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The Greatest Fork in the World


Chris Amirault
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It used to be that the any given fork in my silverware drawer consisted of four lengthy, slim tines attached to a firm, sizable shaft and handle. But then hell broke loose, in the form of smaller, fatter tines and shorter, slimmer handles.

I was dejected. And then I found this Gibson fork -- not one, but two of them:

DSC00008.JPG

That's it at the bottom. This 8 1/4" piece of genius is perfect for flaking chicken, beating an egg, shaping gnocchi, and doing about a thousand other things.

Perhaps you don't have one of these perfect forks and wish you had this one, in which case I'm sorry for you. Perhaps, like me, you do have a perfect fork, and you can share in its glory here.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'm with you, Chris.

Several years ago I spent a lot of time looking for a set of stainless flatware that had some "heft" to it and finally found the Towle which you can see on the far right in this photo with a teaspoon.

That fork is 8 1/4 inches.

The two on the left are turn of the last century silverplate (need polishing) by Rogers and I have kept these forks as "utility" pieces for uses you describe. They have very sharp tines.

I also often use the much heftier one next to the Towle fork. It's an odd one from a set of Allen Adler that I've had for forty years or so - I got some extra forks in case some were lost.

Forks.JPG

The handle just fits perfectly in my hand and the shaft is fairly thick so it doesn't bend with pressure.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That Towle is one awesome fork. What do you use it for?

Mashing stuff such as ground meats, cutting fat into flour, beating an egg or two and I use it for cooking when it's handy and one of my "granny" forks isn't to hand.

This is the "Beaded Antique" Continental size, which is larger than the regular which was discontinued some time ago. I think the continental is also going out of style but I love it and it is inexpensive.

If you are interested this vendor still sells it.

I bought two of the 45 piece sets just to be on the safe side at the time they didn't offer the 85 piece set.

Wallace also makes an almost identical design but it is much lighter and thinner.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Here's a profile of the Towle and Adler forks so you can see how thick the "neck" is on the Adler. It also weighs a lot more than the Towle. I don't polish it as much as I should but I like the slight patina it has developed with long use.

Forks 2.JPG

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have 4 forks, all different, handed down, that I find extremely pleasing to use & to eat with; the absolute best shape, length of tine, thinness & rigidity of tines, curvature, and shapes of the handles. Out of a whole bunch of forks thrown my way, these became my particular gems. For reasons unknown, I seem to be very picky about the shapes, weights, & aesthetics of my cutlery!

Therefore, with apologies, I should like to query our extraordinary genius Andiesenji about a SPOON that got stolen:

It was a very outsize tablespoon, almost a serving spoon. I have searched the unusual sections of SS flatware without success. Very flat broad flaring handle, 2 thin lines etched along the 2 edges, very deep bowl, 2x normal, silvery gray metal. Very inadequate description, but if anyone would have a clue, you might!! Thank you for any help, but not to worry if nothing comes to mind.

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I've come to realise that only on eGullet would people attempt to impress the masses (and the masses be impressed ... and me left feeling a strong sense of cutlery insecurity) with their forks (not ornamental antique-type stuff, but the forks you actually use) or not brand someone a bit odd for even considering fermenting garlic in a jar in the oven for 40 days.

Love it. :smile:

The fork bird is super cool, by the way.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Is that a spork stork?

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

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A friend of mine has the best spoons ever in his flatware set, deep lovely round soup spoons with a heavy, curvaceous handle, marvelously comfortable to use. But that same set has horrid short-tined forks that are more spork than fork. I have been looking for years for a nice set that includes lovely spoons like those and a nice long straight-tined fork. It seems apparently too much to ask.

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I keep coming back to this thread - but the thread I'm expecting is different than the thread that's actually here. I'm almost expecting one of two alternatives: Either an "Eastern" version, where this is some sort of Zen koan about a fork so perfect it could never exist (the cutlery version of "what is the sound of one hand clapping?")

or the "Western" version, which is a work of art that uses the concept of the "perfect fork" as an existentialist comment on the absurdity of our existence (the fork is playing the role of Godot in tonight's performance...)

