Who invented the fork?
The earliest example of fork as utensils is from ancient China.
Bone forks were found at a burial site of Qijia culture (2400-1900
BC). They were also found in Shang Dynasty (1600-1050 BC) burial
sites as well as subsequent dynasties. Chopsticks were invented
much later and replaced forks in China as the main utensil where
they were viewed to be more efficient.
First European Fork: The fork was already in use in the royal
courts of the Middle East by the 7th Century. It was a strong
wooden stick with one end in a U-shape having two pointed prongs to
grip meat for easier manipulation while roasting over fire.
Oldest recorded forks in Europe are also referenced to Medieval
times, where they had a sharp edge (almost like a knife), and it
was possible for cooks to carve and serve meat with them - a sort
of a two-in-one kitchen utencil. It was still common practice to
eat meat with bare hands.
Forks were not commonly used at the table in Europe until the
end of the 1600s; they were modified to three-pronged or
four-pronged, with a slight curve for easier scooping from plates.
It was then that etiquette made it the norm to use forks instead of
fingers to eat meat.
No one knows. Forks were first used in the Middle Ages. The fork as
we know it today became popular only in the late 1800s.