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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 01:48 PM
Original message
Question about dessert/salad forks.
Why does one of the outside tines on a salad/dessert fork have an angled point. Sorry, I don't know what else to call it. Hope you can understand what I'm talking about. Anyway, this has come up in dinner conversation in my family for the past two years.
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have no idea why the angled point.
I've yet to find a use for them. The only thing I can think of is its just decorative. Dessert & salad forks had thicker tines to cut through pastry or lettuce, but what the angled point does is beyond me.

True dessert & salad forks have thicker tines on both left & right & the angled bit is just on the left side. Typically fish forks have the angled bit on both sides. But, there are a million exceptions & a million patterns out there.

If you ever find a definitive source please shout it out. I would be curious to know.
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Can you find the fork on here?
It sounds like you're talking about a cocktail fork....

http://www.silverwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/sc1.pl?x1=x4&pg=...
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. cocktail forks are very tiny (technically they're called
seafoord/oyster forks). I don't think anyone would try to eat a salad or dessert with aseafood/cocktail fork.

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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I have, believe it or not
been to restaurants where they give you the little fork so you can daintily eat your dessert.
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Salad fork on this
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. which pattern?
I love looking at silver, but I still won't be able to tell you what the little angled bit does. It doesn't even make sense to me on fish forks. And don't get me started on how stupid I think fish knives are. lol.

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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. It's on almost all silver patterns.
Edited on Sun Feb-19-06 07:54 PM by japple
And I would post a picture of it, but I don't know how.
My silver is National's Princess Elizabeth, 1942, Sterling.
BTW, my mother-in-law bought it at a yard sale and gave it to me years ago. She was appalled when I married her son and didn't have a china or silver pattern (snicker, snicker).
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Pretty pattern
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. On fish forks
it's supposed to help you get the little bones out.
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I don't know why anyone would need it to get the bones out.
I can bone a trout without using that & I have no idea why it would be on dessert forks & salad forks.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-19-06 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. This thread is making me grateful we've all decided to relax
and live in sweats and running shoes and restrict our forks to dinner and salad/dessert. I know there's a dizzying array of forks I inherited in both sterling and plate and I can't begin to tell one from another in a couple of the sets.

Not only were there a dizzying array of forks and spoons, there were also European dinner forks vs. American dinner forks and several varieties of serving forks, and heaven help the hostess who used a cold cut fork for serving anything hot. Then there is the pickle fork, the canape fork, and some I haven't identified.

Generally speaking, in my collection the salad fork looks like the dinner fork had offspring, it's just a miniature dinner fork. The dessert fork has short, wide tines. The fish/shellfish fork has a long handle and four very small tines, the outer two of which are curved slightly outward. The canape forks have three tines about half an inch long, ridiculous looking, really, and incredibly fancy handles.

In any case, I'm delighted we've all decided to move on and simplify our lives as far as silverware goes.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. I dunno ... I've been on a jag lately to fill out a set I've had for years
Community Silver's Deauville. We love art deco and this pattern is the deco-est!



They also made china and crystal. I'd love to get some, but it is even more expensive than my Noritake.


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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Too funny
I didn't get a set of matched stainless until about 12 years ago, had just used a mismatched hodgepodge of junk I'd picked up at yard sales and thrift shops. I wouldn't have either plate or sterling had I not inherited the stuff and I certainly would never miss the experience. If tastes ever change back from the pretentious, ornate patterns and toward your taste and mine, I'll unload the stuff.

Just call me crass.

My dishes used to be Woolworth's white, but since Woolworth's went belly up in this state, it's now the less breakable Corelle in plain white.

Just call me boring.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. We still have (most of) a set of Corelle we use a lot. We also have this
as our everyday stuff.



The pattern is "Attitudes" by Mikasa's Studio Nova. We bought a full set and a 'broken' set at BeddBaffAndBeyondReason just before the stuff was discontinued.

Now, the shit's available on eBay and commands a pretty hefty price.

Who knew? :shrug:
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I was given the silver, and have interited some "good" china, but
we mostly use our set of stoneware that we got from Winn Dixie in Asheville, NC many years ago. Now Winn Dixie is mostly gone and I don't know where I'll find replacements. Seriously, I do most of my shopping for clothes and household items at the thrift shops and every now and then, I'll run across something in my Winn-Dixie pattern. I do a lot of mixing and matching, too.

