What is fork?????
A fork, in cutlery or kitchenware, is a tool consisting of a handle with several narrow tines on one end. The usually metal utensil is used to lift food to the mouth or to hold ingredients in place while they are being cut by a knife. Food can be lifted either by spearing it on the tines or by holding it on top of the tines, which are often curved slightly.
The word fork comes from the Latin furca, meaning “pitchfork”. Some of the earliest known uses of forks with food occurred in Ancient Egypt, where large forks were used as cooking utensils.
Bone forks had been found in archaeological sites of the Bronze Age Qijia culture (2400–1900 BC), the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–c. 1050 BC), as well as later Chinese dynasties. A stone carving from an Eastern Han tomb (in Ta-kua-liang, Suide County, Shaanxi) depicts three hanging two-pronged forks in a dining scene.Conversely, similar forks has also been depicted on top of a stove in a scene at another Eastern Han tomb (in Suide County, Shaanxi).
In the Roman Empire, bronze and silver forks were used, and indeed many examples are displayed in museums around Europe.The use varied according to local customs, social class and the nature of food, but forks of the earlier periods were mostly used as cooking and serving utensils. The personal table fork was most likely invented in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, where they were in common use by the 4th century (its origin may even go back to Ancient Greece, before the Roman period). Records show that by the 9th century a similar utensil known as a barjyn was in limited use in Persia within some elite circles. By the 10th century, the table fork was in common use throughout the Middle East.
The first recorded introduction of the fork to Western Europe, as recorded by the theologian and cardinal Peter Damian, was by Theophano Sklereina, the Byzantine wife of Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, who nonchalantly wielded one at an Imperial banquet in 972, astonishing her Western hosts. By the 11th century, the table fork had become increasingly prevalent in the Italian peninsula. It gained a following in Italy before any other European region because of historical ties with Byzantium, and continued to gain popularity due to the increasing presence of pasta in the Italian diet. At first, pasta was consumed using a long wooden spike, but this eventually evolved into three spikes, a design better suited to gathering the noodles. In Italy, it became commonplace by the 14th century and was almost universally used by the merchant and upper classes by 1600. It was proper for a guest to arrive with his own fork and spoon enclosed in a box called a cadena; this usage was introduced to the French court with Catherine de’ Medici’s entourage. In Portugal, forks were first used at the time of Infanta Beatrice, Duchess of Viseu, King Manuel I of Portugal’s mother around 1450. However, forks were not commonly used in Southern Europe until the 16th century when they became part of Italian etiquette. The utensil had also gained some currency in Spain by this time, Its use gradually spread to France. Nevertheless, most of Europe did not adopt use of the fork until the 18th century
Types of fork
- Asparagus fork
- Barbecue fork
- Beef fork: A fork used for picking up meat. This fork is shaped like a regular fork, but it is slightly bigger and the tines are curved outward. The curves are used for piercing the thin sliced beef.
- Berry fork
- Carving fork: A two-pronged fork used to hold meat steady while it is being carved. They are often sold with carving knives or slicers as part of a carving set.
- Cheese fork
- Chip fork: A two-pronged disposable fork, usually made out of sterile wood (though increasingly of plastic), specifically designed for the eating of french fries(chips) and other takeaway foods. From 7.5 to 9 cm long. In Germany they are known as Pommesgabel (literally “chip fork”) and “currywurst fork”.
- Cocktail fork: A small fork resembling a trident, used for spearing cocktail garnishes such as olives.
- Cold meat fork
- Crab fork: A short, sharp and narrow three-pronged or two-pronged fork designed to easily extract meat when consuming cooked crab.
- Dessert fork(alternatively, pudding fork/cake fork in Great Britain): Any of several different special types of forks designed to eat desserts, such as a pastry fork. They usually have only three tines and are smaller than standard dinner forks. The leftmost tine may be widened so as to provide an edge with which to cut (though it is never sharpened).
- Dinner fork
- Fish fork
- Fonduefork: A narrow fork, usually having two tines, long shaft and an insulating handle, typically of wood, for dipping bread into a pot containing sauce
- Fruit salad fork: A fork used which is used to pick up pieces of fruit such as grapes, strawberries, melon and other varies types of fruit.
- Granny fork
- Ice cream fork: A spoon with flat tines used for some desserts. See spork.
- Meat fork
- Olive fork
- Oyster fork
- Pastry fork
- Pickle fork: A long handled fork used for extracting pickles from a jar, or an alternative name for a ball jointseparator tool used to unseat a ball joint.
- Pie fork
- Relish fork
- Salad fork: Similar to a regular fork, but may be shorter, or have one of the outer tines shaped differently. Often, a “salad fork” in the silverware service of some restaurants (especially chains) may be simply a second fork; conversely, some restaurants may omit it, offering only one fork in their service.
- Sardine fork
- Sporf: A utensil combining characteristics of a spoon, a fork and a knife
- Spork: A utensil combining characteristics of a spoon and a fork.
- Sucket fork: A utensil with tines at one end of the stem and a spoon at the other. It was used to eat food that would otherwise be messy to eat such as items preserved in syrup. The tine end could spear the item, while the other end could be used to spoon the syrup.
- Tea fork
- Terrapin fork: A spoon with flat tines used for some soups. See spork.
- Toasting fork: A fork, usually having two tines, very long metal shaft and sometimes an insulating handle, for toasting food over coals or an open flame
- Extension fork: A long-tined fork with a telescopic handle, allowing for its extension or contraction.
- Spaghetti fork: A fork with a metal shaft loosely fitted inside a hollow plastic handle. The shaft protrudes through the top of the handle, ending in a crank, that allows the metal part of the fork to be easily rotated with one hand while the other hand is holding the plastic handle. This supposedly allows spaghettito be easily wound onto the tines. Electric variations of this fork have become more prevalent in modern times. courtesy>wikipedia