In ancient times (not the stone age), people used to eat with their hands. A bowl of water and towels would be placed on the table and wash cloths were available for each person. If indeed cutlery was needed, a spoon would be used and 2 knives were used to cut/slice meat and vegetables.
Coming to the present, there are so many different spoons, forks, knives, ladles and what-nots that I observe when I visit the different stores that sell them.
How does one determine what type of a utensil is to be used to serve / eat a particular dish? Is it associated with:
Type of spoon / fork matched to a food
is it easier to eat a dish only with that utensil
the utensil - decided by the culture/regional practice
Last but not the least, when did it become an universal code?
I don't think it's nice when people around us glare at my left-handed friend for holding the knife in the left and the fork in his right hand.. seriously?
For the last 15 years we only use 'Splayds'.
Using them, does away with the use of a knife most of the time.
We may use a knife if we have meat, only if it is a thick cut.
They were invented in the 1940's by a man from Sydney Australia, called William McArthur. They are for just about every meal, and quite brilliant.
Of course not for soup or cereal.
There are some others on the market, but in no way are they as good or come close.
That's my take these days on cutlery for our home.We keep things very simple.
Yes! Splayds are fabulous! We got a set as a wedding present and we use them for most meals. Sometimes we'll use chopsticks for Asian food, or a knife and fork if we're having a roast or something, but mainly splayds. Convenient and less washing up.
In ancient times where and when? It's varied a lot over the course of human history. The use of cutlery still doesn't have a "universal code" today. There are still places where it's customary to eat with your hands or with chopsticks.
I don't think it's nice to give people a hard time about their table manners either. I think it's missing something a bit more important about manners which are fundamentally supposed to be about politeness, not making other people feel inferior. Also, I'm another weirdo who eats with my fork in my right hand and my knife in my left. It doesn't hurt anyone, so who cares?
When it comes to knives, there are lots of different types depending on the food you need to cut. The serrated edges of bread and steak knives are needed for those foods. For spoons, the size will determine which is best - teaspoons for tea, dessert spoons for desserts, and large serving spoons for dishing out things like potatoes, etc.
Cakes are generally meant to be eaten with a three pronged knife during afternoon tea, but I don't know why. When it comes to forks, I just use any one, as they all do the job as well as the other, whatever you're eating.
Hahaha, I do what your friend does but I am not left handed! I've eaten like this ever since I was a child. I don't particularly care how people eat their food. If I could, I would eat with my hands all the time.
At home I use the same sized forks for everything. Steak knives for cutting meat and butter knives for everything else. Spoons for soups. I like eating my dessert with a teaspoon. A hangover from my childhood when my brother told me it makes the dessert last longer (I must have at some stage had an objection to a smaller spoon).
I have learnt the etiquette of eating "properly", but reserve this for dining in fancy restaurants and official functions. I like the game of all those pieces of cutlery laid out in order for me to pick my way through, but never get serious about it, and couldn't care less if somebody else uses them the way I do or not. Chopsticks are also fun for noodles and Asian style soups.
I know what knife, fork or spoon to use. I know how to lay a table and furthermore, I think everyone else should know too, from the age of about 10. I think it is a basic. Splayds are great, for buffet fare or for sitting in front of the TV with a curry or short pasta. No good for long past. Why is everything so hard these days - like people knowing these things. The same as carving a joint - my son is law is a great cook but he just destroys a roast because he doesn't know how to carve. Pre-Christmas and the supermarkets were banging on about roast pork and crackling, baked ham etc. and in one advert the beautiful ham had "cubes" cut out of it. WTH Curtis.
I can't believe that people are so lazy (in learning the basics).
Being able to set a table and knowing the use for each piece of cutlery should be just basic. Like knowing to wash your hands before handling food. Just absolutely gives me the ships.