Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Flemington Farmers' Market
Every Sunday 9am - 1pmMount Alexander CollegeNext Market: Sunday 25 August

Eating utensils #3 The Fork

Having been told repeatedly to "put some pork on my fork", I thought I would look into this thing called a ‘fork’.
 
The fork, I found out, is the bad boy of the dinner table setting, a Johnny come lately, given the knife has been around since forever and the spoon came shortly after when the cavemen realised a knife wasn’t a scoop. So variations of the knife and spoon existed side by side for a millennium until the fork came along.
 
When the fork was introduced to Europe from Persia about 500 years ago it was condemned by the high orders of the Catholic Church for being a devils plaything... simply because it was shaped like a trident which is the devils symbol... and the church forbade its use.  You would have thought the high clergy would have had better things to concentrate on, like the Medici’s  who were busy marrying French kings and poisoning Popes so they could conquer Europe, rather than very practical table utensil. So like all god-fearing citizens the people of Europe put their forks away for a couple of hundred years.
 
However like most good ideas the fork just wouldn’t go away. Originally it was used by the Aristocratic and Wealthy classes as an affectation however it simply was a very practical device and with the rise and rise of the affluent (and very practical) merchant classes the fork began to appear in many middle class homes. This horrified some of the conservatives so much that in the early 1800’s a motion was put to the English government to levy a tax on fork ownership, happily this was never enacted.

Debretts, the famous British book of etiquette has little to say on the proper use of the fork except to say that ...”one should never gesticulate with the fork; it should be used exclusively to convey the food from the plate directly to the mouth...