Salad forks are intended for spearing lettuce and other vegetables incorporated into the salad course. Typically the salad fork is shorter in length than the average dinner fork, measuring approximately 6 inches long. Many flatware collections include a salad fork along with a dinner fork for each place setting. Salad forks are used in both commercial foodservice dining and residential dining.
In general, all of the tines of the salad fork are slightly shorter than the tines of a typical dinner fork. However, what primarily identifies a salad fork are the left and right outer tines, which are thicker than the central tines. Originally, salad forks only had a thicker left tine, since right-hand dominance was the accepted norm for most people, and the left side of the fork was used for cutting through thick lettuce leaves and other leafy green salad vegetables. For greater leverage, the left tine was broadened. These days, however, both outer tines of the salad fork are extra-wide, acknowledging the left-hand dominant population. Therefore, the salad fork can be used by right- or left-handed guests.
Salad forks are sometimes used as dessert forks in informal dining, particularly in businesses and private homes looking for utensils that can pull double duty. RestaurantSupply.com has a huge assortment of salad forks in many popular flatware patterns. Be certain to verify the grade of stainless steel used to manufacture the salad fork you are interested in, since higher grade stainless steel (18/10 and 18/8) keeps its shine and corrosion resistance longer than low grade stainless steel (18/0). However, all flatware stainless steel is strong and durable, regardless of grade, so if you are interested in keeping a little bit of your green, you can find beautiful 18/0 stainless steel salad forks that will fit your table settings.