Do You Eat Your Ice Cream with a Fork?

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
View attachment 404629
(Wikimedia Commons)
Knowing which fork to use at a fancy dinner has long been a challenge for many diners, but using a spoon to eat ice cream has always been pretty easy. Or has it? Diners in the mid-19th century insisted on using peculiar forks to enjoy this treat.

The ice cream fork was a product of the cutlery overkill during the Victorian era. It seems table-setting became a competitive art form for the Victorians so the requisite utensils were soon accompanied by numerous odd utensils like aspic spoons, snail forks, bonbon scoops, and, of course, ice cream forks. This utensil seems especially odd since people initially associated the common fork with the devil’s pitchfork. We can thank the Italians’ love of pasta and the table-setting boom in the 19th century for making the fork acceptable.

Today ice cream forks aren’t often seen, but proper etiquette still calls for them, especially when eating ice cream sundaes. It all depends on how the ice cream is served. If it’s placed in a bowl, it’s proper to use a spoon to scoop it up. If it’s presented on a plate, you should get out that ice cream fork.

It's rare to find ice cream forks in kitchen shops these days, but these relics are still available on the internet.
You can’t fool me, that’s a Spork! Albeit a very fancy one.
 

lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
I love Fried Ice Cream. Haven't had it in many a year.
During college I worked in a Mexican restaurant and fried ice cream was our top selling dessert. The kitchen crew regarded it with horror! They told anyone who was a fan to let the ice cream sit about ten minutes and then come back and praise the dessert. The ice cream balls used for fried ice cream are pre-scooped, rolled in a crushed corn flake topping, and put in the freezer. Just before serving they are dropped in the deep fryer. They come to the table with a crispy hot exterior. But - and to the kitchen crew this was an important but - as soon as they cool you can see a thin layer of fryer grease all over the outside. Yech. Once I saw a few cooled ice cream balls I understood why they rejected them.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Location
central NC
You can’t fool me, that’s a Spork! Albeit a very fancy one.
Hyde W. Ballard trademarked the word, "spork" in 1951. My first encounter with one was at a KFC. KFC was the first restaurant to offer sporks to customers.

The Victorians enjoyed molding their ice creams into a variety of complicated shapes which were then brought to the table in a beautiful display. The molds would be cut and served on a plate. Of course the ice cream didn't magically become fork friendly just because it was served on a plate. So, the fork got a shallow bowl added to prevent the creamy goodness from falling through. This creation was definitely something of a proto-spork @Mrs. V .
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
During college I worked in a Mexican restaurant and fried ice cream was our top selling dessert. The kitchen crew regarded it with horror! They told anyone who was a fan to let the ice cream sit about ten minutes and then come back and praise the dessert. The ice cream balls used for fried ice cream are pre-scooped, rolled in a crushed corn flake topping, and put in the freezer. Just before serving they are dropped in the deep fryer. They come to the table with a crispy hot exterior. But - and to the kitchen crew this was an important but - as soon as they cool you can see a thin layer of fryer grease all over the outside. Yech. Once I saw a few cooled ice cream balls I understood why they rejected them.
There was a nearby restaurant that specialized in fried ice cream--and we all went there just for this wonderful dessert. It may have been the hot grease and corn flakes that made it so good!
 

R. Porter

Private
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
If you were my great grandfather use a knife. That was his go to untensil after the war. He ate peas and corn with it also.
Ever since I was a kid i’ve eaten watermelon with a steak knife. The knife allows you to cut out chunks without crushing the melon and losing a lot of water. Then you just stab the chunk and lift it up to your mouth. Yeah, I could pull it off the knife and eat it, but that would just take more time and make my fingers sticky. I hate having sticky fingers and by using my knife I look more refined. Mostly the only people who look on in horror are strangers and if I feel they are staring at me i’ll shove my pinky finger out to advertise my descent from the First Families of Virginia. It’s been said that i’ve descended pretty far!
 

R. Porter

Private
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
During college I worked in a Mexican restaurant and fried ice cream was our top selling dessert. The kitchen crew regarded it with horror! They told anyone who was a fan to let the ice cream sit about ten minutes and then come back and praise the dessert. The ice cream balls used for fried ice cream are pre-scooped, rolled in a crushed corn flake topping, and put in the freezer. Just before serving they are dropped in the deep fryer. They come to the table with a crispy hot exterior. But - and to the kitchen crew this was an important but - as soon as they cool you can see a thin layer of fryer grease all over the outside. Yech. Once I saw a few cooled ice cream balls I understood why they rejected them.
Mmmmmmm...... fryer grease! (Sorry, it had to be said. Too many episodes of “The Simpsons” when I was younger.)
 
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