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The Chopstick Topic: Your Favorites


Peter Green

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It's only a single pair, but I consider them family heirlooms!

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That's right!  Plastic "Hello Kitty" chopsticks.  A must have for everyone's kitchen.

oh my god those are so cute!!!!!! They look like late 70's hello kitty. I have about 2 sets of hello kitty chopsticks and one set of my melody. I only use these at school when I am eating lunch.

are those hk chopsticks porcelain or plastic?

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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It's only a single pair, but I consider them family heirlooms!

gallery_22892_3828_184181.jpg

That's right!  Plastic "Hello Kitty" chopsticks.  A must have for everyone's kitchen.

oh my god those are so cute!!!!!! They look like late 70's hello kitty. I have about 2 sets of hello kitty chopsticks and one set of my melody. I only use these at school when I am eating lunch.

are those hk chopsticks porcelain or plastic?

Only the best in high quality molded plastic, I believe.

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gallery_16375_5_14663.jpg

They are all made of bamboo.  They vary in length from 24 cm to 32 cm.

The bottom pair, made of wood, was once made by someone, but because it is not of a coated type, it is now used for cooking purposes.

The bottom pair are exactly like those I have had for so many years!

A package of 12 bought in some long gone Japanese shop here in Vancouver- there are now 7 left. :sad:

Tough to eat with the larger Chinese style plastic ones after using the wooden ones for so long.

Like many others here apart from my oldies I prefer tapered Bamboo.

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  • 16 years later...

Some of my fancy sticks.

 

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My favorites out of all of them are probably also the most expensive. And boy are they expensive! They're TiStix anodized titanium chopsticks by knifemaker Alan Folts, and you can find them for sale at EatingTools.com. Please nobody ever visit that site. You'll find yourself wanting stupid, lovely, expensive things that you can't forget about for years. Like a ****ing $85 pair chopsticks. Look folks, I know that's a crazy thing to buy. But I had these on my public birthday/Christmas wishlist for half a decade. And while I think that $85 is a reasonable budget for a special gift, nobody wanted to buy such an incredible extravagance. Nobody understood. For years and years and years. So after much frustration, I treated myself to a pair. As it turned out, the maker stopped producing the color scheme that I wanted (The Midnight Edition in "Dew")  because it was apparently difficult to get the anodization/color consistent with that particular color combination. So I ended up with a pair of "factory seconds" for a light discount. In the photo below, the top one is more or less perfect, but the middle one has some purple tinges to the middle section instead of the sort of turquoise it was supposed to be. But I like the "wabi sabi" imperfection of it all.

 

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In terms of shape and size, they're like elegant tapered Japanese chopsticks with a bit of texture to the tip section. Korean metal chopsticks tend to be slightly wider and with less taper than Japanese chopsticks. They're also made of stainless steel, which conducts heat much better than titanium. The thin tip (low thermal mass) and relatively poor thermal conductivity (25% of iron) makes it a great pair to eat hot noodle soups with. And, dear readers, I eat a lot of noodle soup. The sticks don't get hot and the light bead-blasted-y finish on the tips makes them just grippy enough to handle slippery broth-coated noodles. The build quality and machining of the chopsticks is phenomenal. I do feel as though I could probably kill a person with them, as they are quite pointy, and quite rigid, and quite likely to be an heirloom that my children fight over. Or else they'll look at them with the same bewildered indifference that everyone else does when they contemplate my extravagant TiStix. I wish I had another pair.

