Fun Facts

The word "fork" comes from the Latin furca, a farmer's pitchfork. Forks fashionable until the eighteenth century, and then, in part to emphasize a distinction. With the French Revolution on the horizon, and with revolution stressing the ideals of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," the ruling French increased their use of forks -specifically the four-tined variety. The fork symbol of luxury, refinement, and status. Suddenly, to touch food with e fingers was gauche.

An additional mark distinguishing classes at the dining table was individual settings- each aristocrat present at a meal received a full complement (plates, and glasses. In eighteenth-century Europe, most people, and certain poorer classes, still shared communal bowls, plates and even drinking glasses. Etiquette book of that period advises: "When everyone is eating from the plate you should take care not to put your hand into it before those of higher rank so."

Early man, preoccupied with foraging for food, which was scarce, had no manners; he are stealthily and in solitude. But with the dawn of agriculture. East, about 9000 B.C. man evolved from hunter-gather to farmer. He stayed in one place to a more stable life. As food became plentiful, it was shared and rules were developed for its preparation and consumption. One family habit at the table became the next generation's customs.

Historical evidence for the first code of correct behavior comes form the leader of Egypt, in the book, The Instructions of Ptahhotep (Phahhotep was grand son of the pharaoh Isesi). Written about 2500 B.C., the manuscript on manners a Paris antiquities collection.

Spoon is form the Anglo-Saxon spon, meaning "chip," and a spoon was a concave piece of wood, dipped into porridge or soupy foods not liquid enclosed from a bowl.

In Italy the fifteenth century, "apostle spoons" were the rage. Usually the spoons had handles in the figure of an apostle. Among the wealthy V Tuscans, an apostle spoon was considered the ideal baptismal gift; the ha bear the figure of the child's patron saint. It's from this custom that a private family could afford to commission a silver apostle's spoon as a christening gift.

Source: Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles