By Bill Sullivan
The first thing you notice is the clothing. Walking down Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, the people of the Revolutionary City are attired in all types of fashion….
Margaret Visser explains in The Rituals of Dinner (pp 188-194) that the fork long had use in the kitchen but didn’t come to the table until the 16th century. The fork was first used to hold the meat while it was being cut with a knife, and it was considered more hygienic than using one’s hands for that purpose. In the 17th century, most people thought using a fork instead of one’s hands was overly fastidious. However, the fashion slowly worked its way into common practice. Subsequently, the fork made its way to the mouth and was reshaped into a more convenient tool for the mouth. The long two-pronged fork was shortened and more prongs were spaced closer together with a spoon-like curve. As the fork began to replace the knife as an eating tool, pointed knives were replaced by knives with rounded ends.