 

My second most favorite pair is a mystery to me. It's a pair of lacquered cherry bark chopsticks produced in Japan, but I have no idea where I got them or who made them. I went through all my chopsticks orders and emails and found nothing -- NOTHING! -- about where they came from. They're the pair to the immediate left of the titanium chopsticks in the first picture I posted. Japanese chopsticks are typically small compared to Chinese chopsticks, but the "serving" chopsticks are slightly larger than ordinary Japanese chopsticks and therefore better at shoving food into my giant American gullet. Anyway, I did some sleuthing recently and found a similar looking pair on Bezos.com. (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) They arrived a couple days ago and appear to be the "individual size" version. They're like six bucks and they handle *really* well, so I ordered another pair as a backup. The shape of both small and large is basically a tapered rectangular prism, and the tapered squared off tips make them great for grabbing noodles. Look, I eat a lot of noodles, okay?! Anyway, here's my old favorite along with the new pair from Amazon. Y'all go nuts and buy the rest of them, but someone find out who makes them so I can order a backup pair of the serving chopsticks!

 

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My other favorite pair are also Japanese serving chopsticks. They were also the second most expensive chopsticks. I think there are some trends forming here. Anyway, they're Kohchosai Kosuga Nedake bamboo root chopsticks I got from Toiro Kitchen. Again, wallets beware! These sticks feel elemental or magical or something. My wife thinks of them as the Elderwand from Harry Potter, though we know that's not "really" what the Elderwand looks like. They're her favorite. She liked them so much but was afraid to ever use them, so I gave them to her to use with reckless abandon. Reckless abandon:

 

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My overall preferences seem to be for the longer length of Chinese chopsticks but with the tapered tip and precision of the Japanese style of chopstick. And I also prefer for it to be made from a very nice substrate.

 

The unreasonable pair of chopsticks I want for Christmas this year but nobody will get me is another bamboo Japanese serving style from Toiro, this time with a wisteria vine wrap at the top. I could totally eat some noodles with those...

Edited by btbyrd (log)
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No. You are all wrong! These are what you need!

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Available in various colours.

 

Illuminated Chopsticks (2).jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never mastered the chopstick.

But part of the reason is that I fail to see the point, cutlery is ever so much more efficient and easy.  Nevertheless, I'd feel better about myself if I could.

I see it as rather like the game of chess, elegant but not necessary.  

Edited by lindag (log)
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I'm pretty good with chopsticks, but I had an epic failure the other day when I ordered sushi. First of all, the rice wasn't correctly made--it fell apart--and the chopsticks were metal and very slippery. (They were attractive, though.) That's what you get when you order sushi in the middle of Mexico, I guess. And I think my hands aren't as strong as they used to be, which complicated the situation.

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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12 hours ago, lindag said:

I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have never mastered the chopstick.

But part of the reason is that I fail to see the point, cutlery is ever so much more efficient and easy. 

 

Sorry, but I have to disagree. Chopsticks are much more practical and efficient for eating Chinese and some other Asian cuisines which are nearly always served family style. Reaching across a table to retrieve some of the food you want to place in your bowl is much easier with chopsticks, providing you know how to use them.

I agree that they are impractical for much western style eating.

 

And believe me,  Chinese people struggle with knives and forks just as much as you may struggle with chopsticks. I've seen them trying often in western restaurants here. Can be quite amusing.

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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I too hate metal chopsticks, but the worst are the (fake) porcelain ones used in Chinese banqueting restaurants, usually Cantonese. They are way too slippery and the wait staff know it. Almost every customer requests plain wooden or bamboo ones. Why they insist on providing the bad ones is out of some misguided idea that they are more upmarket. No. They are just dumb.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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7 hours ago, liuzhou said:

I too hate metal chopsticks, but the worst are the (fake) porcelain ones used in Chinese banqueting restaurants, usually Cantonese. They are way too slippery and the wait staff know it. Almost every customer requests plain wooden or bamboo ones. Why they insist on providing the bad ones is out of some misguided idea that they are more upmarket. No. They are just dumb.

I wonder if it's because the fake porcelain ones are easy to clean and reuse?  They can put them in those chopstick sterilizer machines that I saw all over Beijing.  Not that wood or bamboo ones are expensive.... even here in the US.

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10 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I wonder if it's because the fake porcelain ones are easy to clean and reuse?  They can put them in those chopstick sterilizer machines that I saw all over Beijing.  Not that wood or bamboo ones are expensive.... even here in the US.

