Shiny Object Saturday: Pickle Forks and Little Pigs

I’m desperate for a pickle fork. When I mentioned this on Twitter recently, a woman responded with shock: “How can you call yourself a southern girl if you don’t own a pickle fork?” It’s true. Pickle forks come with proper sets of silver, and preferably come to you handed down from a grandmother named Gammy. Alas, my grandmothers weren’t the silver-owning types. I did receive a selection of serving forks for marriage number two, but the ex got custody.

I blame my strong desire to own a pickle fork on these tasty nibbles. Trois Petits Cochons makes the most delightful cornichons (baby sour gherkins) on the planet. They’re only about 3 calories apiece, but that’s beside the point. They’re tongue-numbingly sour, and excellent as part of an antipasti platter, or with a sandwich. Or just as a snack.

Since we don’t entertain much, and I’m the only one who likes these pickles, I really have no need of anything fancier than a regular salad fork to pluck them from the jar. But salad forks have too many tines for these little darlings. I need something with a bit of barb on the end, or they get away.

(Can you tell I spend a lot of time at home, wondering what to eat and how to eat it?)

So, I’ve asked my mom for a pickle fork for Christmas. I spent a lot of time looking at them online.

In my reading about pickle forks, I learned that pickles were, for many years, served on platters. But at some point in the Victorian era (mid-to-end of the 19th century), they started coming to the table in tall, decorative jars. The handles had to get longer so people wouldn’t have to touch the pickles. This one seems well-used. I like flatware with a little history.

Pickle forks come in sets, in case you serve a lot of pickles. But don’t use the second one for olives. Olives have their own kind of fork, of course. (They look suspiciously like pickle forks to me, but mostly seem to have only two tines. I think a lot of people are getting away with using pickle forks for their olives.)

I like the whimsy of this pickle fork/olive spoon set. Late 19th century. The olive spoon seems to be a less popular option than the fork.

Um, okay. Pickle fork earrings from Barney’s of New York. (They’re sold out. Sorry.)

And I definitely want to go to this lovely woman’s house for Thanksgiving. Last year, she gifted her guests with pickle forks. How cool is that? (I’m subscribing to her blog right now. Somehow she makes me feel okay about really wanting a pickle fork.)

[Photo: Kathryn Greeley Designs]

This is one I would truly like to have. It’s from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Beautifully preserved. But I’m afraid I would have to buy it its own special cabinet. I’m sure it wouldn’t want to mix with my stainless.

4 thoughts on “Shiny Object Saturday: Pickle Forks and Little Pigs”

  1. Jen Talty says:

    Wow. I want those pickled fork earnings!

  2. carmar76 says:

    ya know, i never really thought about a special fork for pickles. or olives for that matter! however, i do have tall spoons for stirring iced tea. (they work great for milkshakes, too!)

  3. Jen–I bet you would! They are extremely special. xo

    Carrie Marie–Oh, no. Now I want more iced tea spoons! We only have one. It’s so great for jars of salsa, too. Mmmm. Milkshakes. Happy Birthday! xo

  4. Rob says:

    There are so many forks.
    My favorite is a sardine fork
    Google it.

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