I was reading a book my neighbor gave me (Rules of Civility by Amor Towles), and for some reason, this sentence arrested my attention: “We knew a jib from a jibe, and Palm Beach from Palm Springs. We knew the difference between a sole fork, a salad fork, and that special fork with the bent tines used for breaking the kernels of corn when it’s served on the cob.”
It’s part of the protagonist’s realization that under the right set of circumstances, well-off people will just assume you are also well off — opening a staircase of opportunity based on this assumption — but what stopped me cold and sent me down a wiki wormhole was that bit about the special corn fork. I had to know!
Googling “corn fork” quickly led to a disturbing story about an Iowa hog farmer murdering his wife with a corn rake in 2018 and not much else, so as a sophisticated scholarly researcher, I refined my search to “old timey fork bent tines corn cob”: Jackpot!
I think it’s the middle one. I also think I saw this array in Marathon Man.
Anyway, it turns out the Victorians were big fans of green corn on the cob and patented lots of devices for eating it with a modicum of decorum. This one’s my favorite:
It’s like a corn-themed totem to the goddess of victory.
The etiquette site I got most of this info from suggests these tips for eating corn on the cob politely:
Personally, I think bogarting the butter and salt whilst you daintily prep-nibble-repeat is an egregious faux pas, but I’m no earl.
Anyway, if you have used the Day Thread, please make sure your hands are clean before clicking on other threads, so as not to leave a mark or make a mess.
Have a great day, Avocados!