Knives, forks, and spoons

   In early times even kings and queens ate with their fingers. Later, people began eating with spoons. Many years later they started using knives and forks.

   The first spoons meant for use at a table were made out of expensive metals such as gold, bronze, and silver. Because spoons were not useful in eating all kinds of food, forks were invented.

   The first forks had only two prongs. They were designed by the wife of an Italian nobleman about 1100. Forks soon became common in Italy. Then knives for use at table became common, too. The use of knives and forks spread far and wide from Italy. But in some countries, such as China and Japan, knives and forks never came to be common tools for eating. Most Chinese and Japanese still use chopsticks.

   Silver and stainless steel are the metals now most popular for "table silver." There are many beautiful patterns. Of course, knives, forks, and spoons of many sizes and shapes are found in the kitchen, too.