Sometimes I think Sing and I stopped growing mentally. I mean, we’re still like 5 year old kids asking ‘Why?!’ – over and over again. And what was bothering us for a really long time was ‘Why Koreans, Chinese and Japanese use different chopsticks?’. Yes, that’s one of the problems in our lives. Or I should say was a problem, because just few weeks ago we found an article mentioning why.
We love chopsticks so much we have 3 most popular types of chopsticks in our home. Actually my husband even said he should have mentioned in our latest video (click here or below to see it!) that chopsticks should be more popular in West. Well, good luck trying to cut a stake with chopsticks. Then, I’ve seen him cutting a pork chop with a spoon so nothing really can shock me in our household.
With Sing’s help I translated this the best I could, but if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comment section!
For the original content creator please visit: http://www.mychistory.com/?uid=1204 and https://hk.thenewslens.com/article/54918
Pictures are by taken me (just saying to show off with a beautiful cat-bowl I got).
Chopsticks were invented in China over 5000 years ago. There are poems mentioning them back during Tang Dynasty. Many countries around China also use chopsticks, especially Japan and Korea.
Even though they are all called chopsticks, there are differences between the chopsticks in those 3 countries. Chinese chopsticks have round head. Japanese chopsticks are relatively sharp and Korean chopsticks are made by metal. Chinese chopsticks are the longest among all of them.
Chinese people like to enjoy their meal in a group at a round table. Since such tables are usually quite large and there are many dishes on the table, people need a longer chopsticks to reach the food.
In Chinese culture the host will need to serve the food into visitors’ bowls as a part of the hospitality, therefore it can’t be done with shorter chopsticks.
Koreans uses spoon to eat rice but Chinese uses chopsticks instead. Also Chinese cuisine texture is generally on the soft side, therefore a pair of round headed chopsticks can achieve all their needs. (According to Sing to grab ‘hard’ food you should have sharp chopsticks so you can poke the food)
When the Japanese learned to use chopsticks from the Chinese, they modified head of the chopstick to sharp. It is because Japanese food are usually in a set, such as bento or teishoku that does not require a person to reach to the other side of the table.
Also seafood is very common in Japan, therefore sharper chopsticks can pick up fish easily.
Why only Korea uses metal chopsticks?
Someone said in the ancient Korea, only the Royal family could afford metal chopsticks. Someone also said metal chopsticks, especially made by silver were used to test whether Kimchi contains anything poisonous.
But why Korean chopsticks are very flat? It is because in Korean family, the wife usually serves the meal on a tray to the husband and in-laws first. Flat chopsticks wouldn’t roll off from the tray when it is being carried from the kitchen. Thinner chopsticks can also easily pick up beans and peel off Kimchi.
There are many courtesies, rules and taboos in using chopsticks in the Chinese culture. This culture had also been taught to other countries and became a part of the oriental civilization.
I personally love Japanese style chopsticks – very easy to hold and operate, sharp at the end so I can grab food easily. Chinese style chopsticks are OK – after so many years of being married and cooking Cantonese-Shanghainese food for our families I learnt to use them, but I don’t like how wide they are. Korean chopsticks are the worst one – in my opinion only! Don’t get me wrong – I admire each one of you who can use them, because I look like those people in movies when they are suppose to eat some take-away and they cross their chopsticks like scissors and just poke the food. That’s literally me and Korean chopsticks. Funny to watch me doing this, not so funny for me to actually do it.
Which one are your favorite? Maybe you know more fun facts about chopsticks? Let us know, we would love to read it!