7 Types of Forks and What to do with Them ...

Have you ever seen a formally set table and wondered why there are so many types of forks? I certainly have. I guess I’m not super fancy because I usually eat with one fork for an entire meal. I know, shocking right? However, if I do decide to have a formal party, it would be nice to know what I’m up against. Therefore, I set out to learn more about all the types of forks out there. You’re in luck because I’m going to share that info with you so that you too can have a formal dinner party.

1. Table Fork

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Let’s start with the most basic of the types of forks, and that is the table fork. This is your standard fork and the one you likely use most often. It’s ideal for a wide range of food choices, including pasta, dessert, salad and meat entrées. Chances are that most of the forks in your drawer are table forks.

2. Deli Fork

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This type of fork has only two tines and was actually created for picking up slices of prosciutto. Crazy, right? A set of forks for only one purpose! Anyway, you can easily get away with using this fork for serving any kind of deli meat or cheese and they are ideal for a build your own sandwich station.

3. Fish Fork

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If your fancy dinner includes a fish course, it’s common etiquette to lay the fish fork with the other cutlery on the table. This fork has one tine that’s wider than the others, which makes it easier to pull the fish flesh from the bones and skin. If you’re serving only the fillet, you can probably get away with a standard table fork.

4. Fruit Fork

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The fruit fork is more commonly used in Europe than it is in the United States. It’s a smaller fork that you can use for cutting large pieces of fruit on your plate or spearing smaller ones. Of course, you could just use a regular fork and knife, but it might look funny at a formal affair.

5. Salad Fork

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I love having a salad with my meal and I guess I should invest in a good set of salad forks. This type of fork is a bit longer than the average utensil and is designed to work with a salad spoon so you can mix your salad and toss it with the dressing before you eat it. Second to the table fork, the salad fork is one that you’ll very often see on formally set tables.

6. Ice Cream Fork

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Yep, you read that right! There is such a thing as an ice cream fork. It has a bowl shape with three tines on the end. You use it to break apart and then scoop up the ice cream. I’m not sure it’s any easier than using a regular dessert spoon, but having ice cream forks on your table will give your presentation some personality and formalness.

7. Dessert Fork

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Let’s not forget the dessert fork. It’s smaller than both a table and a fruit fork and is perfect for cake, pie and other sweet treats. Most formal tables include a dessert fork to be used for the final course.

Did you know there were so many forks? I believe there are even more specialized forks, such as ones for lobster and roast out there too. Do you have any to add to the list?

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