An Ancient Tool of the East
Chopsticks define the experience of eating in Asia.
East Asian cultures such as China, Korea, and Japan all use chopsticks for eating. Even though they might appear similar at first glance, the style of chopsticks varies from place to place.
Chopsticks were invented in China about 5,000 years ago. Traditional Chinese chopsticks are made of wood and are very long. A Chinese meal is often composed of many small dishes which are laid out all over the table. In this way, long chopsticks help people reach across the distance from their seat to the food they would like to eat. Japanese chopsticks are also wooden, but they are clearly shorter than the Chinese variety, because Japanese people usually hold their bowls close to their mouths when eating. In Korea, chopsticks are typically made of metal, flat rather than round, and used in combination with a western-style spoon. For people who are not used to them, this kind of chopstick can feel very slippery at first.
No matter where you are in Asia, chopsticks are a useful tool for eating all kinds of delicious food and local dishes.