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Cutlery

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(Redirected from Silverware)
Starch-polyester disposable cutlery
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Starch-polyester disposable cutlery

Cutlery refers to any hand utensil used in preparing, serving, and especially eating food. It is more usually known as silverware or flatware in the United States, where cutlery can have the more specific meaning of knives and other cutting instruments. This is probably the original meaning of the word. Since silverware suggests the presence of silver, the term tableware has come into use.

The major items of cutlery in the western world are the knife, fork and spoon (though there is also a spork). Traditionally, good quality cutlery was made from silver (hence the U.S. name), though steel was always used for more utilitarian knives, and pewter was used for some cheaper items, especially spoons. From the nineteenth century, Electroplated Nickel Silver (EPNS) was used as a cheaper substitute; nowadays, most cutlery, including quality designs, is made from stainless steel. Plastic cutlery is made for disposable use, and is frequently used in fast food or take-away outlets.

Cutlery gets its name from the term for a person skilled in making knives, a cutler. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers was one of the London livery companies, reflecting the importance of this trade in the Middle Ages.

The "Master Cutler" was the name of a train that ran between London Marylebone and Sheffield (the centre of the cutlery manufacture in the UK) during the 1950s and late 1960s.

See also

ja:刃物 sv:Bestick

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