While they’re arguably the most intimidating eating tools for many of us, chopsticks have been the cutlery of choice across Asia for thousands of years.
In fact, almost one-third of the world’s population uses chopsticks every day, roughly the same amount that use knives and forks (who knew?). And on that note…
A Few Fun, Fast Facts About the Humble Chopstick
- Chopsticks were invented in ancient China around 5000 years ago.
- The Chinese use 45 billion chopsticks annually.
- Disposable chopsticks are responsible for decimating 20 million trees every year.
- Commonly made from bamboo, wood, or plastic, chopsticks have also been made from gold, ivory, jade or porcelain. Sign us up for a gold set, obviously.
- While chopsticks are used across east, south and southeast Asia, each country has its own unique style of chopstick.
- Chopsticks were allegedly invented to remove the risk of being killed during a meal. Dark times…
- Using chopsticks involves over 30 joints and 50 muscles in the fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder, and thousands of nerves. (Ok, that probably doesn’t make the thought of grappling with these wooden sticks any easier, but read on and you’ll be a chopstick aficionado in no time, promise!)
While dexterity is key for correct chopstick usage, the prospect of grasping a spring roll or slurping up a bowl of noodles needn’t be so unnerving! Thus, our expert team at Menulog have compiled an excellent list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to eating with these seemingly simple utensils.
A Novice’s Guide to Chopstick Etiquette
- Eat rice by holding the bowl to your face, using chopsticks to push the grains directly into your mouth.
- Show your love towards a family member by transferring a choice cut of meat or seafood from a common dish to their bowl.
- Rest chopsticks on top of the bowl to indicate you’ve finished your meal.
- If you need to take a break, rest chopsticks on the side of your bowl, or on a stand, if it’s provided.
- Rest chopsticks on the edge of your bowl, pointing towards others seated at the table
- Tap chopsticks on the edge of your bowl. Like, ever.
- Spear food with a chopstick! If you’re having trouble picking up your food, a spoon is your plan B.
- Leave chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice. This symbolises death, eek.
- And finally, don’t use chopsticks to dig around in a bowl of food.
And of course, practice makes perfect! Order all your favourite Asian dishes now on Menulog!