Did you know the Catholic Church thought eating with a fork was a sin?
I love history, especially the origins of things. It seems the tableware we have today pretty much originated in the Greek east during their Byzantine Eastern Roman Empire period.
A Byzantine princess introduced the table fork to Europe in the eleventh century. The story varies slightly depending on the source, but the essence is that a nobleman, probably Domenico Selvo (or Silvio), heir to the Doge of Venice, married a princess from Byzantium. This Byzantine princess brought a case of two- tined table forks to Venice as part of her luggage. Forks seem to have been novelties in Byzantium, but not unknown. Many examples can be found in Byzantine art, according to Boger and Henisch.
The princess outraged the populace and the clergy by refusing to eat with her hands:
“Instead of eating with her fingers like other people, the princess cuts up her food into small pieces and eats them by means of little golden forks with two prongs.”[Giblin]
“God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks - his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating.”[Giblin]
The princess apparently died before very long, of some wasting disease, prompting Peter Damian, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia to write,
“Of the Venetian Doge’s wife, whose body, after her excessive delicacy, entirely rotted away”[Henisch]