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An ice cream fork is a piece of flatware which is designed to make it easier to eat ice cream. These utensils have the classic bowl shape of a spoon, topped with three to four tines to help consumers dig into their ice cream. The design of an this fork might sound suspiciously familiar to you; this piece of flatware is also known as a spork. Companies which specialize in esoteric flatware often supply ice cream forks in a variety of patterns, and it is also possible to order a custom-made fork which uses your particular silverware pattern.
The design of the ice cream fork has been around since at least the 1800s, with numerous patents for the design on file from around this period. While this utensil is of course suitable for eating ice cream, there are numerous other potential uses for this utensil, since the design is very versatile. The multitude of uses are probably responsible for the widespread popularity of this silverware design.
The difference between an ice cream fork and a spork is usually one of quality and formality, given that the utensils are physically identical. These forks tend to be made from materials like silver, and their handles often have ornate patterns. The heft and look of the fork imply formal dining, while sporks tend to be more casual, and they are made from a variety of metals in addition to plastic and wood. Some people also use the term “spork” when they refer to a multifunction version of the utensil, rather than one which is used specifically for the consumption of ice cream.
It is perfectly acceptable to eat ice cream and other desserts with a spoon, and in fact there is a piece of flatware specifically designed for this: the dessert spoon. However, setting out ice cream forks with an ice cream course can be fun, as these curious looking utensils are certainly conversation pieces, if nothing else. These utensils can also be useful to have around the kitchen for other things as well.
Typically, you can order ice cream forks in almost any formal flatware pattern, and the staff at a store which specializes in such things can assist you with this. If you have trouble matching ice cream forks to your flatware, you can contract the services of a firm which creates custom flatware, using a handle from your existing pattern and a mold of the desired utensil. The services of these companies are also useful for replacing missing pieces of silverware.
Does that mean the spork has been around since the 1800's? Who got the idea to rename it and make it out of plastic instead? Genius move business wise.