Thursday, September 30, 2010
Chopsticks: The Eternal Battle
Yes, the stereotype is true. Koreans eat just about everything with chopsticks. Chopsticks are their fork AND knife (you won't find a knife) and if they could engineer chopsticks to work with soup, I'm sure they'd eat that with them too. In fact, that sounds like an excellent new product! (If I've talked to you about inventing a new money making product that I'd use to travel the world with, then I'll tell you what, we'll go in half-sies ;) I can see this really taking off: metal chopsticks that are hollow like straws. The marketing will go something like this: "Now, you can have your bulgogi and your soup too!"
I don't know how proficient everyone else is with chopsticks (Asians excluded from this, of course), but I could use some improvement. Imagine my dilemma. Have you ever tried eating noodles or salad with chopsticks? Or, have you ever tried cutting a piece of meat with chopsticks?? It's not easy. I've tried several tactics. The first, the stab method: You actually stab a piece of meat repetitively until the series of punctures literally makes the piece fall apart. Or the second, the divide and conquer: Push the two chopsticks down into one spot of the meat and then push the sticks from one another until they divide the piece in two. Or the third, my personal favorite and probably most effective, but definitely not the prettiest method: the modified fork and knife method. You hold one chop stick in each hand. With one you'd hold the piece down (it is essentially your fork), with the other chopstick, run a cutting line across the meat (it is essentially your knife). Now I do get looks with this one, so I feel that I should caution you: please only the brave at heart try the last method.
It’s especially fun trying to eat noodles with chopsticks. I fiddle with the noodles trying to get them to rest just so and then when I finally get them right where I want them, I move them. Very. Very slowly. And just. as I. am about. To taste . these delicious. Noodles. They fall to the plate (or possibly my lap) and I have to do it all over again! It’s a fight every day. I accept the challenge. Bring it on, chopsticks!