When Were Knives, Forks, and Spoons First Used?

There is no certain date for the first use of these utensils by humans. But we know that knives have been used from the time that cavemen began hunting.

Any material that these primitive people found that was hard and sharp became a knife with which to skin animals and cut meat. These same cavemen also used roughly hollowed-out stones or curved shells as spoons.

Forks are a fairly recent invention. They were introduced in 1100 in Italy by the wife of an Italian nobleman. Before this time, it was considered polite to pick up food with one’s hands. But this lady felt she was too refined to eat this way, and she introduced a two-pronged fork to her table.

Her idea did not catch on immediately, and it wasn’t until the 1500s that forks became popular and appeared on most tables. Many wealthy people of that time carried their own knives and forks with them when they traveled, as inns did not have them yet.

In some countries, especially China and Japan, knives and forks never became popular. Here, the food is served in small pieces and picked up with chopsticks!

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.

4 thoughts on “When Were Knives, Forks, and Spoons First Used?”

  1. Forks were invented and first used in the castle of Serbian Tsar Dusan who ruled 1331 – 1355. This has been proven, cause at that time he had ruled over the majority of Balkans including today’s Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece all the way down to Athens.

  2. The man is tellin the truth, while the Serbs ate with golden forks the english and germans ate with their damn hands.. CCCC
    The oldest Nation SERBIA- Republika Srpska

  3. I love Serbia, but the truth is that there are 8th and 9th century forks that have been found. They exist, and they are middle-eastern. We can’t claim this one, guys. Ali, viva Srbija!

  4. I’m Italian and totally neutral here . But,we can say that knifes and forks in Europe were first used by the Slavic people because of Vinca and it’s neolithic archaeological sites which proved that the first metal processing in the world was on the territories where was Vinccan culture . Therefore, since there are many archaeological sites in Serbian and since Serbs are Slavs it wouldn’t surprise me if they were among the first Slavic people who made and used forks, knifes… because long time ago they (Slavs =Serbs ) had very developed metal objects (which was found in Vinca and other archeologico sites ) , so if they could make all kinds of swords,knifes, bowls , goblets and other complex metal objects , why wouldn’t they also be the one who made those simple small knifes and forks? Here is some Serbian website and there you will find photos of many metal objects which were found there .. and if some of you ”ultra” Serbs could translate for us what it says , it would be interesting … ;)

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