The fork has been a source of contention in America since it was first introduced to the Massachusetts colony by John Winthrop on June 25, 1633. (Before Mr. Winthrop, most people only ate food with their hands or a wooden spoon.) But the “split spoon,” as the first fork was called, was condemned by the clergy, who called it “evil” and claimed “only fingers should be used to touch God’s food.”

Since it was first introduced as a regular eating utensil in America, naturally those still living back in Europe were questioning the proper etiquette of using a fork. How should it be held? Tines up or tines down? And what about the old “cut-and-switch”? Indeed, it’s a controversy that continues today.

However, there’s also another — and shall we say bigger — debate surrounding the fork these days that started back at the turn of the millennium. Let us explain.

Springfield, MO Does Not Fork Around

Back in 1997, Bob Noble was looking for a way to promote his new Springfield, MO, restaurant, the Greenhouse Market. Noble was not only a restaurateur, but also happened to be the chairman of the local marketing firm, Noble and Associates, which came up with the idea of a humongous stainless steel fork. The fork — all 35-feet and 11 tons of it — stood outside the Market, and Guinness would certify the giant utensil as the “Largest Fork in the World” soon after.

A little over a year later, however, the fork would prove itself more popular than the restaurant. The Greenhouse Market closed and the fork was moved to Nobel and Associates, which also happened to be in the same place as the Food Network’s headquarters. It still stands there today, and people from all over the country stop for a quick selfie or pics with the fam on their family road trips across Missouri.

When You Come to a Fork in the Road …

Yogi Berra, the late Yankee catcher and master of malapropisms, is famous for his saying, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it!” Well, that’s almost the case when you come to the fork in the road near Milan, NY; it’s where state routes 199 and 308 diverge that you’ll find a fork in the road, both in the metaphorical and the literal sense. Steven Schreiber, a local artist and president of the Rock City Arts Council, erected the 31-foot tall steel and aluminum fork in January 2000 as part of a series of what he called “Punny Sculptures.” (Another one — a gas tank painted to look like a giant Prozac pill — sits nearly across the street from the giant fork.)

Stephen says he wasn’t out to build the world’s largest fork to compete with Springfield. He actually did it as a joke to attract more tourists to the area. In fact, he really didn’t think that the local government would let him keep it up that long. However, over 20 years later, it’s still there.

Happy Forking Birthday, Bob

The Franklin-Simpson High School 2018 Fork in the Road.
Image: Stuckey’s Corp / Stephanie Stuckey

California artist Ken Marshall and his friend weren’t trying to break any records either when they dressed up as California Department of Transportation workers one night in October 2009 and erected the Pasadena, CA fork in the road. In fact, Ken says he built it as a tribute to his friend, Bob Stane, who was celebrating his 75th birthday that year.

Though the fork was removed by the city in 2010 for safety reasons, they re-erected it at its original location a little over a year later after securing the proper permits. The 18-foot-tall fork, made of wood and painted silver, is still there, waiting for your next photo-op at what is now known as “Fork Plaza” (where St. John’s and Pasadena Avenues fork off from one another).

Oh, It’s Forking On!

Keith Siddel and his wife, Denise Dutwiler, were in fact looking to break the world record when they commissioned local artists Chev and Ted Yund to build their fork in 2012. Keith wanted to buy Denise — owner of the local Cascada Bar, Grill and Cabins — something special for her birthday and thought a fork was the perfect choice. When they found out that Springfield held the title as the “World’s Biggest Fork,” well, they knew their fork wouldn’t be so special unless it was bigger than Springfield’s monster. So, Chev and Ted went to work on it, and when they finished they had a 40-foot, 600-pound, aluminum fork that artfully rests on the side of the Cascada Bar and Grill.

Don’t Stick a Fork in it Just Yet

Students in a welding class at Franklin-Simpson High School in Franklin, KY wanted to get in on the fork-in-the-road action, too. In early May 2018, they erected a 21-foot-tall, 680-pound, stainless-steel eating utensil — built by them in class — at the fork of Uhls and Bunch Roads. Though it might not be the biggest fork out there, it is the newest. On your Kentucky Road Trip, the students who made it will certainly be proud if you put it on your bucket list for things to see. It makes for a pretty awesome photo-op, too.   

So, Where Exactly Is the Biggest Fork?

Today, as it has been since the first fork emerged out of John Winthrop’s pocket almost four centuries ago, there is some contention about these forks and who actually claims the title to world’s largest fork. After all, Springfield’s fork is 35-feet TALL while Creede’s fork is 40-feet LONG.  The Creede fork is actually supported by the building it leans on while the Springfield fork is self-supported. Not to kick sand in its face, but the Creede fork is a mere 600 lbs., compared to the hulking 11-ton Springfield fork. This could also be because of the materials the forks are made of: Springfield’s fork is made of stainless steel — what REAL forks are made of — while Creede’s is made of aluminum (which kind of hurts our teeth thinking about it).

The winner of the title has yet to be determined by Guinness, but if it were up to us, we think it should go to Pasghetti’s in Branson, MO. Sure, it’s stuck in a meatball, but even without it, the fork is a whopping 50 feet tall! Plus, did we mention it comes with a forking giant meatball? Could it get any better?

When it comes to eating a Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll, you don’t have to worry about using a fork (which, when we think about it, would make it “God’s food,” according to 17th-century American clergymen, wouldn’t it?). Nevertheless, it’s always good to have plenty of Log Rolls on hand for your next road trip. Shop online  at stuckeys.com or make a Stuckey’s stop part of your next road trip itinerary.

Whether you’re shopping online or making a pit-stop at one of our Stuckey’s locations, browse our Stuckey’s candy line, including our Stuckey’s Pecan Divinity and other classic candies.

For something a little different, Stuckey’s now has something you can really go for — our new Pecan Gopher. We make them according to Ethel Stuckey’s original family recipe with Georgia Grown pecans fresh from the orchards! Try one today at your nearest Stuckey’s or stuckeys.com.

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!