The BBC reports:
"Poland 'taught the French how to use a fork', a Polish deputy minister has said, amid a continuing row over a cancelled defence contract.
Deputy Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki also accused the French of lacking 'class' after losing the multi-billion dollar contract to build 50 Airbus Caracal helicopters for Poland.
A Law and Justice party spokeswoman said the remarks were 'unfortunate'.
Poland is to buy US Black Hawks instead. Airbus has threatened to sue.
Speaking on TV, Mr Kownacki accused France of responding by withdrawing the offer of free accommodation and a car for the Polish delegation at a defence fair in Paris next week.
'They are a people who learned to eat with a fork from us a few centuries ago. So maybe this is why they are behaving in this way now,' he said.
MPs from the opposition Civic Platform party called for him to be fired."
Wikipedia gives a history of fork use, including this excerpt, which you can read in full here:
"The first recorded introduction of the fork to Western Europe, as recorded by the theologian and cardinal Peter Damian, was by Theophano Sklereina the Byzantine wife of Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, who nonchalantly wielded one at an Imperial banquet in 972, astonishing her Western hosts. By the 11th century, the table fork had become increasingly prevalent in the Italian peninsula. It gained a following in Italy before any other Western European region because of historical ties with Byzantium, and continued to gain popularity due to the increasing presence of pasta in the Italian diet. At first, pasta was consumed using a long wooden spike, but this eventually evolved into three spikes, a design better suited to gathering the noodles.
In Italy, it became commonplace by the 14th century and was almost universally used by the merchant and upper classes by 1600. It was proper for a guest to arrive with his own fork and spoon enclosed in a box called a cadena; this usage was introduced to the French court with Catherine de' Medici's entourage. In Portugal, forks were first used at the time of Infanta Beatrice, Duchess of Viseu, King Manuel I of Portugal's mother around 1450. However, forks were not commonly used in Western Europe until the 16th century when they became part of Italian etiquette. The utensil had also gained some currency in Spain by this time, and its use gradually spread to France. Nevertheless, most of Europe did not adopt use of the fork until the 18th century."
My comment: "Poland taught France how to use a fork" is unhelpful boasting.
Thanks to Otto for sending this in.
Read the full BBC article here