The famous Caterina de’ Medici's Fork
"Ladies and gentlemen, grasping the flesh from the plate with your fingers is considered intolerable in the city from which I come. There are better methods: "Observed" Caterina de' Medici. The noble Florentine lady, for the first time in history, showed the first meal fork at the court of France. Sitting in the middle of a long table, she opened a case in which her coat of arms was placed by extracting a curious object with three sharp metal points. With her tapered fingers she took the fork and stabbed a piece of meat. "Et voilà! She exclaimed. Separate the meat with the metal tips to enjoy it to the fullest.
It happened in 1535 to Fontainebleau, the last heir of the Medici family, who transformed his court into one of the most refined in Europe. The use of the fork was born as a rational choice dictated by hygienic rules and to resolve situations of "discomfort" and "embarrassment" towards other guests and for the subjective feeling of "unpleasantness"originated by having to take the food with your hands from the plate. Their hands got dirty and the table cloth or napkin used to clean them selves were indecent. The fork initially appears as a single object to take the dishes from the common dish, to prevent the hands from being drowned. Only later does it become an object of individual use.
Caterina was born in Florence on 13 April 1519 and is the last descendant of the main branch of the Medici family, that glorious and strong lineage that many centuries before had moved from Mugello to the great Tuscan city. Caterina de' Medici's fork was replicated in 1974 by Torrini 1369, through research conducted at the Bargello Museum in Florence by Maestro Franco Torrini. It still represents today, a tangible testimony of refinement applied to good food.
Made in Florence.
(Source: Torrini 1369.ArchivioStorico di Franco Torrini)