On a more practical level, I'll be on the lookout for my own "perfect fork"! (and the "spork stork" is great!)

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As I said in an earlier post I like a fork with some heft to it and too many of the modern ones are too light and flimsy.

What I would like to find is a set of flatware with forks with similar size and heft plus knives with the old-fashioned "bread and butter" blades.

Even the Towle set, although not as pointy as some, are not the type of blade I like.

They have a serrated blade but aren't really sharp enough to be a steak knife and do not spread butter evenly.

I have a bunch of old Sheffield knives, acquired over the years, that have this type of blade as do my grandmother's sterling.

HPIM3789.JPG

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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This set of flatware (Sasaki Basic/Prisma) has served me well for 20+ years of meals...

the fork:

vignellidesignssasakiprisma.jpg

Tines are not too close together. Very sturdy. Perfect weight & balance in the hand. I can't really describe it but every piece just feels right to me.

Andie - the knife in this set has a pretty good blade to handle ratio. It doesn't have as blunt a tip as your sheffield though.

more product info & pics:

http://www.vignelli.com/home/product/sasaki.html

http://www.onlinestainless.com/proddetail.asp?prod=basic

"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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Sorry about the previous post.

This is my own photo of Magefesa Laredo cutlery showing the whole set, with the perfect-miniature dessert fork and a very nice sturdy little coffee spoon. Oops, just remembered that I forgot to include the dessert knife. It's exactly the same as the main knife, but in length comes to about half way up the blade of the larger knife. I must have bought them about 16 or 17 years ago and I've been really happy with them ever since.

Cutlery.jpg

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Hrm. I have on old onieda set. People think im picky. I want an antique set like andie!!!!!!!

The Towle set is not "antique" - that is just the name of the pattern "Beaded Antique Continental" where beaded antique is the pattern and continental is the size, which is larger than the regular.

several manufacturers offer many patterns in the "continental" size. I purchased these sets along with extra teaspoons and serving spoons and forks some ten years ago.

I wanted the continental size because the forks especially are longer and heavier. I spent a long time looking because (as I have mentioned in other topics) I am rather "picky" about these things.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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That Sasaki Basic set looks GREAT. Too bad it's out of stock. I'm going to write down the name so I can look it up again later, however, because while I could wish the fork tines were a bit longer, it's really about as nice as I've seen.

I actually have a quite adequate flatware set, but it was a closeout special and I've never seen it since, and can't replace the occasional lost or mangled piece.

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We put up with an annoying, uncomfortable set for years while shopping around for the 'perfect' one: heavy handled knives, nice balance and easy to hold. Eventually we came across the Robert Welch Stanton design, and I love it. Lovely smooth curved handles with just enough weight and spoons and forks that are nicely proportioned.

The only problem is the price, and the fact that their curvyness makes them fly pretty spectacularly off a plate when you're picking it up!

Andie, my mother-in-law has a pile of sheffield knives like yours. They are used at breakfast and for the bread and butter plate every day. I love them.

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Interesting that I just came here to post about a lovely set of flatware that is the first one I've seen that combines the roundedness I love in my ex-housemate's soup spoons and the full-length squareness I want in a fork, and wonderfully solid feel in the hand, and it's also by Robert Welch:

Flute from Williams-Sonoma

Very tempting, less expensive per place setting, but also not apparently available as extra individual pieces for replacements.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got lucky, and found something very similar on sale at Macy's, and can now confidently confirm that the solid, heavy fork of this set, despite relatively short tines, is quite useful for stirring grated butter into biscuit dough, and quickly beating the eggs and water together before adding them to the dry ingredients. Heh!

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Please help me understand, in the original picture the top fork is a fish fork, identified by the middle space being a bit longer than the others. Now I have always wondered why is it that fish forks have the extra space in the center? I wondered if it has to do with the bones or whatnot, but that makes no sense.

The perfect vichyssoise is served hot and made with equal parts of butter to potato.

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