Bowl to Spoon
How and when the method of consuming soup changed
Prior to the common adoption of spoons, diners used their right hands to pull out chunks of meat or vegetables from shared bowls.
When fashion shifted in fourteenth century Europe, spoons served as vehicles to transport the liquid from the bowl to the mouth. This change may have been encouraged during the late sixteenth century when men and women started wearing large, stiff laced collars called ruffs. Those wearing ruffs around their necks could not easily drink soup from bowls without spilling. Since most spoons had fairly short stems, soup could not be safely negotiate past the ruffs without spilling. So spoon handles lengthened and the spoon's bowl became larger permitting more liquid to be transported to the mouth with less chance of dribbling the contents on the ruffs.