Published: 13th May 2021
#ThrowbackToday: The strange case of how the table knife came to be about four centuries ago today
In today's #TBT, you'll never guess what we want to talk to you about today. Table knives and their journey through the years. You see, it all started with one Cardinal on one fine day in France...
Imagine a table set neatly in the 1600s and all the guests have arrived in all their glory. Though they themselves were glorious, their table manners not so much. Some antics which really ticked off Cardinal Richelieu, who was presiding over one such table in France, was how his guests would cut the meat with the knife and eat it right off the knife itself. Then there was the horrific act of picking one's teeth with the knife. Gasp! Such heathens, deplorable!
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The Cardinal had enough of these brutes. So on May 13, 1637, he vehemently ordered his kitchen staff to file the sharp points of all the knives. Soon the idea caught on, as all brilliant ideas eventually do, and all households started aping what the Cardinal did and before they knew it, King Louis XIV of France actually banned pointed knives at the table, the intention was also to avoid violence during meals. Voilà! And that's how the knives on our table became blunt. Though another change it went through was becoming wider so that one can scoop or spread things with it. What a fascinating tale, isn't it?
Next time you pick up that table knife, you know who to thank!