Form vs. Function in kitchen stuffs

This image below is a Yaxell Gou carving fork. I find the design elegant and more than a little pretty to look at. It usually retails for $160 according to Cutlery & More.

I want to buy it.

I don’t need it. At all. I rarely use a carving fork, and even when I do, the not-so-elegant one I have performs as well as I think this one would.

So I won’t buy it. Even though I want to.

I can’t think of anything in the kitchen that I’ve bought just because it was so pretty, but there’ve been plenty of times I wanted to buy something that was pretty but would not have brought one ounce of function to the party vs. the uglier cousin version I already have.

What about y’all? Any lusty purchases that really don’t function any better than a plainer version?

looks to be drop forged, not stamped. that’s a quality feature.

I have a drop forged Wuesthof “carving” fork, since 1985 . . .
I’m betting less than 5% of the time is it used for “carving”
a “fork” is a very useful utensil - I poke potatoes, steaks, roasts, etc etc with the fork and have thru experience ‘calibrated’ my ‘poking senses’ to still-rare, medium, and over-done.
frankly, I trust my poke sense more than a thermometer…


Wow! $160 for a carving fork!? You already have Zwilling, so maybe this one for $100.

Or… if you can live with a flat one (and I am not sure why you couldn’t), this one is way cheaper.

1 Like

Absolutely. I have certainly bought things which are more than simply functional. If you remember, I have bought a couple of donabe. Are they better than my electric rice cooker? Probably not, but the notion and ability of making rice and other dishes in a clay donabe is attractive to me.

Even more than that… are my teapots. I have several nice teapots.

Would a $10-15 mass production teapot do a similar job? Most probably. I also have some nice ceramic bowls and plates.
I think a difference is that I did not buy these for their “beauty” per se, but more about the perceived history and uniqueness.

To be honest, I think almost all of us do what you have said … it is just that everyone has a different recognition of that cutoff.


The teapots are serving pieces; of course the appearance matters. I suppose the carving fork is as well, but is the appearance of the $160 one more than five times as attractive as the $30 one?

1 Like

My whistling kettle
A big bright orange le creuset.
But I don’t regret and I use it every day.

My biggest problem is buying those handy gadgets that I just have to have. Esp when I see them on holiday. Like my Vietnamese clay pot (never used) Thai noodle basket thingy (never used)…
At least I use my cleavers, knives and pestle and mortars :slight_smile:


Those LC kettles do look beautiful on the stove :slight_smile: And I say this as an owner of two of them.
I could heat water in a saucepan, but why settle? These pots are gorgeous, serve an aesthetic purpose and will last for many years. Worth the extra money to me.


Is this also form vs function?

But then I suppose this is also form


I would actually think that it’s only form over function if it looks stunning, but actually doesn’t work that well.
Like my pepper mill that looks like a little mailbox but actually struggles to grind pepper


Here is one that is visually quite similar at a pretty sweet price:

In addition to the obvious functions of poking and carving, forks like this are also great for stirring.

1 Like

I collect a fair amount. While my main passion is cooking, reinforced by not holding onto a kitchen item that goes unused for more than one year, I have loads of form over function items such as a pomme vapeur, a daubiere, South American clay baking dish, various baking dishes from Pillivuyt and Apilco, and a trompe l’oeil terrine that looks like a duck baked in a molded crust. The PV could be replaced by a steamer basket, the daubiere by a cheap slow cooker, the various baking dishes with Pyrex, and, as often as I have pate, the terrine by a trip to Central Market. However, I have a kitchen where most things are on shelves where I can see them, and they provide a lot of fun. You could argue my espresso maker was form over function, but I have never tasted better espresso. I am confident it was more a function of the way it works (lever) than the copper and brass. Other than the terrine, my form over function items get used very frequently.


Gorgeous raku.

Had to look up that MNSRRN branded kettle because I couldn’t figure out what the thing on the right is supposed to be.

Now that I’ve looked it up, I still don’t understand what it is. Guess I’m just a prole!

But if you really want to go for broke (pun intended), you can have this MNSRRN kettle for the low, low price of just $2300.

Thanks. I hadn’t seen that website before.

I still have no idea what is MNSRRN. I do know Amazon randomly highlighted this electric kettle to me. It took me forever to find out what that other thing is. This diagram seems to suggest it is a fancy looking water pump/outlet.

Kind of like this, but the MNSRRN water outlet is more modern/artistic?

Oh my… $2300 tea machine…

1 Like

Ok. I just found this. This is both Form and Function.


It has a modern art look. I think it is supposed to act as a knife and also a food scoop too. It is also inexpensive too: $32. Not sure how good they work.

These dining knives and forks are interesting looking too.