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Eating Chinese Food With Chopsticks

 
 
Merry Andrew
 
  3  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 04:29 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Never did understand why they didn't invent a fork, though.


Interesting point, Frank. We're so used to the presence of forks as part of a table setting that it sometimes comes as a surprise to realize that the three-pronged fork as we know it is a comparatively recent invention. Europeans didn't begin to use forks until roughly Elizabethan times. There were no such things for kings or courtiers during the Middle Ages. People ate with their fingers, using a knife to cut off chunks of meat. A soupspoon sized spoon might be used for food not easily picked up with one's hands, e.g. soup. The Asian method of eating with chopsticks was far more sanitary, for one things, and less offensive to other diners at the table. I'm surprised Marco Polo didn't bring the practice back from Cathay with him.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 04:35 pm
@Merry Andrew,
I think Catherine d'Medici brought forks to France from Italy, but don't trust me on that.
dadpad
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 04:39 pm
I can play chopsticks on the piano. Apart form that i'm a rank beginner.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=_MmKbdfTAA4
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:02 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
I think Catherine d'Medici brought forks to France from Italy, but don't trust me on that.


I have a feeling your memory might be trustworthy on this one, Osso. Now that you've said it, I vaguely recall reading something similar somewhere. It took longer for this outlandish piece of cutlery to get across the Channel to England, however.

Once upon a time I had this great book on the provenance of everyday inventions (think earmuffs, think traffic lights). The dinner fork was certainly one of the items featured. I probably still have the book someplace but I've moved around so much in the last dozen years that heaven only knows where it's stashed or stored. And you know how unreliable heaven is in these matters just when you need something.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:04 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Yes, I do..
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 05:07 pm
@ossobuco,
Yes, you do what?
hamburger
 
  3  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:17 pm
would you believe there is a "history of the fork" ?

http://www.hospitalityguild.com/History/history_of_the_fork.htm

Quote:
By the 7th Century A.D., royal courts of the Middle East began to use forks at the table for dining. From the 10th through the 13th Centuries, forks were fairly common among the wealthy in Byzantium, and in the 11th Century, a Byzantine wife of a Doge of Venice brought forks to Italy. The Italians, however, were slow to adopt their use. It was not until the 16th Century that forks were widely adopted in Italy.

In 1533, forks were brought from Italy to France when Catherine de Medicis married the future King Henry II. The French, too, were slow to accept forks, because using them was thought to be an affectation.

An Englishman named Thomas Coryate brought the first forks back toiEngland after seeing them in Italy during his travels in 1608.


The English ridiculed forks as being effeminate and unnecessary. "Why should a person need a fork when God had given him hands?" they asked.


forks were considered "an instrument of the devil" in medieval europe !
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 06:50 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Yes, I do "know how unreliable heaven is in these matters just when you need something."
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:03 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
. . . the three-pronged fork as we know it . . .


I am used to seeing "cocktail" or "seafood" forks with three tines, but the salad and dinner forks with which i have been familiar all my life have four tines. Therefore, i wonder if in Europe a fork of three tines is more common? Also, i thought the original forks which were introduced into Europe simply had two prongs, such as is used in a larger size in the kitchen for meat preparation.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:07 pm
@hamburger,
When restaurants start offering a discount for patrons who bring their own silverware, I'll know we've got problems.

Watch out, Chai! I think I'm in love.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:34 pm
@Setanta,
set ;

the forks(gabel in german) i've used in europa have usually been four-pronged - except at granma's . really old (antique) forks often have only three prongs .

and don't ask for a "forke" in germany because this is what you will be given :

http://picture.yatego.com/images/3f815f8a0be179.8/Forke.jpg

it's for those with a really hearty appetite - or for cleaning the stable .
0 Replies
 
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:47 pm
et i quette

with dread tong

chop chop
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 08:54 pm
Yeah I love to eat with chopsticks once in a while, I should do it more often,
but when I was in Asia for 3 weeks I got a bit sick of eating with
chopsticks only.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  3  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 09:04 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
I am used to seeing "cocktail" or "seafood" forks with three tines, but the salad and dinner forks with which i have been familiar all my life have four tines. Therefore, i wonder if in Europe a fork of three tines is more common? Also, i thought the original forks which were introduced into Europe simply had two prongs, such as is used in a larger size in the kitchen for meat preparation.


No, you're right, Set. Dinner forks, both here and in Urrp, have four tines. The early ones in the 17th century, though, were largely three-tined, if I remember correctly. (When I say 'if I remember correctly'. I mean from what i've read; despite what some people think, I don't remember the 17th century all that well. I mean, I was real young, y'know.)
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Feb, 2009 11:35 pm
@George,
When you can pick up marbles from a glass of water with lacquered chopsticks, and hurl the marble through a piece of half inch plywood, you truly will have made it, Grasshopper.
George
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 08:48 am
@JTT,
Quote:
When you can pick up marbles from a glass of water with lacquered chopsticks, and hurl the marble through a piece of half inch plywood, you truly will have made it, Grasshopper.

That may take a little more time.

Sometimes my brother-in-law will absent-mindedly twirl one chopstick around
like a helicopter blade while keeping the other in position.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 11:42 am
@Phoenix32890,
Yes I have mastered this - my college roommate was from Japan and I used to use them all the time with Asian food. I don't any more (unless it is placed there at a restaurant) and nope it doesn't impact the taste of the food to me.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Feb, 2009 11:45 am
@Frank Apisa,
I thought the same thing Frank - I need to use them again - they may not change the taste of food, but it is fun.
0 Replies
 
vinsan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 09:13 am
@Phoenix32890,
I learnt how to eat by chopsticks without any lessons... I saw it once on the TV and instantly got a hold of it.

No one in my family / friend circle can eat with chopsticks ... only I do (we Indians never understood the concept of chopsticks or spoons as we never had any before british came to India).
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 01:39 pm
@vinsan,
I dearly miss your old avatar, Vinsan. Who was she?
 

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