C’mon…admit it, you do it too. At the end of a long day, you grab a quick bite to eat and just take a fork with you to the table (or perhaps you’re standing up at the counter). Partway through the meal you need to cut something and, instead of getting up to get a knife, you use the edge of the fork to make the cut.
I know I do it on occasion when I don’t have a knife. I’ve seen other diners use their fork to make the cut even if there is a knife handy. I wonder if that’s got something to do with the zig-zag style of eating (discussed in this post on Cutlery Conventions). While Miss Manners wouldn’t approve at a dinner party, I think in the privacy of your own home you can be excused.
I was working on some forks the other day and examining the wear patterns on the tines got me thinking about this subject. It’s very easy to tell when someone uses their fork to cut with.
As an aside, Mr. Magpies asked me what I was writing about and when I told him, and then showed him the two forks from the photo below, a slightly apprehensive expression crossed his face. “Am I going to be mentioned in this post?”, he asked. At least I didn’t throw him under the bus…mea culpa too!
The Tines Reveal All
In this photo you are looking at the two forks, face down on the table, in a head-to-head position. You can see that the middle two tines still match up quite well. The fork on the left has not been used as a knife very often and so it’s tines as still quite square. However, the fork on the right has often been used to cut.
The two outer tines are pushed in towards the middle quite a lot. That’s what happens when you press down on them to cut!
In my opinion, nothing. This is the whole crux of the matter about your silverware. When you use it, it ends up showing signs of use.
I can see you rolling your eyes at my stating the obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people get upset by that thought. For them, it is wrong for your silver to look anything less than cosmetically mint. Signs of use are undesirable, rather than charming reminders that these pieces have been used and enjoyed on many occasions.
Is anyone else going to admit they cut with their fork too? How do you feel about the cosmetically mint issue?