Let Your Stainless Steel Flatware Take its Rightful Place at the Table
It’s holiday time and there’s a good chance that you’re getting out the crystal glasses and the silver flatware for your upcoming parties. Here’s a thought though: is stainless steel flatware a better choice than silver? Or should we be sticking to the silver heirlooms to keep “that side” of the family happy?
While we understand that this question may be something of a “champagne problem” and not apply to a great many people (who even has silver cutlery today?) it does make us think of the comparisons between these two metals and what makes stainless steel such a popular choice.
Why Stainless Steel Flatware Shines
When you consider that stainless steel was only discovered at the start of the 20th century, it does make us wonder what people used before then as eating utensils. Wooden spoons were common, if a little ungainly, and only the super rich could afford gold cutlery, so the rest of the population tended to use some sort of knife and their hands.
Copper and bronze were commonly used in ancient times for a number of purposes, but the biggest problem with these was their strong metallic taste which made your dinner taste revolting and reacted with the food.
Silver was a better option since it had a milder taste but still wasn’t ideal as it discoloured fairly easily and was also quite expensive. Plating copper with silver was a great discovery in the late 1700s, but still, the silver tasted funny.
When Harry Brearley started using the stainless steel, which he had discovered by accident, the birth of modern flatware was upon us. Tasteless and hardwearing, stainless steel cutlery did not react with food nor did it tarnish.
The chromium in this incredible alloy made for a strong, beautiful and non-corrosive product which has gained in popularity over the decades and is used in everything from hospital counters to kettles to cars.
Maybe this year just stick to your beautiful stainless steel flatware and leave the silver in its box.