Forget sporks, chorks are blowing up this month


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/03/forget-sporks-chorks-are-blow.html


#2

Once you get the hang of it, eating with chop sticks is easy. Just look at the pictures on the back of the wrapper. The key is to NOT move the bottom one. Lock it in as shown. Then use the top one like a pen. Well, I hold my pen horribly differently, but like you are supposed to hold it.


#3

That was the thing someone finally told me that broke the world of chopsticks wide open for me. It was a little like the moment somebody finally told me you don’t have to let the clutch out all the when you press on the gas…


#4

Yeah, I too was trying to pinch them, like scissors. One day I READ the actual package, and I think it said the bottom doesn’t move, and it all clicked.


#5

I finally learned by ignoring the package. Which means I’m not really doing it 100% correct, but it works reasonably well most of the time.


#6

Exactly! The bottom one stays where it is. Hold the top like a pencil. Move it up and down and ta da!

Two billion people in the world eat their food with sticks every single day. Once your fingers figure it out, it’s the perfect way to eat a lot of foods. Though eating rice with it takes practice.


#7

This is the thing I can’t stand about plastic chopsticks. There is absolutely no way to eat rice with them other than push the bowl to your mouth and shovel. It is the #1 thing I don’t think I’d like about the chork.


#8

Perhaps one of the most enthralling bits of magic I saw at Disney World as a tyke was in eating at the Japanese pavilion at Epcot Center, where they would roll up the chopstick wrapper, stick it between the ends, and wrap an elastic around it, thus rendering them immensely practical.

Nowadays my biggest issue with chopsticks is that after eating, it is quite impossible to use them to scrape out the dregs of sauce and other associated flavorful bits that might remain in the dish. I have to keep a spoon handy.


#9

Isn’t that the correct method?


#10

The solution is more rice.

People in the U.S. generally don’t eat as much rice with their Asian food as Asians do.


#11

Ever tried Korean-style chopsticks? They use stainless steel, which is even more difficult to eat rice with than plastic. When I’ve had to use them I resort to the awkward shovel method.


#12

Okay I’ve only ever seen the third option:


alt-version from the same cartoonist:


a-ha! First one dates to 2011 and the second to 2014.

I’ll also note that in the first version the shoveller seems sloppy, but in the second-version the shoveller is a bit neater and less frenetic.


#13

It for sure is. When my wife was a kid in NYC, though, her (parochial school) teacher scolded her pretty harshly for doing so, even though this is how they ate at home. She carries that one around to this day :frowning:


#14

With our product, you’ll get so much rice into your mouth… you’ll chork!


#15


#16

CHORK! CHORK! CHORK! CHORK!


#17

If the rice is stuck together it’s no problem. Keep it mostly segragated and eat it between other bites. Oh, and keep it unseasoned. Putting something like soy sauce on it… why would anyone do that?


#18

That’s because in Korea you’re supposed to use your SPOON to eat rice, not chopsticks. Something, something about respecting the sacrifice of the rice farmer and not wasting your food.

Interestingly, Korea is the only country I know of that does this. The Chinese and Japanese eat their rice with chopsticks, with the Chinese actually causing environmental threats due to the number of chopsticks they manufacture and dispose of after every meal.

The reason for metal chopsticks also doesn’t completely have to do with the practicality of washing them and reusing them. It also has to do with the tradition where the emperor’s chopsticks were silver so that any poison placed in his food could be detected by the oxidization reactions from tarnishing, or so I’ve been told.

The reason Americans have such trouble with chopsticks is that they try to use them to eat long-grain rice instead of short-grain glutinous rice used in Asia. The long-grain rice has no stickiness, while the short-grain rice can be eaten in little sticky balls that you form in your bowl using the edges of the chopsticks. Short-grain rice has taste differences, too.

Just try eating Korean-style cold buckwheat noodles with sauce! They are both chewy and slippery and almost impossible to pick up with chopsticks. One time, I got too big a clump in my mouth and almost choked trying to politely gnaw through them without spitting them out on my plate.

I lived in Korea for many years, so I can attest that Korean chopsticks are probably the hardest to learn how to use. Any Asian restaurant that uses long-grain rice with their meals has given up trying to accommodate the Western inability to use chopsticks.


#19

I thought I was doing OK with chopsticks until I actually went to China. We got stuck in the Shanghai airport due to a 12 hour plane delay and the airline passed out a meal. Eating the rice with chopsticks was easy but watching a few Chinese guys eating a chicken leg using chopsticks was IMPRESSIVE. Chopsticks seem like a sort of simple finger extension for most of the people who grew up with them. I just used my non-extended fingers to handle the chicken. Thank goodness the Chinese also know about napkins…


#20

It’s a chopstork. I can’t believe the word “chork” has made it this far. Chopstork is clearly the superior name.