What Is A Three Pronged Fork Called?

Three Pronged Toasting/cooking Fork 501041 Sellingantiques
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When it comes to dining etiquette, the types of cutlery we use play an essential role. One such utensil that often raises questions is the three-pronged fork. In this article, we will explore what a three-pronged fork is called and delve into its uses and history.

What is a Three-Pronged Fork?

A three-pronged fork, also known as a three-tined fork, is a utensil with three pointed metal prongs attached to a handle. It is commonly used for eating certain types of food, particularly those that require a sturdy grip for cutting or piercing.

Alternative Names

Although the term “three-pronged fork” is widely used, this utensil goes by different names in various regions. In the United States, it is often referred to as a salad fork or a dessert fork. In European countries like England, it is known as a fish fork due to its association with seafood dishes.

Uses of a Three-Pronged Fork

The three-pronged fork serves multiple purposes in the culinary world. Its main function is to assist in cutting and holding food while eating. The prongs provide stability and control when piercing through items such as meat, vegetables, or fruits. This utensil is particularly useful when dealing with slippery or delicate foods that may require a firmer grip.

History of the Three-Pronged Fork

The three-pronged fork has a long history that dates back to ancient civilization. The Greeks and Romans used forks with two prongs, primarily for serving food rather than eating. However, it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that forks with three prongs became more prevalent as dining utensils.

Evolution of Forks

Over time, forks evolved and gained popularity across Europe. By the 17th century, they had become commonplace in aristocratic circles, especially in Italy. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that forks with multiple prongs, including three, became more widely available and used by the general population.

Modern Usage

In modern times, the three-pronged fork is commonly found in cutlery sets and is used for various dining occasions. It is often included in formal table settings alongside other types of forks, such as the dinner fork and the dessert fork. Its versatility and practicality make it a valuable tool for both everyday meals and special occasions.


So, what is a three-pronged fork called? It can go by different names, including a three-tined fork, salad fork, dessert fork, or fish fork. Regardless of its name, this utensil serves a vital purpose in our dining experiences. Whether you’re enjoying a hearty meal or delicate seafood, the three-pronged fork provides the stability and control needed to savor every bite.


1. Dining Etiquette: The History of the Fork – https://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/table_manners/history.html

2. A Brief History of the Fork – https://www.thespruceeats.com/history-of-the-fork-4685216