In A Blind Taste Test, Spoons Of Which Metal Type Made Food Taste Best?
Although the old saying goes “born with a silver spoon in their mouth” to refer to the privilege of wealthy children, it turns out that if they were really privileged in terms of true taste, then the spoon would actually be chrome or gold.
In a 2010 research study, professors at the University College London conducted a blind taste test wherein participants sampled spicy Indian foods with spoons of seven different compositions. Each diner, at some point, used a freshly polished spoon made of silver, stainless steel, tin, zinc, chrome, gold, and copper. The researchers goal was to determine how much the spoon imparted any sort of taste to the food.
You might not be a food scientist, but if you remember your high school chemistry classes at all you may have guessed that the worst spoons would be those made of copper and zinc. Among all the metals the various spoons were made of, copper and zinc are the least stable and the most likely to take on electrons and go into a solution when exposed to both the food and human saliva. As such, those two metal types are the most likely to leave behind a metallic taste (both as reported by the diners and as basic chemistry would incline you to expect). Among the remaining metal types stainless steel, tin, and silver scored nearly the same in terms of imparting metallic taste with gold scoring slightly below them and chrome scoring significantly below gold.
While chrome tableware might not be the most common thing to find on the shelf of your local big box home store (where stainless steel reigns supreme), if you’re looking for tableware the least likely to tinge your meal with a metallic taste it might be worth hunting down.