H2S, I love your art deco stuff. It's beautiful.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
10. I wouldn't know. I like to eat with my hands! n/t
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well, we were absolutely no help, were we?
I'm still thinking it's just a design thing & not meant for any particular reason. But, you've got me very curious & now I'm going to hunt around when I have a chance & see what I can find.

best
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
18. The reason for the overly complicated silverware
Edited on Mon Feb-20-06 08:04 PM by supernova
arose mostly in the Victorian era. It was part of the way the wealthy separated themselves from the hoi poloi, making up strict rules about the use of obscure bits of flatware. :crazy:


A: Napkin
B: Service Plate
C: Soup bowl on plate
D: Bread and butter plate w/ butter knife
E. Water glass
F: White wine
G: Red wine
H: Fish fork
I: Dinner Fork
J: Salad fork
K: Service knife
L: Fish knife
M: Soup spoon
N: Dessert spoon and cake fork

http://www.onlinesterling.com/helpfulhints/formal-table...

edit: LOL! To answer your question, have you seen the Wikipedia entry on pastry forks?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastry_fork ?

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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Funny, but I still don't see that that answers japple's
question about what the angled bit is for. Thicker tines I understand-to cut through the pastry-but what, are you supposed to stab it with the angled piece?
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I guess the idea
is that it's supposed to resemble a knife blade, the easier with which to cut into pastries.
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
29. I think you are right. If I recall, this configuration is seen mostly
in silver or silver plate services, while stainless steel salad/dessert forks tend to just look like miniature versions of the dinner fork.

The odd shaped tine is designed to cut through pastry shells, piecrusts, etc asa it has more of an edge than the other tines. But only if you are right handed. A leftie would have a hard time with that.

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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. I was at an ultra-super-formal wine awards dinner some years ago
It was a part of the Asia-Pacific Wine Society shindig that happened in concurrence with a convention I attended in Singapore.

They had all that silverware, plus more. The dress was white tie (i.e.: tails for men). They had a different glass for each wine that would be served, and there were two for each of the nine courses.

I still have the menu around here someplace.

Lemme tell ya, eighteen wine glasses really clutter a table.
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I would think 18 glasses of wine would clutter your tummy, too.
And, not to sound like a snot, but they were wrong to have all the wine glasses on the table at once & really, really wrong if all the silverware for all nine courses on the table at once. Someone needed a little Emily help.

And, not to hijack poor japple's thread any more, but in the Victorian/Edwardian Era not dressing for dinner meant that the guys just got to wear black tie, not white tie.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Would you come be my Butler?
I'm saving up for a Butler. :D
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. lol
:rofl:

:thumbsup:
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Sip ... not tipple ... that's the key
The dinner was an odd mix of Western and Asian sensibilities. The tables were ten-top rounds set for six. The aisles between tables were wide enough to drive a truck through. The room was decorated in shimmery gold and red. The tables were sprinkled with (real) red and yellow flower petals.
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wildeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-21-06 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. Also, they had people to clean it all.
Once household servants for the middle class disappeared, so did all those ridiculous bits of flatware and china.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-20-06 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
26. Perhaps to pierce cherry tomatoes or extra crispy veggies?
The salad/dessert forks at MY house are tossed to the back of the drawer...(in reserve for when I am too lazy to unload the dishwasher..or to run it.).. Now that there are just the two of us, it takes forever to fill a dishwasher
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-27-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. I am only anal about certain things, and my silver ware is one of
them...which is hilarious since I am so haphazard about practically everything else around the house.

But I want to eat my saled or cake or pie with the salad/dessert fork and my meal with the dinner fork. I want to eat my soup with the soup spoon and stir my coffee or tea or hot cocoa with the teaspoon, only stir my iced beverage with the iced beverage spoon!!!! Even if I am home alone, eating in front of the TV or computer.

and I do not want to use my eating stainless to do things like beat eggs, or other cooking chores. I have some odd bits of lower quality "utility" stainless for various cooking chores. I have always been that way, and I suppose my mom must have also been.

My husband is just as likely to eat soup with an iced tea spoon as not, (and he absolutely detests soup spoons, calls them shovels.) I still cringe every time he does it and we have been married 23 years.

But my stainless forks do not have the funny edge and my silver plated ones do.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-22-06 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
28. I would have called it a pastry fork.
That's what my New England grandmother called them, and I've seen that identity many times in little boxed sets and charts.
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