Some people usually use a spoon when eating spaghetti, and some do not.
The proportion seems to be dependent on the country/region.

Has any data been published on the topic?
Preferably raw poll result files, but aggregated data as CSV is OK too.

Bonus if the data is also sorted by age group and by formal/informal setting.

Eating spaghetti with a spoon


2 Answers 2


No dataset was available, so I got 300+ people to answer a questionnaire about the topic.

General view of the data (green=spoon, red=no spoon):

Spoon with spaghetti usage map


I find this question kind of silly, but it's a good "placeholder" for anecdotal questions that are popular with data-blogs and data-driven journalism.

See, for example, the "Dear Mona" column at fivethirtyeight.com.

To randomly select two:

So, I suspect you'll have to collect the data yourself.

Some ideas:

  • Post an online survey on /r/SampleSize

  • For geographical, aggregate data, contact Italian restaurants around the world with an email describing the project and a link to a simple web form. If you spam send to enough restaurants, you could have an interesting dataset. I know you are involved with Wikivoyage, and perhaps you can extract

  • Pay a very little for a micro-advertising campaign. Google is the major player, but I think for this project a good medium would be Twitter. You could promote tweets to target regions, language-groups, or user-types, and those tweets would send users to a online survey. A cool thing is that once you start even a tiny advertising campaign, you get to see analytics for all your tweets (even when the campaign is over).

  • Create a twitter-bot that searches for the term "spaghetti" or something, then responds to those tweets with a link to an online form.

  • Conduct polls on food blogs, forums, or SeasonedAdvice.

  • Ask [Mona]. As a plus, their datasets have friendly licenses.

And in case anyone is curious:

''Most restaurants (and hostesses) that feature pasta provide guests with a large spoon as well as the knife and fork. The fork is used to spear a few strands of spaghetti, the tips are placed against the spoon, which is held on its side, in the left hand, and the fork is twirled, wrapping the spaghetti around itself as it turns. If no spoon is provided, the tips of the fork may be rested against the curve of the plate.''

''The New Emily Post's Etiquette,'' Elizabeth L. Post, 1975 By CRAIG CLAIBORNE

  • Thanks! I wrote an online survey and sent it to reddit: docs.google.com/forms/d/… Apr 20, 2015 at 5:01
  • @NicolasRaoul Cool! (I took the survey.)
    – philshem
    Apr 20, 2015 at 9:05
  • Just one thing you should add to the answer is how to make sure the data you collect is valid. I don't think reddit counts as a geographic region, nor is it necessarily representative of the ones its in.
    – PyRulez
    Apr 20, 2015 at 9:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.