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.

  人们何时开始用叉进餐

  “手指比叉子先造出来”,当一个人毫不顾及体面,把刀和叉放在一边,用手抓食物的时候,有人很可能会重复这句俗话。

  叉子本是一种古老的农具,几个世纪以来,从没有人想到用它来吃东西。直到11世纪,君士坦丁堡的一位年轻贵妇把她用的叉带到意大利,用叉进餐的风俗这才传入欧洲。

  到15世纪,叉子已在意大利广泛使用。英国人的解释是,意大利人不愿吃手指碰过的东西,因为“他们发现,并不是所有人的手指都是干净的”。英国的旅行家们叙述这个可笑的意大利风俗时,总是使他们的朋友们笑得前俯后仰。

  以后几百年中,凡用叉进餐的人在英国均遭嘲笑。用叉的男人们被认为是脂粉气太重,女人们则被指摘为卖弄、炫耀和过分讲究。直到17世纪后期,用叉进食才成为一种风俗。