The personal dining fork seems to have had its first widespread use in the Byzantine Empire and spread from there to Italy via trade in the 11th century. Although the fork found use in Italian hands, increasing in popularity through to the Renaissance, it would be centuries before it would be common on supper tables. The fork was long regarded by Northern Europeans as a pretentious and unmanly Italian notion – in the meantime, they would use eating picks such as this. A simple dinner skewer for meats, the owner often kept their eating pick in a belt pouch to accompany them wherever their next meal might take them.

This medieval eating pick is made from stainless steel.