If you’ve ever visited Tsunami Sushi in Sarasota, you’ve likely used a pair of chopsticks to consume your meal. You might not have given it much thought, but chopsticks have a unique history. If you’ve ever been curious, we encourage you to read on. You might just gain a whole new appreciation for this popular eating utensil.
Some historians disagree on the exact date, but it’s believed that chopsticks first appeared 5,000 years ago during the time of the Ancient Chinese empire. Like many inventions developed throughout time, it was a necessity that brought this device into being. The vast majority of China’s population began to strain the country’s resources. This led to the populace consuming smaller portions of food. One of the greatest philosophers of all time, Confucius, endorsed the product heavily. He believed these utensils were best for eating rice and vegetables, insisting that knives were more associated with meat and the slaughterhouse. This ringing endorsement led the utensil, known as “quick little fellows,” to gain widespread popularity throughout Asia in the years that followed.
As popularity spread to Japan, Korea, and Viet Nam. It’s more than likely that their modern term, chopstick, comes from the slang term for quick, “chop-chop.” In Japan, chopsticks are shorter and have a round end. Around 1000 AD, the Japanese began to utilize chopsticks made from bamboo. Up until this point, chopsticks in Japan were limited to religious ceremonies. While the Japanese believed in practicality, the ruling dynasties of Ancient China possessed chopsticks made of Jade and other expensive materials. In 1878, disposable chopsticks began appearing, most likely a by-product of the industrial revolution.
While the design and materials of chopsticks have changed over the centuries, the proper way to use them has always existed. They’re to be appropriately held by the right hand, never the left. This dates back to the belief that the left hand was used for washing oneself and was never to be used for eating. This also means you won’t accidentally elbow the dining patron seated next to you. In western dining, using a fork to impale your food before consumption is considered quite normal. However, the use of a chopstick in this fashion is in very poor taste. Impaling sushi with a chopstick is frowned upon as bad etiquette.
Now that the lesson is completed, you might have worked up an appetite. Fear not, because now you can apply everything you’ve learned at Sarasota’s most refined eatery, Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill. You can find us located at 100 Central Avenue, Suite 1022. Stop in today!