Most people will at some point in their lives come across the age-old discomfort of sitting at the dining table staring at their forks, wondering which fork goes to what thing. Depending on where you go, whether it is a fancy restaurant or a dinner party, it is typically up to the host how many forks there will be. However, there are at least some general guidelines you can follow.
When it comes to the flatware, this is laid out so that you start with the fork furthest away from the plate and continue inward. In a typical arrangement, there will most likely be three to five forks to deal with that are placed on the left side of the plate.
The Salad Fork
The salad fork is roughly 6 inches in length and, unlike its name, can be for either your salad or some type of appetizer, except for seafood. When it comes to seafood, you will typically be provided with a different fork, better known as a cocktail fork. The cocktail fork only has three short tines on it, making it relatively easy to identify. The tines on a salad fork are slightly wider and flatter than those on a dinner fork. The left tine may be extra wide in order to better assist you with cutting through lettuce or an appetizer.
The Dinner Fork
This is the fork that will be used for the main course. It is roughly 7 inches in length. However, if you are eating fish, it may be replaced with a fork better equipped for such an entree. That fork will be roughly the same size, perhaps a little bigger, and may also be equipped with an extra wide left tine.
The Dessert Fork
This fork looks fairly similar to the salad fork in that it may also have an extra wide left tine and ranges from 6 to 7 inches in length. This fork is most likely to be placed closest to your plate. However depending on your dessert, it may be replaced with a pastry fork or an ice-cream fork. This fork looks like a cross between a fork and a spoon, with three tines on the end of spoon-like flatware. The pastry fork, which looks also relatively similar to the salad fork, only shorter, is likely to have a notched left tine in order to better assist you with cutting through your dessert.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
About the Different Types of Table Settings
Learn the differences and similarities between formal and casual table settings. Learn how to set a formal and casual table and how...
How to Use a Fork Thermometer
Meat is very tricky to cook. From red meat to poultry to fish, from rare to well done, finding the perfect temperature...
How to Use a Tuning Fork
Invented in 1711, the tuning fork is essential before any classical music concert. It's a metal device with two prongs shaped like...
How to Use a Knife and Fork
Whether you are dining with the boss or trying to impress a date, bad table manners say a lot about you. Good...
How to Set a Table for Fine Dining
Before you set the table for fine dining, you must first consider the table itself. True fine dining necessitates a large table...
How to Become a Fine Dining Bartender
So you've always wanted to become a bartender, or maybe you are a bartender who wants to find a different atmosphere to...
Use the Fine Dining Technique to Teach Your Dog a Reliable Recall
Teach your dog to come using the fine dining technique in this free video.
How to Place Salad Forks for Table Settings
Learn how to place salad forks for proper table settings with expert tips in this free video clip.