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Eating Utensils

The History of Eating Utensils
The Anthropology Department at the California Academy of Sciences houses the Rietz Food Technology Collection.

Forks
Use of kitchen forks can be traced back to the time of the Greeks.

Knives
Knives have been used as weapons, tools, and eating utensils since prehistoric times. However, it is only in fairly recent times that knives have been designed specifically for table use.

Spoons
Spoons have been used as eating utensils since Paleolithic times.

Chopsticks
Chopsticks were developed about 5,000 years ago in China.

Portable Eating Utensils
Because people must eat no matter where they are, there has long been a need for portable eating utensils.

The Spork
Half spoon and half fork.

A Short History of the Wooden Plate
It has been suggested that these wooden trenchers gradually evolved into plates by first having a hollow turned in them and then the square profile being removed to leave the plate as we know it.

Trenchers - How To Cook Medieval
After its importance as food, the most useful role bread played at table was as a plate, or trencher. A trencher could be made of many different materials, earthenware, wood, or metal, but well into the sixteenth century it was often made of bread.

Related Information
Kitchen Appliances

©Mary Bellis

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