When Was The Fork Invented?

Queen Elizabeth I got in a lot of trouble when she first ate with a fork.

The leaders of the Church of England said that she had insulted God when she didn’t use her fingers to eat meat. Of course, all of this happened back in the 1600’s, right after the fork was invented.

Before then, and for a long time afterward, people used a knife or a spoon for eating but usually ate with their fingers. If you happened to be lucky enough to own a fork and wanted to eat out with it, you had to take it with you, because your friends probably didn’t own one, and if they did, they wouldn’t let you use it.

Forks didn’t become popular in this country until well into the 1800’s. A lady who wrote about good table manners in the 1800’s explained, “Ladies may wipe their mouths on the tablecloth but not their noses.”

Aren’t you glad we now have napkins.

Forks used for eating was introduced from Byzantium into Greece about AD 1100 and traveled north into Italy and France.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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