In this day and age, there appears to be a holiday for everything. While some topics and subject matter are more deserving than others when it comes to having a day of devotion, the chopstick is more than worthy of praise. If you’ve ever eaten at an eatery that specializes in Asian cuisine, then you’re more than familiar with them. These handy devices have a unique history attached to them, so sit back and enjoy a won-ton or two as we turn back the pages of time…
A Brief History
While some historians disagree on the exact date, chopsticks first appeared close to 5,000 years ago in the Chinese empire. Like so many other important inventions that have been developed throughout time, it was necessity that brought this device into being. Around 400 B.C.E., a large population wore heavily on China’s food supply, requiring food items to be chopped into smaller portions that could be cooked rapidly, which used less fuel. Within a century, the popularity of these utensils, whose original name means “quick little fellows” 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, they’re also referred to as “hashi” meaning “bridge.”
Like any other item to be used while eating, there’s a proper way to use chopsticks. Before the next time you use them, consider the well-mannered way of use.
- Handy Advice proper use of chopsticks dictates that they’re to be held properly 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 or human contact. This also means that you won’t accidentally elbow the dining patron seated next to you.
- Don’t Impale & Inhale In western dining, it’s considered quite normal to use a utensil such as a fork to impale your food prior to consumption. However, the use of a chopstick in this fashion is in very poor taste. Impaling one’s sushi with a chopstick is frowned upon as bad etiquette.
Now that your combination of history and etiquette lessons is completed, you might have worked up somewhat of an appetite. Fear not, because now you can apply everything you’ve learned at Sarasota’s finest Sushi Eatery, Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill. The highest quality of sushi awaits you, so chop on over. You can find us located at 100 Central Avenue, Suite 1022, in Sarasota.