The Lowly Fork

Think about this the next time you sit down to eat and pick up your fork. It took some 800 years for it to catch on.

Before forks became popular, using your fingers was the main way of getting food from plate to mouth. Upper classed people used three fingers, while the common people used all five. (Watch small kids eat to see an example of this)

It was the 18th century before using a fork was considered to be polite. In fact, using the fork, a tiny, two-pronged instrument wasn’t considered fashionable until the 11th century in Italian high society. As fashionable as it may have been, using a fork still didn’t catch on. The Catholic church said it was unnatural and was an insult to think that the fingers God gave humans wasn’t good enough for food. They ridiculed people who used forks as effeminate or pretentious.

Now I know why my great-granddad ate his peas with his knife.

Keep your fork


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