My Links


Listed on BlogsCanada
Posted by eleanor

Stick a fork in it

The pronged eating instrument was once considered a tool of Satan, yo.

I humbly suggest that this utensil is thus a natural ally of the LGBTT2IQ (and a * for those I may have left out) community.

Here's the terrible tale: The Catholic Church "so opposed forks" in the 11th century that when a Byzantine princess known to pick at her food with the forbidden trident succumbed to the plague, "a Franciscan theologian called her untimely death 'a just punishment from God.'"

"The knife and the spoon have a venerable history, but the fork, associated with Satanism and hedonism, became widely used only in the past 200 years," notes Smithsonian Magazine in its May ish. "The idea is that if you were a good Christian -- eating gruel and meat -- you wouldn't indulge in anything that called for a fork," sez Sarah Coffin, curator of a flatware exhibit.

The rise of pasta helped the new silverware's acceptance -- in Italy, at least. "But Northern Europeans, Coffin says, continued to resist the fork for centuries, preferring to skewer meat and potatoes on the tip of a knife. When the Victorians began to regard the dinner knife as a brutal instrument and rounded off its point, meat still needed to be skewered. The fork rose to prominence."

As for Americans, they "considered forks to be a European affectation until the Rockefellers, Carnegies and Morgans popularized them in the 1800s." And eventually, flatware became so hip that each food practically had its own implement. "A single dinner pattern could have as many as 146 different pieces."

"In 1925, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, responding to a silver shortage, ordered the Bureau of Standards to limit the number of pieces in a flatware pattern to 55."

It's all too shocking. I call for solidarity with our tined brothers and sisters!


# re: Stick a fork in it
June 13, 2006 3:18 PM

Efforts seem to be failing to resolve a dispute between a Montreal school board and parents whose son was allegedly reprimanded for eating his lunch in the traditional Filipino way.

After Luc Cagadoc, 7, alleged two months ago that he had been chastised for eating his lunch with a fork and a spoon, his family became upset and Montreal's Filipino community rallied around them.

The family was considering following advice from the Quebec Human Rights Commission to go to mediation instead of following through on a formal complaint.