The First European Country To Adopt The Table Fork Was?
The humble fork, a serving/dining utensil with tines intended to make spearing and manipulating food easier, has cropped up in various incarnations as far back as Ancient Egypt, where large forks were used in meal preparation. Ancient Greeks also used them as serving tools. Fork-like implements were found in the tombs of later Chinese dynasties.
Despite their wide but infrequent use, forks as a common table implement took a very long time to catch on. The earliest use of forks in Europe, for example, was on the tables of 11th century Italian royalty and aristocrats. Italians had long eaten pasta with a wooden spike, like a thick skewer, but forks were clearly superior at gathering long strands of pasta. Despite the utility of the fork, it took several more centuries for it to gain widespread use throughout Italy; by the end of the 14th century it was common for merchants and upper class families to use forks, and by the end of the 16th century nearly everyone was using them. Despite the popularity of the fork in Italy, it wasn’t until the late 18th century that the rest of Europe had fully adopted the now ubiquitous piece of tableware.
Image from 11th century manuscript, The Code of Lombardic Law.