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Can anybody tell me when cutlery of the basic design we use today came into general use?
Going back to Tudor times although knives appear to have been in common use forks were not and food was still eaten using the fingers. So, when did the use of a fork with the knife become common usage?
asked in eating, foods, cutlery
There is no certain date for the first use of these utensils by humans. But we know that knives have been used from the time that cavemen began hunting.
Any material that these primitive people found that was hard and sharp became a knife with which to skin animals and cut meat. These same cavemen also used roughly hollowed-out stones or curved shells as spoons.
Forks are a fairly recent invention. They were introduced in 1100 in Italy by the wife of an Italian nobleman. Before this time, it was considered polite to pick up food with one's hands. But this lady felt she was too refined to eat this way, and she introduced a two-pronged fork to her table.
Her idea did not catch on immediately, and it wasn't until the 1500s that forks became popular and appeared on most tables. Many wealthy people of that time carried their own knives and forks with them when they traveled, as inns did not have them yet.
In some countries, especially China and Japan, knives and forks never became popular. Here, the food is served in small pieces and picked up with chopsticks!
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