Monday, January 18, 2010

Vintage Monday: Canoe Muffin anyone?

It drives me nuts when I can't find an item I have seen before so now I am super careful to write down any sort of brand name or distinguishing marks on items so that I can then go home and google to my heart's content.

A while ago, I saw this gorgeous Danish modern style flatware in a few pictures on other sites. They were sterling silver with a gorgeous rosewood handle. I attempted a few google searches but couldn't find much so I just filed that "wishlist want" to the back of my mind. Well then came the day when we braved the snow and ice to go to the DAV thrift store in St Joe. This thrift store in particular holds a special place in my heart. You have to dig to find the treasures, and oh the treasures you will find there. Old Samsonite luggage for $5? Thank you very much. Vintage pyrex for 99 cents? Well don't mind if I do. I always find great stuff here and that cold December day was no exception. There was a whole rack of silverware sitting on the shelves and I was quick to spot a wooden handle. Could it be? Score! We found a few butter knives, a fork, and a teaspoon (all for $1 incidentally) and so the obsession grew.

Even better was that I now had a brand name from the back of those utensils to research: Ekco Eterna. Soon, I learned that Ekco products began in 1888 in Chicago and were really popular in the 60s (which I guess is why mid century lovers geek out over this flatware). After more googling and ebaying, I finally learned the name of this highly sought after line of flatware....Canoe Muffin.


When I told B this strange fact, he held up one of the forks, pointed to the wood handle and said, "I guess it's because it's sorta shaped like a canoe". Ohhhhh. But wait, what about the muffin part? But seeing as I am a lover of all things muffin, I put aside my incredulity and began to stalk ebay auctions. These canoe muffins and I were meant to be.

And so after extensive haggling and bidding and anxiously awaiting the end of various auctions, we are now the proud owners of quite an extensive Ekco Eterna Canoe Muffin collection. B is always amazed at how we go from nothing to a WHOLE LOT of something in very little time. I like to call it being efficient, and maybe a tad obsessive if I am honest about it.

I am proud to introduce the Canoe Muffin collection for this Vintage Monday!

Here they are, all nestled in their little drawer:

A closer look at the butter knife, dinner and salad forks and soup and teaspoons:

A side look so you can get the full "canoe" effect:

Serving pieces (meat fork, ladle, pie server and serving spoon):

Iced tea spoons (or ice cream sundae spoons!):

And really if you thought the iced tea spoons were frivolous wait till you see these cocktail/seafood forks:

Canoe view:

I am now ready and equipped to entertain and throw a party in which every food item will have its own serving or eating utensil. A dream come true.


  1. Hello,
    I don't know you, but I am starting my canoe muffin collection as well and I just wanted to introduce myself and a fellow canoe muffin lover. I was wondering what other info you had on the company (ekco). I recently just bought the dish set (canoe china) which I found on craigslist and am completing my set online. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

    Nice to meet you, my name is Stephanie!

  2. I just happen to find one of these in our "junk" silverware drawer at work and I love it, I want to get my own set. Will keep a look out at local shops and online! Cool.

  3. What a sweet coincidence. My wife and I were in one of our favorite used-stuff/estate sale stores today and found 16 pieces of the famed canoe muffin line from Ekco in really beautiful shape for $3.75. We are truly happy with this find, however I do feel a new obsession coming on...

  4. I remember eating with these as a kid. My mother just gave me half of hers. Took awhile to figure out they were canoe muffin! They're in great shape still! I can remember washing them every night...yuk! We didn't have a dishwasher back then, but I do now! Anyone know if they're dishwasher safe?

  5. You know Pam, I remember reading somewhere that they should be hand washed instead (the wood may crack when put in the dishwasher). On a good day I'll hand wash them, on most days, I just throw them in the dishwasher and cross my fingers! (and they're still ok!)

  6. I, too, would like to find out more about the Ekco Eterna Canoe Muffin company/product. I stumbled across this style of flatware when a friend living at an ecovillage had a canoe muffin spoon amidst her other various thrift store flatware finds. It instantly became my favorite! When I google the name I come across lots of things for sale (past and present) but no information about what it is! Anyone? Bueller?

