Dinner fork is a cutlery item containing a handle consisting of a number of thin tines on one of the ends. Almost all the dinner forks contain three or four thin prongs or tines which are one to one and a half inch in length, with the prongs being chiefly used to lift food from the plate to mouth. The food can either be held on the prongs’ top or speared through with prongs, before lifting the fork for eating the food. There are several kinds of dinner forks available, with varied shapes and designs. A dinner fork set may contain six or twelve forks of similar shape, design and length.
History of Dinner Forks
In the earlier times dinner forks were widely used in most of the western countries as compared to East Asian countries, where chopsticks were more prevalent. However, these days, dinner forks are the most important cutlery items in both Western and East Asian cultures.
The use of dinner forks became more prevalent in the sixteenth century in Western Europe. In the ancient times, only knife and spoon were the utensils used for eating food, hence forcing the people to make use of their hands for eating many types of foods which could not be lifted by knife and spoon. This led to the invention of forks, which initially had only two straight tines, suitable only for spearing food. However soon, various other designs and shapes of dinner forks came into picture, with more than two prongs, and slightly curved shape, good for both spearing and scooping food.
Features of Dinner Forks
- A dinner fork contains two or more thin and long prongs on one of the ends of the handle.
- The tines or prongs are slightly curved, so as to facilitate the process of holding the food. The food can be either scooped or speared with the help of curved nature of this kitchen utensil.
- A dinner fork set may also contain forks shaped in trident form with a slight curve at the handle’s joints.
- The material used in manufacturing dinner forks is usually metal.
Uses of Dinner Forks
- The tool is mainly used for lifting food from the plate or bowl to mouth.
- Also, the fork can be used for holding the food intact while cutting or cooking any particular food item.
- A famous Chinese dish, chowmein or noodles, is usually eaten with the help of dinner fork, by rolling several long threads of noodles along the fork and then lifting the fork with the noodles to mouth.
- Spongy desserts and solid food items can be easily eaten with the help of dinner forks.
Dinner Forks Usage Etiquettes
- In the American style, the forks are held with prongs curving up.
- In continental etiquette, the forks are held in such a way that the prongs are curved down.
- It is a very common dining etiquette to keep the fork inverted after the dinner is completed.