utensil face-off

October 10, 2010 § 6 Comments

With food, and particularly pan-Asian cuisines, there comes the inevitable question and debate: chopsticks or forks?

fork, fork, stick!

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?

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§ 6 Responses to utensil face-off

  • lizatarian says:

    Although I enjoy using chopsticks when I can (a.k.a. when I eat Chinese food), I fail at eating rice with them. I’ve been told it’s because we have a different type of rice here (less sticky?) so whenever I get rice I reach for the fork, not the chopsticks. Also, question, how do they eat soup? I’m guessing they just sip it like a drink to eliminate the need of a spoon?

  • I too love chopsticks, and I’m surprised that no one chose European utensils.

  • uselesscrapineed says:

    I have definitely had this debate before. When I was a freshman I ordered in chinese with a friend and why were like damn no chopsticks, and I was pretty much like those are for sushi (I was a freshman and had yet to experience the Michigan difference). Have to say I’m on your side now though. Love your list of benefits.

  • Emily says:

    I’m completely team eurotensils here. Not only is any attempt at eating I ever make a disaster, chopstick chances are a milion times worse. So, for the sake of my dignity, I always have to pass on the chopsticks. I really liked this post and the overall layout of your blog!

  • jennwink says:

    I can do sushi with the chopsticks, rice is more difficult, although my roommate has a rice cooker and can make really authentic rice – much easier with chopsticks. I really like how you focused on food this week! Yum!

  • greennotmean says:

    I loved this post! Sadly I know the chopstick/fork debate all too well because I’m constantly trying to decide which utensil to use. When I’m ravenous, forks are definitely my go-to. But, I do agree that chopsticks help savor a good meal. I probably should use them more often, now that I think about it. I still think your posts are so enthusiastic, and I love reading them! And, they somehow always make me hungry!

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