There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding which fork to use...This is the first question that students will ask when learning about dining etiquette. The choice of which fork to use depends on the dining situation and the etiquette you wish to follow. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the right fork:
Main Fork - This fork is typically used for the main course in a formal dining setting. It's larger and has a broader shape than other forks. When in doubt, it's often safe to use the dinner fork for your main course.
Entrée Fork - If there are multiple courses, and an entrée or small dish is served before the main course, use the the smaller fork which will be placed next to the (large) dinner fork to it's left.
Fish Fork - In a formal setting where fish is served, you might find a fish fork. It's designed with a special shape for flaking fish. This fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork.
The correct way of setting the table with forks: entrée fork is set first, then the main fork is second.
Dessert Fork - Dessert forks are usually the size of an entrée fork. These are used for eating desserts and are often brought out with the dessert or pudding course.
Fruit Fork - In some formal settings, you might come across a small fork specifically for eating fruit. It's usually placed on the table with the dessert utensils and is smaller in size, smaller than an entrée fork.
Cake Fork - A cake fork is similar in size and shape to a dessert fork, but it might have a wider edge for cutting through cake. It's often used for British afternoon tea or French pâtisserie.
Oyster Fork - This small fork is designed for eating oysters and can be recognised by its unique shape. It's usually placed to the right of the dinner fork in a formal setting where oysters are served.
I hope this has helped you! Remember that table settings can vary depending on the country and the formality of the event. If you're unsure which fork to use, observe what others are doing, and follow suit.
Fish fork and knife