This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now.
Like many people, I’m coming to you live from a marathon stretch of picnics, takeout, and other outdoor dining activities. The past seven months have taught me one thing: You never know when you’ll need a fork, especially when eating with your hands is inadvisable. I’ll do just about anything to avoid the guilt of disposable cutlery, but after failing to remember to make a pit stop at my cutlery drawer before leaving my apartment one too many times, I got a bit desperate. Trust me when I say that attempting to eat mac and cheese with a butter knife is simply not worth the stress.
But lately, Final’s spork has been a regular in my bag. In a feat of trademarked engineering, the full-size stainless-steel utensil collapses down into a palm-size silicone container, protected from leaky bottles of hand sanitizer, inky pens, and whatever else is jostling around in my tote bag. When lunchtime arrives, it unfolds with a pleasant snap, unfurling from discreet metal joints with the momentum of a brand-new umbrella. And although it’s just one drop in the single-use plastic bucket, it feels good to skip the disposable stuff.
This collapsible cutlery tech comes for forks too, but if you haven’t handled a spork since elementary school, let me remind you of its benefits before you cast it aside. The wide curve is perfect for cradling soft-serve or potato salad, the tines are sharp enough to capture stray cherry tomatoes or crisped chickpeas making a break for the grass. In other words, it can handle just about any take-out situation that doesn’t require chopsticks or a steak knife. I’ll even break out my spork on restaurant patios when the dinky cutlery on hand isn’t up to the task of tackling my lunch.
I never thought I’d be sitting down to wax poetic about a collapsible spork. But in a year of plot twists worthy of an R.L. Stine choose-your-own-adventure novel, at least I know I’ll have a spork handy.
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit