Between the dessert and the goodbye kiss, it was always there, unfailingly present, yet no longer in sight. Squeezed into a social time-slot as svelte as its physique, the toothpick had managed to slip from people’s minds. This grove of spikes, generally corseted in a receptacle matching the elegance and creativity of the table decoration, had reached a pinnacle of invisibility, sometimes disguised as olive picks and sometimes as skewers for mozzarella, tomato and ham. Sometimes, your pick provided stress relief, when family meals turned venomous and you could nervously break it into bits and refrain from adding fuel to the fire. In Canada, the people at Daneson had the brilliant idea of adding a touch of class to the whole exercise, making it the ultimate in chic (unsheathed from a natural leather case), a codified hiatus between courses (Western-style, with a glinting eye, pick angled coolly at tooth), or as a flavored curiosity (mint leaf, lemon, ginger-honey and other breath-freshening tastes). Made from North American birchwood and flavored with a subtle blend of natural ingredients, a bit like a perfumer’s creation, these little spears spear things in style. And they’ll add pizzazz to any conversation, with nary a casus belli in sight.