Who needs eating utensils when you have perfectly working hands to rip and tear at the food on your plate and stuff it into your mouth?
Well, until around the 1500s that’s exactly the way people ate. Around that time, Italian courtier Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529) and English schoolmaster Henry Peacham (1576-1643),finally put a fork into table manners with the publication of their popular books. However, it did take approximately another century before Europeans stopped using their bare hands to eat.
After 1650, the production of tableware on a wide scale was introduced in England. This played a large role in improving the dinner-table etiquette. Over time, strict laws demanding high standards of quality in silverware were enacted. Name, date and locations were required and stamped into the pieces of a silversmith’s work. The word "sterling" came to mean "of unexcelled quality." Upper-class English homes from 1670 onward passed down their tableware to children who were born with a “silver spoon in their mouth.”
In the 1950s, mass-produced silverware began being made of stainless steel. 18/8 stainless steel with 18 percent chrome and 8 percent nickel is the finest grade of metal used in producing quality lines. Stainless steel is particularly popular because of its easy care, durability and low price.
The word "sterling" came to mean "of unexcelled quality."
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