Instant Expert: The Chopsticks Code
A little history: Unsurprisingly, these tiny sticks have a whole lot of history. It's estimated that they originated in China nearly 5,000 years ago and were made from small pieces of bamboo. Today, chopsticks are made from a variety of materials — including plastic, wood, metal and even bone.
Practice makes perfect: The key to successfully using chopsticks without making a mess? Keep the bottom stick stationary by resting it at the base of your thumb. The second stick should be held like a pencil while resting against your index finger.
Mind your manners: Remember that etiquette is just as important as execution. Even if you consider yourself a chopstick pro, the slightest faux-pas can send your table manners out the window. Technically, you're not supposed to wave your sticks over your meal or stick them straight down into a dish. It's also considered bad form to pierce your food or to cross your chopsticks over each other when they're not in use. (Instead, lay them parallel on your plate.)
Fun fact: Chinese chopsticks are long and thick with blunt ends while Japanese chopsticks are shorter with tapered ends and intricate designs. If you see a stainless steel set of sticks, that indicates they're Korean in origin.
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