English Bread Forks.
Not far from where we live is Lambert’s Cafe II. It is a tourist destination in Ozark Mo. known for its employees pitching a hot, soft yeast roll across the dining room into the hands of each of its customers. Busloads of vacationers pull in seven days a week in anticipation of the yummy rolls. I’m not joking; the rolls are pitched, not gently tossed and you’d better be paying attention or you could be knocked upside your head by the butter-dripping roll. It’s happened to our daughter and she wasn’t impressed with her “new” hair gel. (Interesting enough, years later, her optometry clinic is across the street now: bet she didn’t see that in her future).
Can you imagine the express of woe and disbelief if Downton’s Dowager Countess attended a dinner where the butlers pitched the bread? In the Countess’ days, the butler had a special tool for disbursing the bread.
Part of the dinner service, the bread fork was used to remove the bread from the special bread basket and place a piece of bread on the bread plate. The bread fork was either silver or EPNS (electroplated nickel silver) with an ornate fancy handle. The more expensive versions had an ivory handle. They had three tines and resembled a small pitchfork or trident. The handles were short to medium in length and the tines could be flat and broad or slightly flare.
If you serve buffet-style, these forks would be a great addition to your serving utensils. And they make lovely gifts.