According to historians, the first fork appeared in the North East in the 9th century AD and was considered a luxury item. The Catholic Church for a long time did not want to accept this cutlery, and used knives, spoons. Today there are many varieties of this instrument, one of which is a dessert fork for the reception of sweet dishes. There are several types. It is necessary to learn how to use them correctly and distinguish them from each other.
Dessert forks are served not only for convenience, but also for beauty. They come in several varieties. It is much more appropriate at the celebration to take food with special devices. They differ in the number of tines and length, depending on the dish offered. Once you know what the difference between the instruments, you can easily find them on the serving table.
Dessert sets are divided into 3 types:
- For baking;
- For fruit;
- Foursheets for baking.
For desserts, cutlery is most often made of stainless steel. The most budget option – melchior pieces, but they need careful care. There are also utensils covered with gold or silver. These are the most expensive and valuable sets, even passed down by inheritance.
The best option for everyday use – dessert forks made of stainless steel. They vary in quality. The highest is marked 18/10. The numbers show the percentage of chromium and nickel. The thickness of the product should be at least 2.5 mm – measured by the handle of the device. A good fork has notches between the tines, so that when you clean the device, you can easily remove food debris.
Dessert often includes baked goods, which it is inconvenient to eat with a spoon. Therefore, you should use a small dessert fork that has 3 wide, short tines. It is smaller than a dessert fork. In length it is equal to the diameter of the dessert plate, is 13-15 cm.
Rarely there are devices with 4 tines, up to 18 cm long. To identify it on the table will help serving. Like all cutlery, dessert takes a certain place – located above the main plate.
The device is used for:
- shortbread cake;
- puff pastry;
- cottage cheese casserole;
Place baked goods from a common tray on your plate. A dessert fork and knife are used. The knife is taken with the right hand and the fork with the left. Next, small pieces are neatly cut from the pastry.
The fork during the meal constantly changes its position – turns the tines up or down. If it is not on the table, you can replace it with a dessert spoon.
For the fruit
Fruit releases a lot of juice, which can ruin clothes or tablecloths. To prevent this from happening, you need a special fruit fork. It has two sharp, long prongs. A little smaller than a dessert fork, it has a length of 13 cm to 14 cm.
It serves the table when serving:
- fresh fruit;
- preserved fruit;
- large berries;
- fruit salad.
The instrument is brought along with the dessert. If the fruit is fresh, a knife is added to the dessert fork. For salads and canned dessert, no knife is needed. For small berries, a spoon is suggested.
The usual dessert set serves a table covered with both pastries and fruit. The fruit fork, on the other hand, is considered an additional, but very functional appliance. If the fruit fork is not on the serving table, it is replaced by an ordinary fork, which is used in tandem with a knife.
Foursheets for baked goods.
Sometimes gala dinners are held in a buffet format – a table without chairs. Guests come to the table with their plate and choose the dishes they like. Sometimes there is no room for a plate on the buffet table – you have to hold it in your hands. In this position it is inconvenient to eat cake or a cake, because you can’t use a knife. For such cases, a buffet fork was invented.
These devices are a type of dessert and look not quite usual – the rightmost prong is a little wider than the rest and sharpened. The end of this tine is beveled. It is used instead of a knife, which is used to separate pieces from baked goods. Such products are made with a length of 14-15 cm with 3 prongs.
The fork is held in the right hand, and the plate in the left. People with a leading left hand – vice versa. If it is possible to put a plate, it is better to resort to the help of a knife.
A beautifully laid table is not only a pleasure to look at. Everything on it is arranged in such a way that the guest feels comfortable to eat. According to the rules of etiquette, each table item has its place.
The dessert fork should be above the plate, closer to the center of the table. The handle points to the left and the tines point to the right. Serving rules require that the prongs be placed upward. If the dessert will have only sponge cake or cake, you can do without it at the table. Use a dessert spoon. It is also placed over the plate closer to the middle. The handle of the spoon faces away from the handle of the fork.
If a knife is needed when serving, it should be between the fork and the plate. The handles of the fork and knife also look in different directions. The knife is sometimes on top of the dessert saucer. The dessert plate is to the left of the main plate. When serving, all items are 0.5 cm apart. Their parallel arrangement is obligatory.
During the meal, utensils are held parallel to the plate. When a person stands up and is distracted from the meal, they are placed on the plate on top of each other. It is necessary that their handles correspond to the dial, showing 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock. You can simply put one edge of the instrument on the plate and the other on the tablecloth.
When the meal is over, the appliances are put together and placed on top of the plate. The ends of the handles should be turned at 5 o’clock. Arranged with the teeth upward.
How to use
People eat baked goods and fruit every day, but few people think about how to properly use a dessert set. These items on the table help to eat neatly and beautifully, to observe the rules of etiquette at receptions, in a restaurant. There are some peculiarities when using a dessert fork, which depend on the type and nature of the served dish.
A good clue is the way the dish is served. If a cremanteau or vase is brought, the sweet should be eaten with a spoon. When dessert is brought on a flat dish, a fork and knife should be used.
According to the rules of etiquette, the table is set with a dessert set with the same pattern on the handles and equal in size. The set is taken with three fingers without touching the bottom of the fork. The prongs should face downward. If the pastry is crumbly or filled, the tines are turned upward.
The middle finger is placed on the handle, and the index finger and thumb hold it on both sides. The ring finger and the pinky finger curl inward. The edge of the pen should rest in the middle of the palm.
If there is an ordinary dessert fork with three prongs on the table, it is taken with the right hand, the rib separates the pieces of dessert. Then they are poked and eaten. When the table is served with a knife and fork, it is taken in the left hand and the knife in the right.
Fruit salads are eaten with a fruit fork without a knife. If fresh fruit is served, such as apples, melon, orange, watermelon, pineapple, both devices are needed:
- Coarsely cut pieces of melon, watermelon are placed in their plate with the skin facing down. One piece is cut off at a time, eaten immediately. There is no need to cut the whole portion, otherwise the juice will leak out into the plate. Pips from the watermelon are removed with a fork;
- A banana, served as a whole, with the tail removed, is placed on the plate. A knife and fork are taken, then the top of the fruit is peeled off. The bottom peel is not removed. Cut into small pieces;
- Apples, pears are put whole, cut with a knife into 4 parts. Then remove the core, remove the skin. Next, a cube is cut from a slice and eaten with a fruit fork;
- The orange is laid out on a plate, then make incisions with a knife all around the circumference almost to the base. They open it with their hands to make a flower. Cut into slices, remove pips. Slices are divided in half;
- Peach and nectarine put in a plate, pre-cleaned hands peel. Then with the help of instruments divide the fruit in half with a knife and remove the pit. Cut small slices so that they can be chewed comfortably;
- The persimmon is laid out with the stalk downwards and cut into pieces. If the fruit is very ripe and soft, it is eaten with a dessert spoon. If it is hard, it is cut into small slices with a knife.
The main purpose of the dessert set is to help in the intake of food. It is necessary to learn not only to hold it correctly, but also to use it separately for each dish. For formal dinners this is important, but at a family feast it is allowed to take dessert with your hands.