Sadly, I am not fancy enough to have realized there were so many types of forks before making this blog post. Though, now that I have learned about special forks and their purposes, I see how it is helpful to have many types of forks especially in a multi-course meal. Forks usually have one to four tines, points of the fork. Forks can also be different shapes and sizes. These differences may seem arbitrary, but really, they are useful.
The first type of fork is the salad fork. This fork has a wider left prong so it can easily cut the components of the salad. This is useful because sometimes ingredients such as baby tomatoes are in salads and even though some people like to eat them whole, others may want to cut it in half. The salad fork removes the need for a knife, but still lets the user may their salad into edible portions. The salad fork is also longer than normal forks. This is so that it can be paired with a salad spoon in order to easily toss the salad. The salad fork is also made to be a strong fork by having connected center tines so that it can handle all the many ingredients in salad. The salad spoon enables simpler and more delicious salad eating.
The second type of fork is the fish fork. This fork is special because its left tine is slightly larger than the other tines. There also will be a notch on the side of the fork. The purpose of both of these details is to allow the user to remove the bones and skin from their fish using the left tine. This can completely remove the need for a knife when eating softer fishes. This allows the user to have to deal with less utensils and eat their fish easily.
The final type of fork is the oyster fork. This fork has three tines and is very small. The left tine is wider than the rest in order to disconnect the oyster from its shell. Also, this fork is the perfect size to pick up small seafood, such as oysters. It is able to fit inside the shell in order to remove the meat.
Overall, all these forks have been designed for specific purposes. This directly involves human factors engineering because when these products were made the user was definitely in mind. The way that they have small features that make them do tasks that correlate with their food is exactly what human factors is about. Also, how they’re able to eliminate the use of a knife in many situations.
Another way these fork designs relate to human factors is through their size. Anthropometrics is involved in designing these forks. The oyster fork, for example, is small so that is can easily be held by one’s finger tips since not a lot of force is needed to hold oysters. There were measurements involved in deciding what the size should be in the grasp. Overall, many human factors aspects were taken into creating these forks and they are actually purposeful.
Desimone, M., & Jensson, J. (2015, December 10). Fork Primer | When, Why and How to Use Different Forks. Retrieved April 05, 2018, from https://www.winemag.com/2015/10/01/get-your-fork-on-the-ultimate-dinner-fork-primer/
Lininger, M. (n.d.). Forks. Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/table_setting/place_setting/flatware/forks.html