Handling Chopsticks

In China,it is considered barbaric to present a piece of meat that looks like the animal from which it came, and it is considered impolite to expect a guest to cut their own food into bite-sized pieces. This task belongs to the cook. Such a philosophy of eating naturally led to the invention of chopsticks.

Fred Ferretti reports in Food Arts magazine that Jae Lee, a native of South Korea, created a job for himself and his increasing number of American employees: he makes multiple million chopsticks for export to China, Japan and other far Eastern countries.

Everybody has to eat, but the methods that people all over the world use to get their food from the plate to mouth vary.  Figures from the Japanese Restaurant Association divide the world’s population into four categories:

  • 1.2 billion people eat with chopsticks.
  • 1.5 billion eat with fork, knife and spoon.
  • 350 million eat with a knife and their hands.
  • 250 million eat with their hands only.

In fast food restaurants plastic utensils are optional for pizza.