When Were Forks First Used for Eating?
It is not sure when were forks first used for eating? The personal table fork most likely originated in the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire. Its use spread to what is now the Middle East during the first millennium CE and then spread into southern Europe during the second millennium.
The forks first used for eating did not become common in northern Europe until the 18th century and was not common in North America until the 19th century.
The usage of forks in the 1100’s by the Italians. The wife of an Italian nobleman in Venice used them while having food. Before that time, it was consider polite to pick up food with one’s hand. But this Italian women felt she was too refined to eat this way. She had her food cut into little pieces and ate them with a golden fork. For some time after that, only the rich bothered to use forks.
Gradually, as modern table manners developed, more and more people began using forks. By the 18th century, the fork had become a common eating utensil on the tables of most homes.
Today, depending on need, a set of flat ware may contain five forks: dinner fork, fish fork, luncheon fork, salad or dessert fork, and seafood fork. But the collector may amass specialized forks—for eating lobster, fruit, dessert, ice cream, pastry, strawberries, snails, and oysters—from antique shops and specialty stores.
The shapes of the fork tines accommodate particular foods. Forks wrought with long tapered tines, such as a dinner fork, spear thick morsels of food, such as steak.
Forks with a wide left tine and an optional notch, such as a salad fork, fish fork, dessert fork, and pastry fork, provide extra leverage when cutting food that normally does not requires a knife. Forks with curved tines, such as the oyster fork, follow the shape of the shell.