Title:
FOOD PLATE WITH STRUCTURE FOR ACCOMMODATING FORK TINES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An article including a food plate including a surface for placing food thereon, the surface including an orderly series of protrusions spaced from one another, wherein a spacing between adjacent protrusions equals a distance between tines of a fork.



Inventors:
Ein-gal, Moshe (Ramat Hasharon, IL)
Application Number:
12/054534
Publication Date:
10/01/2009
Filing Date:
03/25/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
30/322, 220/574
International Classes:
A47G19/02; A47G21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HICKS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEKEL PATENT LTD., DAVID KLEIN (REHOVOT, IL)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An article comprising: a food plate comprising a surface for placing food thereon, said surface comprising an orderly series of protrusions spaced from one another, wherein a spacing between adjacent protrusions equals a distance between tines of a fork.

2. The article according to claim 1, wherein said protrusions are spaced from one another by furrows.

3. The article according to claim 1, wherein a height of said protrusions is equal to or greater than a height of tines of the fork.

4. The article according to claim 1, wherein said food plate is corrugated with furrows on another surface opposite to said surface for placing food thereon.

5. The article according to claim 1, further comprising at least one heating wire disposed in at least one of said protrusions.

6. The article according to claim 1, comprising at least two sets of protrusions, wherein in one set the protrusions are spaced from each other by a first distance and in another set the protrusions are spaced from each other by a second distance different from said first distance.

7. The article according to claim 1, further comprising a fork whose tines are distanced from each other by the spacing between adjacent furrows.

8. The article according to claim 7, wherein a width of said tines of said fork is at least double a height of said tines substantially over a length of said tines.

9. The article according to claim 7, wherein tips of said fork are blunt.

10. The article according to claim 1, wherein said protrusions comprise a matrix of spikes arranged in rows and columns.

11. The article according to claim 1, wherein said protrusions comprise parallel bars held and connected by cross-bars at ends thereof.

12. An article for use with a food plate, comprising: parallel bars held and connected by cross-bars at ends thereof, wherein a spacing between adjacent parallel bars equals a distance between tines of a fork, said parallel bars and said cross-bars being made of a material suitable for serving food thereon.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to plates for food, and particularly to a food plate with structure for accommodating fork tines.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Lifting small pieces of food, like chopped vegetable salad, peas, cherry tomatoes and the like, with a fork from a smooth plate is difficult due to low friction between food and plate surface. Since it is difficult to place the fork underneath the food, the food ends up being pushed by the fork all the way to the plate shoulder where it encounters horizontal resistance allowing it to be lifted by the fork.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention seeks to provide an improved food plate that makes picking up pieces of food with a fork a simple and enjoyable task, as described more in detail hereinbelow.

There is thus provided in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention an article including a food plate including a surface for placing food thereon, the surface including an orderly series of protrusions spaced from one another, wherein a spacing between adjacent protrusions equals a distance between tines of a fork. A height of the protrusions is equal to or greater than a height of tines of the fork.

In one embodiment, the protrusions are spaced from one another by furrows. The food plate may be corrugated with furrows on another surface opposite to the surface for placing food thereon. One or more heating wires may be disposed in at least one of the protrusions.

In one embodiment, there are at least two sets of protrusions, wherein in one set the protrusions are spaced from each other by a first distance and in another set the protrusions are spaced from each other by a second distance different from the first distance.

A fork is also provided whose tines are distanced from each other by the spacing between adjacent furrows.

In another embodiment, the protrusions include a matrix of spikes arranged in rows and columns. In yet another embodiment, the protrusions include parallel bars held by cross-bars at both ends thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be understood and appreciated more fully from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a simplified pictorial illustration of a food plate, constructed and operative in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, formed with furrows;

FIG. 2 is a simplified sectional illustration of the food plate of FIG. 1, taken along lines II-II in FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a simplified pictorial illustration of a food plate, constructed and operative in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, formed with spaced spikes; and

FIG. 4 is a simplified pictorial illustration of a food plate, constructed and operative in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention, formed with spaced bars.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which illustrates a food plate 10, constructed and operative in accordance with a non-limiting embodiment of the present invention.

Food plate 10 includes a surface 12 for placing food 14 thereon. Food plate 10 is of course constructed of a material suitable for serving food thereon, such as but not limited to, porcelain, plastic, stainless steel, wood and others. Surface 12 is corrugated with furrows 16, which may be formed by molding, machining, carving or any other suitable method. Furrows 16 define protrusions 17 and the spacing between adjacent furrows 16 or protrusions 17 equals a distance between tines 18 of a fork 20. The depth of the furrows 16 (i.e., height of the protrusions 17) is equal to or greater than a height of tines 18 of fork 20. Surface 12 may be bordered by a rim 15.

Food plate 10 may be further corrugated with furrows 16 on another surface 22 opposite to surface 12, as indicated by the broken lines in FIG. 2.

One or more heating wires 24 may be disposed in one or more protrusions 17 between adjacent furrows 16. Heating wires 24 may be connected to a power source (not shown) for heating plate 10.

Food plate 10 may be corrugated with at least two sets of furrows and protrusions, as shown in FIG. 1, wherein in one set 28 the furrows and protrusions are spaced from each other by a first distance and in another set 30 the furrows and protrusions are spaced from each other by a second distance different from the first distance. In this manner, different sets of tableware and cutlery can be accommodated by a single food plate. The food plate may be provided and sold as part of a tableware set, including one or more sets of forks matched to the furrows and protrusions.

Reference is now made to FIG. 3, which illustrates a food plate 32, constructed and operative in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. Food plate 32, instead of having furrows like food plate 10, is formed with spaced spikes 34. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, food plate 32 includes a matrix of spikes 34 arranged in rows and columns. The height of spikes 34 is generally equal to or greater than the fork tine height. The spacings between the rows and columns of the matrix are generally equal to fork inter-tines spacings, and may be different to accommodate different inter-tines spacings. It is noted that “spike” 34 can be pointed, but alternatively can be rounded, and in general can have a variety of shapes and sizes.

Reference is now made to FIG. 4, which illustrates a food plate 36, constructed and operative in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. Food plate 36 includes parallel bars 38, which may be held and connected by cross-bars 40 at both ends thereof. The height of parallel bars 38 is generally equal to or greater than the fork tine height. The inter-bars spacing is generally equal to a fork inter-tines spacing, and may be different to accommodate different inter-tines spacings. The bars 38 and 40 can have a variety of shapes and sizes.

All the embodiments of the invention may be constructed as an integral part of a plate. Alternatively, any of the embodiments of the invention may be constructed as an insert designed to be placed in a conventional plate. Accordingly, the insert of the embodiment of FIG. 1 would have furrows as shown, the insert of FIG. 3 would have spikes and the insert of FIG. 4 would have bars. As before, the inserts would of course be constructed of a material suitable (hygienic) for serving food thereon, such as but not limited to, porcelain, plastic, stainless steel, wood and others. The inserts may be disposable.

The present invention may be used with a fork with sharp-tipped tines or with round-tipped tines. Thus the present invention provides a safety feature of permitting use of a safety fork with rounded tips, designed to lift food from a plate with furrows, spikes or adequate inserts. Prior art plates are not so useful with such round-tipped forks. Round-tipped forks are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,896,423 to Kinsey, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

The scope of the present invention includes both combinations and subcombinations of the features described hereinabove as well as modifications and variations thereof which would occur to a person of skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description and which are not in the prior art.





 
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