When People Began to Eat With the Fork
“Fingers were made before forks.”When a person gives up good manners, puts aside knife and fork, and dives into his food, someone is likely to repeat that saying.
The fork was an ancient agricultural tool, but for centuries no one thought of eating with it.Not until the eleventh century, when a young lady from Constantinople brought her fork to Italy, did the custom reach Europe.
By the fifteenth century the use of the fork was wide-spread in Italy.The English explanation was that Italians were averse to eating food touched with fingers, “seeing all men's fingers are not alike clean.”English travelers kept their friends in stitches while describing this ridiculous Italian custom.
Anyone who used a fork to eat with was laughed at in England for the next hundred years.Men who used forks were thought to be sissies, and women who used them were called show-off sand overnice, Not until the late 1600's did using a fork become a common custom.