 

I don't think so. If that were the case , why do they only appear in Cantonese banqueting places?

All chopsticks, immaterial of the material, are put in those sterilizers.

 

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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15 minutes ago, rotuts said:

the cheap disposable one you get free

 

wood I think , you break apart the upper connection 

 

probably not bamboo

 

Most of those are bamboo now, at least in China. The wooden ones contributed massively to deforestation and resultant flooding. They are being discouraged, but old habits die hard. They are still being exported all over the world, especially to Japan and the USA.

Every time I order delivery food,  I click the 'no utensils required' box, but still get them.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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I read this with great interest as I am an abyssmsal failure with chopsticks despite my love for Asian food.  This comment "Reaching across a table to retrieve some of the food you want to place in your bowl is much easier with chopsticks, providing you know how to use them" cracked me up as I imagined my family attemtping to do this. I can knit and crochet, pipe decent designs on a cake and my handwriting is pretty nice if I do say so myself. I am not without manual dexterity but chopsticks escape me.

Edited by MaryIsobel (log)
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2 hours ago, MaryIsobel said:

I am not without manual dexterity but chopsticks escape me.

 

Practice makes perfect! I'm sure you'd pick it up if, say, you were to eat a week's worth of appropriate meals (from a bowl that you can hold, not a plate on the table) in a relaxed environment, perhaps dining with others who are familiar with them so you can watch their technique and maybe ask for tips. 
 


 

Edited by blue_dolphin
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The mistake chopstick learners make most often is holding the stick too near the point. It may seem counter-intuitive but holding them further up towards the end is much more controllable. And hold the stick nearest your little finger still and only move the other one. Move both and your dinner will end up everywhere except your mouth.

 

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Wrong

 

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Better

 

If the average two year old in China can master it, anyone with functioning hands can. Start with something largish, say a one inch cube, then work your way down through smaller and smaller to individual peanuts then individual grains of rice. Also, remember that a scooping action is also used with some foods.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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For more on chopsticks and their usage, see this topic's first couple of pages and again on page eight here.

 

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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18 hours ago, liuzhou said:

The mistake chopstick learners make most often is holding the stick too near the point. It may seem counter-intuitive but holding them further up towards the end is much more controllable. And hold the stick nearest your little finger still and only move the other one. Move both and your dinner will end up everywhere except your mouth.

 

wrong.thumb.jpg.72928dc9ab8545585dc3c87c03416bc3.jpg

Wrong

 

correct.thumb.jpg.41f9cf5a0e69b0f09bb0e35bc35e3753.jpg

Better

 

If the average two year old in China can master it, anyone with functioning hands can. Start with something largish, say a one inch cube, then work your way down through smaller and smaller to individual peanuts then individual grains of rice. Also, remember that a scooping action is also used with some foods.

 

If only we could get together. You could show me the finer points of using chopsticks and I could teach you how to make a proper Bloody Caesar! Appropos of that, I found a cute little glass tree ornament that is a caesar with appropriate garnishes for my daughter.

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21 hours ago, liuzhou said:

The mistake chopstick learners make most often is holding the stick too near the point. ...holding them further up towards the end is much more controllable.

 

 

 

 

correct.thumb.jpg.41f9cf5a0e69b0f09bb0e35bc35e3753.jpg

 

 

I

 

Well said and demonstrated.   Thanks.    Our grandkids are expert, albeit Anglo.

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eGullet member #80.

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Non PC confession: I have accumulated a large collection of ivory chopsticks by rooting through kitchen and junk drawers in garage and estate sales.    Thrown in along with look-alike plastic chopsticks.   I rationalize them by their age.   Ivory is always totally wrong, but I would rather revere these and save them from landfill.   And at $.25, find them hard to turn down.   They are simple, beautiful and have lovely hand-feel.    When we use them, I respect their tragic origin.

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eGullet member #80.

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