when was the spoon invented
We use them every day without knowing or, perhaps, without giving value to the history and evolution that these three utensils have had throughout their existence. Here we tell you a little about the history of each one of them.
SPOON, THE OLDEST UTENSIL
The word “spoon” comes from the Latin cochlea which means “snail” or “mollusk shell” and is one of the oldest utensils on the planet that have been used for eating, whose origin dates back to Paleolithic times.
Conveniently shaped stones were the beginnings that gave rise to the development of the object we know today as a spoon.
The real invention happens when a handle is added to the containers. There is no exact period to which this breakthrough can be attributed, however archaeological evidence suggests that spoons with handles were used for religious purposes by the ancient Egyptians as early as 1000 BC .
The materials became more sophisticated over time. Ivory, wood, stone or the horn of certain animals were the first and were increasingly detailed and even decorated with hieroglyphics, religious motifs or carved designs.
When it came simply to food consumption, the most common material was wood due to its availability and low cost. However, during the Greek and Roman empires, bronze and silver spoons were already common among the highest level societies .
The first documented evidence of a spoon, as we know it today, was in England in the year 1259 and it is attributed to the wardrobe of King Edward I since its use as a ceremonial ornament in order to demonstrate wealth and status. power was common practice .
The design of the spoon has changed over time, however we could say that since the 18th century it has achieved a standard shape as a basic element of tables with a wide range of designs and materials.
FORK, THE DEVIL’S INSTRUMENT
The most recent addition to the cutlery family is the fork. The word comes from the Latin furca and Old English forca . It is said that the first appearances of this utensil with “teeth” were in Ancient Egypt where it consisted of a handle with two rather large forks that were mainly used for cooking and serving food.
In Italy, the story goes that the Duke of Venice, Domenico Selvo, married the Byzantine princess Theodora Anna Doukaina, who brought gold forks to Italy as part of her dowry . Apparently, the event was a religious scandal as it was thought to be a monstrous spiked instrument that insulted God who had given us fingers to eat. The princess herself died two years later of a mysterious degenerative disease that was considered by many to be a divine punishment for her arrogance in introducing the fork.
During the reign of Charles V in France (1364-1380) forks began to become part of the table inventory but it was specified that they were only to be used when eating food that might otherwise stain the fingers.
The popularity of the fork began to grow during the 16th century thanks to fashion pioneer Catherine de Medici, who introduced the fork, as well as pasta, olive oil, and the clever separation of sweet and savory products in 1533.
The French were also slow to accept the forks due to the same negative religious stigmata; However, in 1560, according to a book of French manners, it was customary to use this object as a support to eat solid ingredients.
An Englishman named Thomas Coryate brought the first forks to England around 1611 after seeing them in Italy during his travels. Again many British disagreed with the object as, again, they believed that only human fingers were fit to touch God’s food.
Over time, the idea of eating with a fork began to seem more and more attractive to those who preferred their food to be more hygienic. It begins to be popular then for hygienic purposes and to avoid pests and diseases . Despite its increased use, many men still rejected the idea of eating with a fork as a feminine act.
Little by little they came to be adopted by the upper classes until they became prized possessions of expensive materials destined to impress guests at elegant banquets.
The design went from two, to three and then four teeth, now with a slight comfortable ergonomic curve to transport the largest bite from the plate to the mouth. The arrival of the Industrial Revolution, in the 18th century, also began the democratization of the use of the fork and it was achieved that the upper, middle and lower classes used it equally .
KNIFE, WEAPON AND INSTRUMENT
The dual use of knives has been around for a long time with a double function: to kill the animal that is going to be eaten and to cut it into edible pieces .
The knife was and still is a basic tool and the design of a kind of belt whose purpose is to keep a sheathed knife close to the hand is Paleolithic.
Made of stone, horn, ivory, metal or ceramic, knives have been a key element in the history of the planet. From hunting spears to the most sophisticated and special ones for cutting fish; As weapons or as eating utensils, the knife has been as present as food in our lives.
Table knives were introduced around 1600
Table knives were introduced around 1600. However, the idea of eating as a family with a weapon at the table was somewhat frowned upon, so the fork began to gain more popularity than the knife.
In 1630, the Duke of Richelieu , in France, had a brilliant idea: he ordered all the knives in the house to be flattened so that the sharp points of this tool would not be threatening during the meal . Later, rules and table manners were designed so that the knife simply cut the meat and not transport it to the mouth, but rather the fork was in charge of carrying the piece of food.