There's a dilemma every city dweller faces eventually: Where's the fork? Let's say that after a meeting, you finally manage to find the one falafel stand that's an oasis in the food desert of the financial district. The gods smile, and you score an $8 falafel platter. This is why you live in a city, right? There's so much great food and stuff to do. But how are you going to eat that lovely falafel? There's a pita, sure, but now you've got to get the hummus and baba ganoush and the rest inside.
That's when you're handed a plastic fork. It's an environmental disaster. Well, it's not as big of an environmental disaster as whatever electronic device you're reading this on, but still not great.
Oil Hell No
Cliffset Silverware Starter Pack$44 at Cliffset
You know what plastic is? It's a petroleum byproduct, meaning it's made from oil. Oil—that lovely black ooze that powers the city around you as you stand there, falafel in hand, contemplating your plastic fork—is essentially all the dead stuff of past millennia, put in the earth and squeezed like a Mesozoic juicer. Out oozed the oil.
Plastic is refined from that dead stuff and allowed to cool and congeal into the shape of a fork. That thing, holding that bite of falafel you were about to take, is really a cold, congealed, stick of dead stuff. Bon appétit. Say no to cold congealed death sticks.
This is where Cliffset's portable cutlery set comes in. It's made of high-grade stainless steel, but more importantly for our city use case, it comes with a carrying case and a cleaning solution. It's really pocketable silverware with a dishwasher in the pouch.
This is the key. Sure, you could go get a stainless steel fork for under a buck at the thrift store, but that fork is going to end up at the bottom of your bag, rubbing shoulders, as it were, with those old concert ticket stubs, muffin crumbs, and who knows what else. While ecologically friendlier than plastic, that is just gross.
The Cliffset pouch keeps your fork, spoon, and knife nicely ensconced in a vacuum-molded carrying case that's lined with ripstop nylon and sealed up with a zipper. No grimy ticket stubs or muffin crumbs will ever come in contact with your Cliffset.
The best part, though, is the cleaning system. The cleaning tool is a small, refillable squirt bottle with a contoured edge that fits inside the case. Spray the included cleaning solution (a mixture of food-safe alcohol, water, and lemon oil) on your utensils, floss the fork and scrape the spoon with the cleaning tool, and wipe it all off with the included cloth. Your Cliffset is ready to descend back into your bag until the next time you need it.
As an added bonus, the utensils are plenty sturdy. The knife will cut steak with no trouble, and the cleaning tool is so good at getting rid of grime that I've started using it on my silverware at home.
The whole Cliffset weighs just 7 ounces and is about 6.5 inches tall, 2 inches wide, and just over an inch thick. You'll hardly notice it in your bag. There are a variety of colors to choose from and the Cliffset makes a great gift.
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