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A Guide to Types of Chopsticks

Everyone knows that some meals in Japanese cuisine are eaten with chopsticks, like sashimi. And chopsticks are even used in everyday life on an everyday basis by many people. But not everyone knows that there are several types of chopsticks.

We at 5-Minute Crafts decided to find out what types of chopsticks there are and what they are used for.

A bit of history

These utensils are from China and have been used for over 3,000 years. The culture of eating food with chopsticks spread from China to other Asian countries, such as Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. It is interesting that the first chopsticks were used only during cooking and serving, not during eating.

Chopsticks came into use as actual utensils during the Han Dynasty (202 BCE — 220 CE). During this period, spoons were also used together with chopsticks. And only during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) did chopsticks completely replace spoons and were used for both serving food and eating it.

Chinese chopsticks

Chinese chopsticks are longer than other types — they are around 11 in or 27 cm. They are also thicker than Japanese or Korean chopsticks, and aside from that, they are not always tapered from top to bottom, but they retain the same thickness. Most of the time, they are made from wood and have a rectangular shape. They are called “kuàizi.”

Japanese chopsticks

These chopsticks are shorter than Chinese chopsticks but longer than Korean ones. The tips are usually rounded. Since the Japanese eat a lot of fish, the chopsticks are often pointed to make it easier to remove the bones from fish. Japanese chopsticks usually have a lot of complicated colors and designs because it’s believed to be an important element of supporting balance at home. The main materials for producing the chopsticks are wood and plastic. Such sticks are called “hashi.”

Korean chopsticks

While Chinese and Japanese chopsticks are often made from natural materials, Korean ones are mostly metal. Because metal is often slippery, the ends are usually rough. They are much shorter and flatter than other chopsticks. In Korea, chopsticks are often used together with a spoon — it’s a unique feature because, in other countries, they don’t use chopsticks with other utensils. Korean chopsticks are called “jeotgarak.”

5-Minute Crafts/World/A Guide to Types of Chopsticks
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