Building a better mousetrap is one thing; how about improving the spork? Y'know, the spork... that mysterious eating utensil that appears to be the result of some late-night shenanigans in your cutlery drawer.
Few are aware of a Japanese spoon-fork combo originally created for the Sugakiya ramen noodle restaurant chain in the late 1970s.
Sugakiya's take on the spork served two purposes: save money and wastage resulting from the use of disposable chopsticks, and allow ramen-eaters to slurp noodles and broth in a single take.
When Sugakiya was looking for a unique way to celebrate the chain's 60th anniversary, it was decided that an update to its signature ramen fork was called for. Called in to oversee the update was none other than designer (and presumed ramen lover) Masami Takahashi.
Takahashi's new stainless steel, dishwasher safe super-spork soon caught the attention of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, who thought the implement was “tasteful” enough to be sold at the MoMA gift shop. Hungry museum-goers seem to approve, as the ramen fork is one of the gift shop's top 3 sellers. They're sold as a set of 2 for $28, or $25.20 a pair for MoMA members. (via Japan Sugoi, The GreenHead, and Nooschi)
(Update: Item is no longer available. This spork and this spork may be good alternatives.)