October 10, 2010 § 6 Comments
With food, and particularly pan-Asian cuisines, there comes the inevitable question and debate: chopsticks or forks?
I’ll give you three guesses as to what you think my answer is :P
Chopsticks, of course!!! And here’s my reasoning why:
1. They are fun and easy to learn how to use. I know it may look challenging, and it can take a try or two to get the hang of the motion and the right grip, but once you’ve mastered the basic movement it’s all smooth sailing from there! And if you need a visual or some tips on brushing up on your technique, check out eHow’s easy instructions here.
2. Eating with chopsticks helps moderate the amount of food you consume. By using chopsticks, especially if you’re just beginning, you are forced to slow down and more carefully deliver food from the plate to your mouth. This way of eating is beneficial to both reducing overeating as well as boosting your satisfaction with your meal, as you savor and more slowly enjoy the dish.
3. Using chopsticks allows you more control when eating food. Chopsticks are, in fact, largely considered to be an extension of the fingers themselves, and when used correctly can be similarly precise in picking up objects and food.
4. A typical asian-style meal can be eaten entirely with chopsticks, thus eliminating the need for any other utensil. By eating with only one pair of re-usable utensils, you can eliminate the energy needed to wash, clean, and dry other eating utensils such as a fork, knife, and spoon.
It’s true, however, that certain kinds of foods are much easier to eat with chopsticks than others, and these differences are generally due to cultural variances in agriculture. Across Asia, where rice is the most consumed staple, chopsticks are a valued heritage and contemporary method; in bread-loving America, it might be more prudent to forgo any utensils at all and just dig in with your hands. But no matter which Chinese restaurant your Monk’s Delight Feast comes from, nor how flimsy your taco bell spork is, the food we eat and how we consume it is as culturally-based as the language we use to order it.
What’s your vote?