While I was resting this afternoon after making some changes in my appartment, I decided to finish a big bowl of strawberries that remained from yesterday :chef: Usually, I would read something on the Internet or clearing my watchlist here, slowly picking big red juicy fruits with a fork – my favourite way of eating them 😀
Then I remembered something. People in Serbia like to brag that in times of Serbian king Stefan Nemanja aristocracy were using fork and knives made of gold while in the most European courts nobility used hands. The story goes back in 1189. while Frederick I Barbarossa, on his journey to Holy land for a Third Crusade War, spent some time as a guest in a court of Stefan Nemanja in town of Nis. Even though it was signifficant meeting for Serbian royal family, details of meeting are not well known today. Except for the story that, while Barbarossa used his hands during dinner, Serbian king used fork and knife.
Modern historians says that story about fork goes back in times of ancient Greeks and Hebrews; also there are numerous examples throughout European museums about forks used by Romans in 2nd century; forks made of bones were used in Chinese dynasties and metal ones were found in Iran (used in 8th or 9th century). So, Serbian aristocracy probably inherited them as a part of polite ceremony, probably from Byzantine court. Later, it was introduced in Italy (in 11th and especially from 14th till 17th century, when upper merchant classes esed it). Fork`s spreading across northern Europe was somewhat slower; partly because the Roman Catholic Church disapproved its use: "God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks – his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating."
Some sources said that forks were used in England, France and Sweden during 17th century while the others say that it became common in England in 18th century. Fork that is used in most of the world today, was developed in Germany in the mid 18th century. The standard four-tine ones were made in the early nineteenth century.
Forks today are inseparable part of every household and restaurant in the world. They are made mostly of metal (rarely of precious metals) and of course – which is annoying – of plastic. The most difficult ones to handle are those used in airplanes, but after September 11th, they became inevitability.
One more curiosity: while handling a fork, in USA it is custom to hold it with tines curving up (American style) while in Europe it is usually held with the tines curving down (continental style). They are used for art, too 😀
Blogs I Follow
- Thrifty Campers
- A Walk with Wildlife
- Daddy said...
- The Spryte's blog
- The View From My Bowl
- Humanity in Syria is at risk
- Make every day a little bit special ♥
- Clouds and Cappuccinos
- Robin's Robins
- A Sneak Peek On Things I Like
- A Canadian in Ireland
- Jill Gallery
- The Fish Tank
- This Insubstantial Pageant Faded