By the 11th century, the table fork had made its way to Italy. In Italy, it became quite popular by the 14th century, being commonly used for eating by 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 began being used with Infanta Beatrice, Duchess of Viseu, king Manuel I of Portugal's mother. That happened around 1450. Still forks were not commonly used in Western Europe until the 16th century when they became part of the etiquette in Italy. It had also gained some currency in Spain by this time, and its use gradually spread to France. Even at that, though, most of Europe did not adopt use of the fork until the 18th century.
and a post by Chad Ward.