In spite of the fact that chopsticks’ origins remain unknown, most historians are leaning towards the hypotheses that this integral part of Chinese food history was much popularized by the Shang dynasty, dating back to 1766 – 1122 BC. Being a unique method of the Eastern cuisine, chopsticks represent one of the strongest Chinese food traditions: they were used thousands years ago, are widespread today and are likely to remain the most distinguished Chinese place setting tomorrow.
As Chinese cuisine is gaining more and more popularity all over the world, Chinese food traditions are quickly become internationally recognized, and nowadays chopsticks are used both in Chinese food restaurants and in ordinary kitchens.
The experts in Chinese food traditions claim there is a big difference between Chinese and Japanese chopsticks, so they shouldn’t be mixed up. Thus, classic Chinese chopsticks are usually made of unfinished bamboo or wood to correspond Chinese food traditions, while the Japanese use lacquered bamboo or wood. Another distinction is that Chinese chopsticks are longer – about 10 1/2 inches for adults, while Japanese ones equal to only 9 inches. Moreover, according to Chinese food traditions, Chinese chopsticks feature blunt ends, in contrast to Japanese ones the ends of which are pointed.
Today Chinese food traditions, and especially Chinese chopsticks are very popular, and people from each corner of the world are trying to perfect their chopstick skills. To help you with sophisticated Chinese food traditions of chopsticks, here are some useful tips to follow.
- First don’t use plastic chopsticks, not only for aesthetic reasons but also because they are harder to hold food. Choose chopsticks only from natural materials, like wood or bamboo.
- Secondly, remember that chopsticks’ ends shouldn’t cross, so hold them in the middle.The bottom chopstick remains immovable, while the top one is used to pick up food.
- Finally, if some Chinese food popular dishes with bones are served, you should hold the piece with chopsticks and just eat around the bone.
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