Cutlery Information and Facts
Cutlery is the term used for any type of implement used in the eating, preparing or serving of food.
The word cutler originates from Middle English. This term came from the word cuteler, which originates from Old French coutelier, which comes from
coutel meaning knife.
The knife is the earliest recorded type of cutlery going back to the caveman. Spoons then came around many years later and were made of stone or
clay, as metal in early times was not easy to be made malleable. Forks came many years later, The first recorded use was in the 9th century. Their
form was not as we know today it was more like a spear shape.
There are three basic types of cutlery. The knife, the fork and the spoon. Modern living though has produced dual function cutlery including the spork
,(spoon and fork) spife (spoon and knife), and knork (knife and fork) or the sporf which is all three.
Cutlery can be made from varying types of materials. In the early days before traditional dining was around cutlery was made from wood. In more
civilized times cutlery was originally made from silver (hence the name silver service). As silver proved to be out the price range for most people
cheaper versions of cutlery in stainless steel and alloy were produced. You can even purchase cutlery made from plastic for picnics and barbeques.
Sheffield has been the home for cutlery production for thousands of years, but the major growth period was during the 17th and 18th centuries. In
recent times this has diminished considerably probably due to cheap imports. The reason why Sheffield was the centre for cutlery production was due
to several factors. It has coal for smelting and forging. There are five rivers flowing around Sheffield to produce power for water wheels, which were
used for the grinding wheels. But probably the most significant reason being the abundance of Iron Ore which as mined locally along with the coal.
There is more to cutlery than the basic three types. There is specialist cutlery used for