Two sticks in the same size, between 20-25 cm… A tool used in far Asia for eating, for more than 6 thousand years… The chopsticks…
Now if we take a second to look at what we use for the same purpose, the fork, we would see that it started appearing on tables in the 16th century. Which means that the sticks we have such a hard time holding and eating with actually may not be so disfunctional as we thought. On the contrary, considering that they were present on tables for thousands of years, maybe we should reconsider.
I was in my early 20’s when I met chopsticks for the frst time. In those years Asian cuisine was not very popular in my country. Of course there were people who knew and liked Asian cuisine, but there weren’t many options to go. While I was on a trip abroad, I went to a Japanese restaurant with an invitation from a French friend of mine and I saw my first chopsticks. As you would imagine it wasn’t a pleasant evening for me. Let alone eating with them, I wasn’t even able to hold them between my fingers.
As years passed, my interest increased for those countries and cuisines and after spending some time in those regions, I mastered the art of chopsticks. So much that not even a small peanut or rice can escape me now.
Chopsticks are used in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tailand, Malesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Taivan and Indonesia. Along with these we encounter chopsticks frequently in many countries like USA, Canada and Australia.
The handling and usage of chopsticks differs in countries and regions. Not only the fingers which hold the sticks, but also the position of handling changes. When in some countries it’s the top part of the sticks, it can be closer to the middle in others. Chopsticks are generally made of plastic, bamboo, wood or steel. In some cases you can see chopsticks made of gold, porcelain or even jasper in richer tables.