‘Consider the Fork’ serves up some appetizing tidbits

Apr 15 2013 - 2:37pm

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I enjoy reading a good biography now and then. My current reading material, "Consider the Fork," (Basic Books, $26.99), isn't the history of a person, but of cooking and eating tools. Written by British food writer and historian Bee Wilson, it shares the evolution of those simple forks, spoons, knives, pots, measuring cups, and other implements that we take for granted.

It's interesting to understand how those humble tools shaped today's food culture while providing sustenance through centuries.

We've definitely come a long way from the sharpened flint used in the Stone Age to hack away at raw meat. Here are some of the tidbits that I've learned:

* The fork in the road. Although forks were used anciently for roasting, the idea of using them as an eating utensil wasn't generally accepted throughout Europe until the 1700s. The fact that they resembled a devil's pitchfork didn't help.

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