Dessert forks are primarily used for eating solid dessert items, such as pie, cake, and pastries. A dessert fork is also called a cake fork in some regions. Typically, a dessert fork is similar in appearance to a salad fork, although sometimes a bit narrower. It ranges from approximately 6 to 7 inches in length, and the left and right outer tines are broader to provide extra leverage when cutting firmer desserts. Traditional dessert fork designs have 4 tines, although some patterns or dessert fork sets have forks with only 3 or even 2 tines.
In casual settings, a dessert fork is often interchangeable with a salad fork, especially if the establishment is looking to double the functionality of their flatware and save a little money. In these cases, a salad fork included with a standard place setting is used. Some manufacturers of flatware have created a hybrid salad/dessert fork which is included in their place setting collections. RestaurantSupply.com has included these salad/dessert forks in the dessert fork category.
While some fine dining establishments lay out the formal place setting with a dessert fork, other restaurants only bring out a dessert fork only when a guest orders dessert. The dessert fork would then be brought to the table with the dessert. Inclusion of the dessert fork in the place setting also varies in residential usage as well, depending upon whether dining is formal or informal.
If you operate a banquet facility or a catering business where more formal events are the norm, consider selecting dessert forks made from the highest quality of stainless steel (18/10 grade). This grade of stainless steel includes higher nickel content and so retains its shine and anti-corrosion properties for a longer time. For other foodservice establishments, mid- or low-grade stainless steel dessert forks (18/8 and 18/0 grades) will function just as well and are more affordable. However, even these dessert forks look great and are available in a variety of styles to match your existing table settings and your dining room's character.