There are many different varieties/ types of fork. Possibly the most important and widely used ones are the dinner, fish, salad, dessert, and the seafood fork.
The shapes of these different forks accommodate specific foods. Forks which have long tapered tines are made to spear pieces of food, such as steak. Those with a wide left tine and an optional notch provide extra leverage when cutting food. Forks with curved tines are made to follow the shape of the shell. Let us look further into specific types of forks…
The Dinner Fork
This is usually the longest fork in a set of tableware. This fork has four tines of equal length and is used for the main meat course, alongside the main knife. It is also sometimes called the ‘place fork’ or ‘table fork’.
The Fish Fork
This fork is used in formal and informal dining. The fork may have three or four tines. To provide extra leverage in separating fish from the body, the fish fork features an extra wide left tine. It also features an extra notch, which is grooved to fit over the bones.
The Salad Fork
The tines of a salad fork are flatter and slightly broader than those on a dinner fork. Salad forks are often made with an extra wide left tine to provide leverage when cutting stubborn lettuce or broad vegetables. This tine is sometimes grooved, in order to cut up salad. The second and third tines of the salad fork are occasionally connected by a rod, to provide additional strength.
The Dessert Fork
This fork is slightly smaller than the other forks. Dessert forks may have three or four tines, with the left tine being larger than the others with a flattened edge. This allows the wielder of the dessert fork to hold a plate in their left hand and cut through the cake with their right hand. This fork can also be called a pastry fork or pie fork.
The Seafood Fork
This is also known as the cocktail fork. It is a small, narrow, three-pronged fork made with short tines and a long handle. The purpose of the seafood fork is simply to spear seafood.