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A grapefruit spoon is a spoon which is specially designed for the consumption of grapefruit, although it can be used to eat other citrus fruits as well. Grapefruit spoons look like regular spoons, except that they have serrated edges which help to pull the fruit away from the unappetizing pith of the grapefruit. It is also possible to find grapefruit knives, deeply serrated curved knives which are meant for peeling and sectioning grapefruit. While grapefruit spoons aren't strictly necessary in most kitchens, they are fun and useful to have around, since there are all sorts of applications for a grapefruit spoon.
Any number of materials can be used for the handle of a grapefruit spoon. Many companies make wooden, plastic, or silicone handles which are textured so that people can grip the spoon more easily. This is particularly useful when a juicy grapefruit is involved, as a plain metal spoon can get slippery and hard to manage as it gets covered in grapefruit goo. The bowl of the spoon is typically made from stainless steel, as some other metals like silver can react with the acid in the fruit to generate a strange metallic taste.
To use a grapefruit spoon, people typically cut grapefruits in half and scoop out the contents with the spoon. If you're ever been presented with a grapefruit and a mysterious spoon at a hotel breakfast, now you know what that weird spoon was for. The serrated edges can be used for other tasks, as well. Grapefruit spoons are quite useful for deseeding squash, for example, and they can also be used to eat other fruits in thick rinds, like watermelons.
The basic design of a grapefruit spoon is mimicked in a grapefruit knife. Many grapefruit knives are double ended, with one end designed for cutting the grapefruit in half, while the other scoops out sections of grapefruit and cuts away the thick pith. These specially designed knives can also be employed for deseeding, and they are remarkably handy for pumpkin carving. Like grapefruit spoons, grapefruit knives typically have easy-grip handles which make them easier to manage.
The serrations on a grapefruit spoon are not usually sharp enough to cause injury, so no precautions are necessary in terms of storage and handling beyond common sense. The spoons can also be washed in a dishwasher, unless they have handles which are not dishwasher safe. Numerous kitchen supply stores stock grapefruit spoons, which come with an assortment of color coordinating handles and designs for cooks who want matching silverware.