If you want to enjoy the real flavor of Chinese cuisines then you must enjoy the noodles and rice with chopsticks. Chopsticks appear as simple, rounded and elongated wooden sticks to us. But these simple sticks are regarded as magic sticks for the Chinese, who use these chopsticks for different culinary purposes. This article will give you an in depth knowledge of chopsticks, their varieties, their uses and the etiquette to use them. Have a look:
Types of chopsticks
Although chopsticks appear to be ordinary sticks, but in reality there are lots of varieties of the same. The segregation of different types of chopsticks is first made on the basis of their material. Then the next important point of differentiation lies in their basic structure. Here are the following types of chopsticks:
1. Wooden chopsticks
These chopsticks are made from soft wood. The wood that is mostly used for manufacturing these chopsticks is Japanese Yew wood or bamboo. Although these are the most traditional chopsticks but they are less durable and prone to rotting and breakage over time.
2. Plastic chopsticks
These chopsticks are of a much later creation and are resistant to wear and tear. But they are not as efficient as the wooden ones in picking food. Further, they are also not suitable for cooking too as the material is prone to melting in high temperatures.
3. Metal chopsticks
These chopsticks are most durable ones. These metallic chopsticks are mostly made from stainless steel. But they are more slippery than wood and plastic and thus, become less efficient at times.
4. Length of chopsticks
Chopsticks have different lengths and each length is suited for a definite purpose. While some of the very long ones, sometimes as long as a meter, are used for cooking and deep frying, the shorter are mostly used for eating and picking food from the serving plate.
5. The type of tapering
Chopsticks also differ from one another in the style of tapering of the tips too. Those required for picking up food have pointed heads that prick into the foods easily. They also help in separating bones from the flesh of fishes easily. Those with a relatively blunt head serve as spoons for picking up food like rice and flakes.
6. Luxury chopsticks
These are chopsticks that are made from precious materials such as jade, ivory, gold, silver, etc. Some chopsticks also have silver or gold tips. All these chopsticks are meant for wealthy class, elites, special occasions and sheer luxury.
7. Embellished chopsticks
Chopsticks are sometimes beautifully decorated and embellished. Some wooden chopsticks have painted and lacquered coating on them to increase their durability. Some metal chopsticks have roughened and scribed ends to minimize their slippery nature.
How to use chopsticks
Chopsticks are used in different ways. Chinese use them as extensions of their own fingers when they eat. This is why chopsticks are of different lengths that suit different users. Kidâs chopsticks are therefore shorter in length as compared to those of the adults.
Chopsticks can also be used for cooking. They are mostly used for deep frying. Hence, you can use chopsticks in replacement of serving spatula for serving food. They also find great use as cooking utensils used for stir frying, taking out deep fried food from oil and beating eggs.
What kind of chopstick is used where?
Different types of chopsticks are used in different cultures and countries.
China: Chopsticks used here are made from different materials. They are long and are tapered at one end. But the tips are blunt.
Japan: Japanese chopsticks are basically wooden with a coating of lacquer to make them waterproof and durable. They are shorter in length and have tapered, pointed tips to each fishes by removing their bones.
Korea: They use metallic chopsticks that are mostly made from steel. Traditional Korean chopsticks are made from brass and silver. They are of medium size and have square, blunt tips. They also use embellished metal chopsticks.
Vietnam: They use two types of chopsticks. While one is long and sleek with blunt end, other is large and flat. The former is used as eating and cooking utensil and the latter is used as serving spatula.
1. Restrict the unnecessary movement of chopsticks
It is recommended that you should never wave your chopstick, bang the table or the utensils with it. You must also not use it to move utensils.
2. Decide before you advance
Do not hover around the meal table, over the serving bowls with the chopstick in order to grab the best piece. Decide beforehand and advance accordingly.
3. Do not disrespect ancestors
Never prick your chopstick and keep it erect inside a bowl of food, especially rice. Traditionally this is a mark of disrespect to the ancestors as they are offered food in this way.