Posts Tagged ‘Bee Wilson’

Consider the Fork

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

It would have been very easy to set the table in the early 1600s. Guests wore their own knives to the table, and forks were only used as cooking tools in the kitchen, so they would not be laid out on the table either.

Except in Italy. At about that time, an English visitor to Italy observed the natives using a device “not used in any other country” and that was “a little fork” which the Italians used to hold meat in place while it was cut. Kate Dolan discusses the history of fork usageThe visitor, Thomas Coryate, soon adopted this fashion himself and when he returned to England his friends including poets Ben Jonson and John Donne made fun of him for his fork habit. Another poet announced a few years later that they “need no forks to make hay with our mouths to throw meat into them.”  Real men did not use forks. (more…)

A Toothless Weapon Changed our Teeth

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Does it bother you that the person sitting next to you at the dinner table has a knife? Probably not. After all, you have one too. But more than that, the knife within easy grasp of you neighbor is about as sharp as a cotton ball. Not much of a threat. But in the old days, the knives used at table were not so tame. Kate Dolan writes about table knives
And that’s because they were meant to be used to do more than spread butter. (more…)