On John Winthrop, the fork, and differences between Americans and Europeans

+14 votes
Firefox wanted me to read this interesting article about forks and I figured it was worth sharing here, too: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/nearly-400-years-later-the-fork-remains-at-the-center-of-american-dining-controversy

It seems that governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony used a fork at the dinner table in 1633 and it was called “evil” by the Puritan clergy who said that the only thing worthy of touching “God’s food” was fingers. And it is because it took almost another century for the fork to begin to be accepted that Americans handle the fork differently from people in the rest of the world.

Details in the linked article.
in The Tree House by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Don't show this to my children!
The Puritan clergy was some crazeeee peeps. Ya ever try to scoop up fresh from the oven black eyed peas and eat'em with your fingers ?
Eddie, still processing that mental image.
There are many people in the world who eat with their fingers. I have shared meals in this way many times with Asian friends.  Also, in 2004, I was in northern Uganda and meals were eaten with our fingers.

Pretty sure they would have handled those fresh from the oven black eyed peas with the help a good sturdy chunk of bread -- an important additional item for late medieval / early renaissance tableware, which that article neglects to mention. 


There is a law that firmly states black-eyed peas must be eaten with cornbread. CORNBREAD cheeky

2 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
Thank you, Ellen!

This reminds me of a nursery rhyme passed down in my family:

I eat my peas with honey. / I've done it all my life. / It makes the peas taste funny, / but it keeps them on my knife.
by Susan Anderson G2G6 Mach 2 (24.3k points)
selected by Sue Kretock
I love it!
+5 votes
I loved the article too.
by David Hughey G2G6 Pilot (850k points)

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