The Real Reason Gelato Spoons Are So Tiny

Tiny spoons seem to be all the rage thanks to oatmeal eaters on TikTok. But the small spoon also has a long tradition with another food — gelato. The frozen dessert, like ice cream, can be served in a cone or cup, and is perfect on a hot summer day. But if one was to get it in the latter container, they might notice that it typically comes with an especially small spoon — almost like the ones used to sample different flavors.

And there's a certain benefit of enjoying a dessert with a smaller spoon, as seen with other desserts such as tiramisu. Small spoons allow the treat to be consumed at a slower pace, and will thus allow the eater to enjoy the dessert for longer (which can also be great if you're a parent teaching your child how to mindfully eat, according to Today's Parent). However, that's not exactly why small gelato spoons were created.

They were inspired by coffee stirring spoons

Gelato spoons actually may have a French origin, according to The Takeout. The demitasse spoon comes from French culture, and refers to the tiny utensil used to stir a post-dinner coffee (via The Tea Cup Attic). Thus, the gelato spoon drew inspiration from the small yet simple design, and was created by combining this existing tool with a typical ice cream spoon. The result was a tiny gelato spoon that was cheap and travel-friendly.

Many can also attest that dessert in general tastes better when eaten with a smaller spoon. Epicurious describes eating with a small spoon as giving dessert a "whimsical treatment." Furthermore, having a small spoon can minimize the mess in the instance of a spillage, especially when given to little ones. So as gelato is most often enjoyed as a post-dinner treat this summer, know that gelato spoons' design isn't purely for aesthetics, but also efficiency.