Chinese chopsticks are integrated into the daily lives of more than a billion people.
However, they have a history that, with some certainty, we know to be at least three millennia-old, and they are further proof of China’s influence on oriental cuisine. In each country, they take a different form about their way of eating and their society.
History of Chopsticks
Experts in Chinese culture point out that the first chopsticks in history were not made for eating but were used for cooking. When cooking the food rolled in leaves on fire, these were used like tweezers to transport them to the fire and remove them once the food was already prepared. Later, when they were cooked in pots, they also served as a kind of tweezers to take food out of them when they were ready to eat and to remove the stews. At that time, the sticks were little more than wooden branches.
Historians relate that documents are dating back more than 5,000 years in which some references were already made to chopsticks; even in the ancient texts of the thinker, Confucius seems to find references to the need not to have elements that cut or knives on the table. The reason for this appears to be that since the thinker was vegetarian and did not consider the blades adequate, proclaiming that the honorable man never uses knives at the table. It is probable that for this reason also the chopsticks were pointed, which makes them appropriate to be able to prick the food in case it is necessary.
Today there are all kinds, material shapes, and sizes, but all share the same purpose. The most common materials for the manufacture of these utensils are wood, bone, bamboo, metal, and plastic.
-Chinese: long, about 25 cm, with one of the rounded ends, usually made of wood.
-Japanese: medium, about 22 cm, with one of the pointed ends, conical in shape, also made of wood.
-Korean: short with a flattened and narrow purpose, made of stainless steel.
-Vietnamese: medium and flat with a blunt and tight wooden end.
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