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Japanese chopsticks

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Unlike our fork/knife duo, chopsticks are inseparable objects from Japanese culture. But also Chinese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese culture. They are most often made of wood but we also find them made of metal, porcelain, stainless steel or plastic. It's also a lot of fun to eat with, as long as you know how to do it.

Because although a large majority of French people like to appreciate the flavors of Japanese cuisine, only a minority of them can boast of knowing how to eat in the same way as the Japanese people. It is therefore with a learning perspective that we will try to familiarize you with the handling of Japanese chopsticks. 🥢

How to eat with Japanese chopsticks?

  1. Grab the first chopstick and insert it into the hollow of your thumb, resting it on the end of your middle finger. If you have trouble seeing what this looks like, tell yourself that the grip is quite similar to that of a pencil, with the difference that the wand rests on your middle finger and not on your ring finger.
  2. Grasp the second chopstick with your thumb and index finger. This is probably the position that will require the most training at the beginning because it is quite unnatural. Don't be discouraged, be patient and take the time to find exactly where to position the wand between the central joint of your index finger and its tip.
  3. Move your index finger back and forth without dropping the chopsticks. If your chopsticks are correctly positioned on your hand they should not fall or even slip between your hands. Only the index finger moves during the movement while the thumb and middle finger are only there to stabilize the chopsticks. To practice, if you have to go to a Japanese restaurant or a friend's house, try taking 10 to 15 minutes to try to grab small objects and handle them gently to familiarize yourself with handling chopsticks.

Everything you need to know about the origin of Japanese chopsticks

Chopsticks are originally kitchen utensils used to keep the fire going. However, after heavy metal taxation in the 3rd century people began to use chopsticks to eat directly from their plate. And as mentioned above in the introduction, this practice quickly became popular in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.

Each country gradually took ownership of its baguettes. In Japan, for example, they are known for being slightly shorter than their counterparts, rather pointed at their end and rounded in shape unlike square Chinese chopsticks. Women also traditionally have slightly shorter chopsticks than men. Japanese chopsticks are most often made of lacquered wood, but some metal variants also exist. Disposable chopsticks, which are also very popular in restaurants for their practicality and hygiene, should disappear shortly for reasons of ecology.

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