Nearly 400 years later, the fork remains at the center of American dining controversy

When the fork was first introduced to the dining table in the US, it caused controversy. Fast forward nearly four centuries later, and the small-pronged utensil still causes international arguments over dining etiquette.

On June 25, 1633, when governor John Winthrop, a founding father of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, took out a fork, then known as a “split spoon,” at the dinner table, the utensil was dubbed “evil” by the clergy. They said that the only thing worthy of touching...

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