Most typical restaurant place settings include a dinner fork, regardless of whether it is a formal or casual dining atmosphere. The dinner fork is used to eat the main course of the meal, no matter if it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a meal in the middle of the night.
Dinner forks measure between 6 and 9 inches long, with 7 inches being a common length in many collections. The dinner fork uses long tapered tines designed to spear pieces of solid food. In most flatware collections, dinner forks have 4 tines, although occasionally you will find a 3-tined dinner fork, a modern nod to earlier times. The 4-tined dinner fork became prevalent in the mid-to-late 19th century, primarily in Europe and then in Victorian England. American adoption of the dinner fork was later, but more rapid. While the tines of the dinner fork are used to spear food, a curve was also added to the tines to allow for more efficient scooping of food.
These days, dinner fork size is based upon the style of the fork and its intended destination, at least in concept. There are flatware collections with "Continental-size" (or European size) and "Place size" (also called American size) dinner forks. Place size forks are slightly smaller and therefore are sometimes used in informal dining for more than just the main course. Continental-size dinner forks are large, including longer tines with greater capacity for lifting food to one's mouth, and they are primarily used in formal place settings, in restaurants, at banquets and receptions, and in private homes.
At RestaurantSupply.com we have many different patterns and styles of dinner fork for you to choose from. These range in style from classic, traditional, and formal patterns, to interesting modern designs. For the more casual foodservice experience, we also carry a large number of basic, no-frills designs that are durable and functional. Some patterns of dinner fork are made from high-grade 18/10 stainless steel, some are 18/8 stainless steel, and others are 18/0 grade. Higher grade dinner forks hold their shine and remain corrosion resistant longer than the lower grade stainless steel. However, all grades of dinner forks are strong and reliable tools for enjoying a solid meal served in your establishment.