  7. It's funny to find people that are as OCD about little things as myself! I have one beloved Canoe Muffin fork that I love with all my heart! If it weren't for that fork I wouldn't have enjoyed 100's of meals nearly as much! I'm too watching some on ebay...SHHHH, don't tell! LOL. I was wondering, in all my research and finding very little, is there different canoe muffin styles? I ask because mine has a longer wooden handle and most I have seen look like that. Yours look to only have a half of a wooden handle.... I wish I knew how old this collecion was, or what years they were produced???
    Happy forking and thanks for the great site!

    OCD in Texas.

  8. I got a set of canoe muffin when my sister downsized. She knew I liked Danish modern. I read somewhere that the handles are Bakelite, not wood. I believe this to be the case, as one of the handles on one of my spoons is a bit melted. They may be dishwasher safe, but I wash all of mine by hand.

    Has anyone seen literature that shows the complete set? I would like to know how many pieces I am currently missing.

  9. I bought a set new on sale around 1966. Don't remember the price but cheap. I've added to the set over the years. The originals had the longer handles in black which I prefer. The handles are definitely not wood and not bakelite either as someone above noted. Not sure what they are--some kind of plastic composition. I have always put them in the dishwasher when I had one. I still have the 5 year guarantee that came with them and it says."All Epic Patterns, including those with molded handles, are 100% dishwasher safe under conditions of normal, daily use." Only recenlty found the name of the pattern was Canoe Muffin. Cool! Have never seen flatware I like better. Beautiful and functional!

  10. The set looks great on your Nougat counter top!

  11. I know this is an old thread, but has anyone tested the canoe muffin series in the dishwasher with the heated dry option shut off? I have a test group going through multiple washes. I am curious if it's the detergent or it's the heat cycle that tends to crack the handles.

  12. EKCO Canoe Muffin flatware was so popular that a Japanese company copied the shape, but made the rosewood composite section shorter. Some of theirs also has a design pressed into the flat top of the stainless steel part of the handle. The EPIC and any other flatware of similar style are knock-offs. The company never made anything in Japan, under any ownership. Not to be confused with EKCO, which made radio and radar equipment. It is very nice flatware, comfortable to hold and never too hot or cold on the hands. Would be nice if the current incarnation of the company would reintroduce it!

  13. So happy to have found this post! Thank you for sharing. I acquired two knives about 8 years ago from a roommate that was going to get rid of them when we moved out. I love them so much! Only recently did I finally realize that I could barely make out the words "Ekco Eterna forged stainless", and am now blissfully Googling to my heart's content :D I may have to cultivate a collection as well.

    Also, as "Anonymous" mentioned above, my knives look different than the ones in your pictures here. Maybe you have butter knives? The wooden part of mine goes up higher, with less silver on top before the blade begins. I think the blade on mine is even longer and a little narrower.

    So fun to see many of y'all who also had just one odd piece of this flatware and love it as much as I do :) Happy hunting!

  14. I just scored a full set mint in the original packaging for $5 at my local GW. I'm in love.

  15. Finally some people that understand me.

    My grandma and grandpa had these in there house while I was growing up and I loved them. Some how my mom ended up with one in her silverware drawer and my brother sister and I always argued over who got it!

    Grandma decided to sell her set in a garage sale with me knowing. I was upset because I would have took them if I knew she didn't want them anymore.

    One day after I moved out I saw my fork at moms and snatched it so I could always use my favorite fork. A few years later we were cleaning out my parents basement and came across a spoon and a fork. So now at my desk at work I have 2 forks and a spoon. My girlfriend had silverware at home and didn't want ones that didn't match in the drawer. Well now she is moving out and taking her forks with her so I am in the search for my beloved canoe muffins. I just ordered some on eBay but am still lookin for more. Glad to know I am not alone in this world

    1. Welcome Darryl, you're certainly not alone!