle soup. Created by Charles Michel, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University, and Andreas Fabian, a designer at Buckinghamshire New University, Goûte promises a lot of benefits over simply spooning food into your mouth: The product claims it “enhances the sensation of creaminess, improves the intensity of sweet flavours, highlights the value of food, [and] makes for a more mindful eating experience.”
According to Michel, Goûte came about from taking an open-minded approach to cutlery in general. “I think the technology of the utensils we use to interact with food has to be thought about,” Michel told Munchies, “and there’s very little research in that field. There’s a lot of work done on design in cutlery but it’s mainly for aesthetic purposes.” They decided to focus on replicating the sensation of licking your fingers because “your hand is the best tool you have to eat with and it is one of the most pleasurable things to eat with your hands and fingers.” Later, he continued, “Our idea is to reconnect people with that sensuality of eating, but in an elegant way.”
Michel and Fabian are currently working on research to better understand how using the Goûte affects the dining experience, but if you’re interested in diving right in, this unique utensil is already available for sale. A glass version is £29 (~$36); a wooden version is £19 (~$24). And hey, if using the Goûte to eat isn’t up your alley, unlike your typical spoon, it might work well as part of your kid’s Halloween Harry Potter costume.