Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Unexpected Resurgence of Marrow Spoon Sales

Maybe it's because Osso Buco has suddenly become a more popular dish.
Maybe it's because more people have developed a taste for marrow.
Maybe it's because of marrow's "french paradox" health benefits.
Who knows...but all of a sudden we're selling a lot more Marrow Spoons in
a month than we used to sell in a year.

Twenty five years ago (in "The New York Times" of May 12, 1982 - see below)
Pierre Franey wrote a story about our utensil. Since we really can't add
anything worthwhile to his report we are reproducing it here.

Marrow Spoons are 9.5" long and triple plated.
cost is $43.00 each / $475 per dozen
Available from Savoir Vivre Utensils


In Victorian times marrow bones were cooked and served in starched napkins with long silver spoons to scoop out the marrow. Not many Americans are famil¬iar with this delicacy, which was popular at grander dinner parties at the turn of the century. These days butchers in many neighborhoods give the bones away and people use them for stock or for flavoring soups or give them to their dogs.

A long silver spoon to scoop out marrow, similar to those the Victo¬rians used, is on the market. Made in Sheffield, where the best British silverware is produced, it has rounded indentations at each end, a small one for narrower bones and a larger one for osso buco or the bigger beef bones.

Such a spoon was first encountered in Italy at a restaurant famous for osso buco, stewed veal shank, one of the glories of Italian cooking. The bones were sawed into large pieces, stewed in a rich, dark sauce and served with a golden risotto A la Milanese, the famous rice dish flavored with saffron.

The marrow spoons, which had been placed next to the plates, were baffling. Although I had often eaten marrow in France, I had never come across such spoons before; in France we used demitasse spoons.

Since then I have enjoyed marrow with hot buttered toast and sprinkled with black pepper, or mixed with fine herbs and spread on the toast. Marrow can also be spread on steaks for steak bordelaise or simply mixed with chopped shallots and butter and placed on top.

The bones should be soaked overnight in water so that the blood runs out and the marrow is whitened; if the bones are not soaked the marrow darkens when cooked. Then the bones can be wrapped in foil and baked in the oven for about 45 minutes. The spoon should be used for scooping the marrow out of the center while it is hot; otherwise the marrow congeals and becomes unpleasant.

The spoons can also be used for eating marrow with pot-au-feu. Have the bones cut a couple of inches long and simmer them with the other meats. Cooked vegetables - carrots, turnips, onions, cabbage, potatoes and leeks - can be arranged on a large heated serving platter with beef brisket, chicken and garlic sausage. The spoon can be used either for tak¬ing the marrow out of the bones as you serve them or for eating individually. The advantage of having individual spoons is that the marrow can remain in the bone - which keeps it warm - and eaten little by little.

Sometimes the marrow leaks out when the bones are cooked. You can prevent this by wrapping them in cheesecloth first.
For osso buco the meat should be cooked long enough so that it is nicely browned. The sauce should be dark and thick and flavored with spices, tomatoes and the zest of lemon or orange.

The spoons, long and sleekly designed, are most attractive. They are expensive but make an unusual present. Once as common in the well-equipped dining room as silver grape scissors, candelabra and fingerbowls, they suddenly and unaccountably dropped out of fashion. For those who love marrow they are the perfect tool.

Pierre Franey

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