Thought of the Day – 12/30/12 – Chopsticks

I have an irrational disdain for chopsticks.

Not the beginner’s piano song (although that is kinda annoying too), but the stick utensils people use when they eat Chinese food.

I think the practice is dumb.  Why?

You don’t use chopsticks any other time.  Why not whip out the ol’ sticks at your favorite Mexican place?  Or when mom makes her meatloaf with mac & cheese?

Why is that?  Is it because the utensils you normally use are superior for the task of transporting food from plate to pie hole than chopsticks?  Yep, they sure are.

It is incredibly impractical.  For the non-dexterous among us, eating with chopsticks is very tough (unless you employ the “stab” method).  Even if you can catch a fly in midair Miyagi style, good luck cleaning your plate without using your hands.

Chinese food does not taste any better when eaten with bamboo (or plastic) sticks than it does with a metal (or plastic) fork.  Now I can understand if you are actually IN CHINA, or maybe even the Chinatown* area of a major city that you would use chopsticks to get the full cultural experience.

*In my travels, Chinatown districts still have a fork waiting for you on the table.

It begs the question:  If I’m in China and I go to a restaurant that serves Italian, Mexican, or some other non-Chinese cuisine, do they provide forks for the locals to use?

One Comment

Uh oh, unfortunately you are missing some key points. Let me “buddy up” first and agree with you on an imperative point. I do find the utensil inferior for usage with most dishes. I ONLY use them on broth noodle dishes, if you had Pho before and is a semi experienced chop stick user it is by far the easiest and enjoyable utensil to use when devouring this dish. So one dish out of hundreds is not exactly tipping the scale. Let me digress further and share with you what I call “Old Asian World”. During this era temperature of dishes were extremely important. Tea was served hot, sushi was served fresh and chilled and even drinking water was ideally at room temperature not ice cold. To them a cold or hot metallic utensil would have been deemed impractical. Chopsticks on the other hand is the closest to room temperature, in a room. in fine dining sushi venues even a metallic chop stick would not be used. It would have to be wood. Also grabbing the item is more proper with chop sticks than spearing it with a fork. Spearing it changes the make up of that bite.

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