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Old 06-23-2019, 02:03 PM
 
6,943 posts, read 3,855,193 times
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Does anyone else here think it's odd that Americans eat almost everything with knives, forks and spoons daily but if their menu choice changes to Asian food many will eat those items with chopsticks instead of what they customarily use? If you like using chopsticks why not use them for steak and fries or fried chicken and mashed potatoes or spaghetti and meatballs?

If eating foods derived from European cuisine do any people use the two-handed knife and fork technique instead of the American method of changing hands?

 
Old 06-23-2019, 02:17 PM
 
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In short, food prep. Food cooked to be eaten with chopsticks allow the use of chopsticks. Food not cooked with that in mind, good luck. By this I mean that when you order a steak in the US, you get a slab of beef. Do so where chopsticks are the norm, and that meat is sliced into pieces that are chopstick friendly. Yup, this is easy enough to do at home. I suspect that mostly it's just fun to do something a little different.



I'm a US born and raised guy, I eat in the Euro fashion with fork that stays in the left hand, knife in the right. Took a little bit of learning, but I'm far happier. This is a little different than the chopstick thing as it's the same utensils, just in opposite hands.



Tell me this, if you're traveling in a foreign land, do you try to learn a few words (please, thank you) to show the locals that you have at least a Tiny bit of respect? To me, using chopsticks is similar, honoring the food, the culture, the tradition...
 
Old 06-23-2019, 02:18 PM
 
6,463 posts, read 4,063,729 times
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No, it isn't odd. For one thing Asian food is specifically prepared to be easy to eat with chopsticks. Everything is cut into bite-sized pieces, rice is sticky, etc. If you have anything prepared in such a way that it needs to be cut up, or has small loose pieces (peas, Middle Eastern-style rice, etc.), then chopsticks are not the right tool. How would you eat steak or fried chicken on the bone with chopsticks??

I eat with chopsticks in an Asian restaurant or if I get Asian takeout that comes with chopsticks. It's fun for a change. But I don't usually break out the chopsticks at home when I make a curry, even though I have nice chopsticks. I just use a fork.

I don't find the fact that Americans eat with knives and forks a certain way, even when eating "European" food, analogous at all. Some people hold their chopsticks differently, too.
 
Old 06-23-2019, 02:23 PM
 
3,529 posts, read 1,344,614 times
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well, we will change from forks to two sticks (rice) or one (corndog, popsicle) or none (pizza) depending upon time and place.
 
Old 06-23-2019, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
141 posts, read 28,422 times
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I think people just like to try other customs, to see how they work, feel, etc... Not a big deal.

I do find it odd though that some people I know switch hands to use their knives--not everyone, but many here in the States; I was taught to use my knife in the non-dominant hand, and I taught my kids how to use it too, but not because I thought the other method was wrong, just how I was taught.
 
Old 06-23-2019, 02:28 PM
 
Location: collier county, fl
260 posts, read 43,089 times
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The heck with the other food mentioned. How about hand food? Pizza, hot dogs and cheeseburgers? It would look silly eating them with chopsticks. , ,
 
Old 06-23-2019, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Back when I was a chubby teenager, I read in Cosmopolitan magazine that a way to consume fewer calories at each meal was to eat everything with chopsticks, because not being adept with them, one would tend to eat more slowly. It didn't work for me--all that happened was that I learned to eat everything super efficiently with chopsticks. I could even pick up a single pea or grain of rice. It did come in handy, though, when I finally moved to a city where there were actual Asian restaurants.

Growing up, I found it extremely difficult to use the American method to cut my food; switching hands all the time was awkward for me. When as a college sophomore I spent a few months in Germany, I learned to eat in the European manner, holding the knife in the left hand and the fork in the right, tines down. That felt so right to me, decades later, I still eat that way. (However, I never did master the other technique my German host family used--that of using the knife to pile and mold a small mountain of food onto the fork prior to each bite. It was highly efficient, as evidenced by the fact that they all cleaned their plates long before I did.)
 
Old 06-23-2019, 04:41 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,716,813 times
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Would you expect a French or Italian restaurant in Beijing to not provide their patrons with knife and fork?

The cuisine dictates the utensils, partly due to the way the food is prepared, and partly due to the customs that surround the cuisine.

Apparently in Vietnam, due to years of French influence, the native cuisine is mostly eaten with knife and fork, and chopstick have never been in common use there, but since Americans associate east Asian food with chopsticks, Vietnamese restaurants in the US (and maybe elsewhere in the West?) tend to provide chopsticks just to meet the expectations of their patrons. That is kind of odd to me.
 
Old 06-23-2019, 04:59 PM
 
13,219 posts, read 17,758,482 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irootoo View Post
Back when I was a chubby teenager, I read in Cosmopolitan magazine that a way to consume fewer calories at each meal was to eat everything with chopsticks, because not being adept with them, one would tend to eat more slowly. It didn't work for me--all that happened was that I learned to eat everything super efficiently with chopsticks. I could even pick up a single pea or grain of rice. It did come in handy, though, when I finally moved to a city where there were actual Asian restaurants.

Growing up, I found it extremely difficult to use the American method to cut my food; switching hands all the time was awkward for me. When as a college sophomore I spent a few months in Germany, I learned to eat in the European manner, holding the knife in the left hand and the fork in the right, tines down. That felt so right to me, decades later, I still eat that way. (However, I never did master the other technique my German host family used--that of using the knife to pile and mold a small mountain of food onto the fork prior to each bite. It was highly efficient, as evidenced by the fact that they all cleaned their plates long before I did.)
Knife right, fork left
 
Old 06-23-2019, 05:03 PM
 
3,529 posts, read 1,344,614 times
Reputation: 6910
knife cut, fork mouth.
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