It is really a wonderful thing how something that looks so simple as a chopstick can become so popular. If you look at them, chopsticks are nothing more than two sticks, one longer than the other and those that don’t know how to use them properly, will probably throw them away very soon. But don’t be like that. It can be really fun eating with chopsticks. A lot more fun, in fact, than using a fork and a knife.
How would you like to know a thing or two about chopsticks? Let’s say that you already know how to use them, but a little historical knowledge never hurt anybody. So, here are some interesting facts about chopsticks, hope you’ll find this interesting.
Chopsticks are one of the many symbols of China. While this great country has given the world many interesting things, like gunpowder, silk, kite dragons and so on, chopsticks are probably the first thing that you will have in mind when someone mentions China.
Of course, it is not a surprise that the Chinese were the first to start using chopsticks. This was around 5000 years ago. Of course, these were nowhere near the artistically engraved chopsticks that would come a bit later and were used more as a necessity than anything else. You see, the early Chinese started using sticks of wood in order to take the food from the fire, when it was done cooking. As the population of China continued growing, people in China had to find different ways to save on fuel. So, they cooked their food in really small pieces because this was faster. Thanks to this, people no longer had a need for knives and very soon, everybody was using chopsticks or “Kuai-Zi (quick little fellows).
The great Chinese philosopher, Confucius, had his hand in a lot of things in Chinese culture and chopsticks were one of them. This wise man really hated knives. In fact, he hated knives so much that Confucius, who was a vegetarian, by the way, once said that the honorable man has to keep away from the kitchen and the slaughterhouse and that he should never allow knives on his table. With his influence on Chinese people, is it a wonder that people soon put away their kitchen knives and started using chopsticks?
So, what are chopsticks usually made from? Today, we can most often eat with wooden chopsticks. When you order Chinese food. you will also get a pair or two of wooden chopsticks that you can use once. However, chopsticks can also be made from various metals. For example, rulers in Asia often used silver chopsticks. They were convinced that silver would change color if the food is poisoned. Gold chopsticks were also used, but only the highest among the nobility were allowed to do this. This was yet another way, emperors could show that they were above the common folk, who would use wooden or metal chopsticks.