Chopsticks for a More Delicious meal

As was invented in China, chopsticks are obviously the most common utensils in Chinese culture for solid foods (while soups and other liquids are enjoyed with a wide, flat-bottomed spoon which is traditionally made of ceramic.). Chopsticks are small, thin sticks that can be made of a number of different materials including wood, bamboo, ivory, silver, gold and plastic.

Chinese choose chopsticks as their tableware rather than a knife and fork since they consider a knife and fork to represent a sort of violence, and resemble weapons. However, chopsticks reflect gentleness and benevolence, which are the main moral teachings of Confucianism. Also, Chinese regard that the meal table should be a place of peace and harmony, where anything which could be used as a weapon (such as knife) should be banned from the table.

Now you might know why Chinese food is usually chopped into bite-size pieces while it is being prepared: besides to make it quicker to cook, more importantly, to make it easier to eat without cutting on the table. 

It is usually an awkward first experience for non-Chinese to use chopsticks with their meal. Fortunately it’s not too difficult and is worth learning: Chinese food seems to taste better when eaten with chopsticks which are the special utensil that the Chinese use to dine with. 

 To use chopsticks, you need to follow four basic steps:

 1) Rest the end of the lower chopstick in the V of your thumb and forefinger. Support the chopstick with the little finger and the ring finger.

 2) Hold the upper chopstick as if it were a pencil, held between your middle finger and index finger, and anchored with your thumb.

 3) Make sure the tips of the chopsticks are always even, and the same length - it is impossible to use the chopsticks effectively if the tip of one stick protrudes beyond the other.

 4) When picking up food, the lower chopstick should remain still - only the upper chopstick should pivot, with the thumb as axis.

 After a little practice, you can use them to enjoy any meal including Chinese food. Certainly in the first few attempts, you have to take care.