A dessert spoon is a spoon designed specifically for eating dessert and sometimes used for soup or cereals. Similar in size to a soup spoon (intermediate between a teaspoon and a tablespoon) but with an oval rather than round bowl, it typically has a capacity around twice that of a teaspoon.
The use of dessert spoons around the world varies greatly; in some areas they are very common, while in other places the use of the dessert spoon is almost unheard of—with diners using forks or teaspoons for their desserts instead.
As a unit of culinary measure, a level dessertspoon (dstspn.) equals 2 teaspoons. In the United States this is roughly 0.4 of a fluid ounce. In the UK it is 10 ml.
As a unit of Apothecary measure, the dessert-spoon was an unofficial but widely used unit of fluid measure equal to two fluid drams, or 1⁄4 fluid ounce. In the United States and pre-1824 England, the fluid ounce was 1⁄128 of a Queen Anne wine gallon (which was defined as exactly 231 cubic inches) thus making the dessert-spoon approximately 7.39 ml. The post-1824 (British) imperial Apothecaries' dessert-spoon was also 1⁄4 fluid ounce, but the ounce in question was 1⁄160 of an imperial gallon, approximately 277.4 cubic inches, yielding a dessert-spoon of approximately 7.10 ml.
In both the British and American variants of the Apothecaries' system, two tea-spoons make a dessert-spoon, while two dessert-spoons make a table-spoon. In pharmaceutical Latin, the Apothecaries' dessert-spoon is known as cochleare medium, abbreviated as cochl. med. or less frequently coch. med., as opposed to the tea-spoon (cochleare minus or minimum) and table-spoon (cochelare magis or magnum).
- Martin, Judith (March 13, 2005). "On the Offensive". The Washington Post.
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dessert spoon cochl.
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- Silver place settings, from Butler's Guild