What chopsticks to buy? Asian people help prease.

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by SField, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I sort of liked it. Good hiking, some incredible cliff dwelling Indian ruins, a couple of nice places (including one co-owned by Richard Betts, Master Somm and co-owner of Betts and Scholl wines), and generally relaxing in a run down, northern kind of town way. Reminds me of some places in northern Ontario I spent time in as a kid. That said, been years since I was there, and with all the millions of places to go, I'll probably never visit again.

    WTF were you doing there?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  2. arced

    arced Senior member

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    I also have to agree that the Korean metal ones can be difficult to get used to. I'd recommend non-lacquered Japanese chopsticks. There are some beautiful ones made from nice woods.

    For a slightly off beat suggestion, there's the Tibetan yak bone ones. I got them as a gift and was skeptical at first, but once I got over the fact that I was eating with bones, I've rather come to like them. Great feel in the hands and easy to use. There's go to day-to-day one.
     
  3. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    Well, that's a good question, I guess beyond the sanitary aspect, not really sure to be honest, but like I said, traditional high-class Korean table manners involve eating rice with the spoon, banchan with the chopsticks, and that has trickled down through the ages; in plebe table manners oft times the solids in a stew get fished out first and put on top of the rice and eaten semi-dry... and then depending on your judgement and the consistency of the soup/stew, it can be vice-versa and you dump the rice into the soup. Kimchijjigae, the former, yukgaejang, the latter. In those cases, we only need the chopsticks to pick at banchan (which can be tiny as fuck, like black beans or little anchovies, thin sprouts, etc) or to tear at whole braised meats.
     
  4. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    Lived on the Navajo indian reservation for a bit. (I'm serious)
     
  5. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    what he said. Chopsticks are the main utensil at my house and inexpensive bamboo (square on top, round at the tip - i.e. normal shaped chopsticks) works the best. Plastic is for restaurants and they're a cheap sub for bone (good luck finding real bone chopsticks here, they are pretty decent). I suppose if you want something a little fancier you can find bamboo ones with little nubs/ribs turned into them at the tips for extra grip but I don't really care for that. Avoid lacquered ones unless for show because you'll end up eating the lacquer as it eventually chips away. yummmm. You can use metal I guess but they're gonna suck when eating anything slippery.
     
  6. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Oh cool. I did some work in the Nation years ago to do with some public health projects and research.
     
  7. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    Well, to me, now that this thread has me thinking about it, the hierarchy is this:

    -metal chopsticks at home (because I'm Korean and live in Korea, but I don't actually ever use these except for stirring a drink if I can't find my bar spoon)
    -metal chopsticks at almost every low-end Korean place
    -wooden chopsticks at every 'ethnic' Asian place - Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc
    -bamboo disposables with takeaway/delivery, or whenever and wherever you want - I can go downstairs to the convenience store and the guy will give me 20 pairs for free if I need, they give you a pair with every pack of ramen people buy. Ate sushi not long ago at a decent restaurant, and the chopsticks were disposable bamboo. They were turned nicely and not the break-apart kind, but still, couple hundred bucks a head and the chopsticks were throwaways
    -bone - Chinese fine-dining equivalent places, the only really fancy Chinese places I've been to were in Japan, at Japanese-Chinese restaurants - the china is nice, the chopsticks are nice, the glasses and linens all nice, etc - the same as if you were to go to a French restaurant and eat off Reynaud with Cristofle and Laguiole, i.e. they expect you to spend a couple hundred bucks a head, at least.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    ^^^ Bamboo is not only used for the cheap, disposable, pull-apart sort. What most of you are calling "wooden" chopsticks are probably bamboo. As far as I know, wood is not a material tradtionally used for chopsticks.
     
  9. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    yeah impolyte, when I said inexpensive bamboo above I'm not talking about disposable.
     
  10. Nil

    Nil Senior member

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    I hate those things so fucking much. I'd like Korean food a lot more if it didn't come with such stupid utensils.
     
  11. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    yeah you're right, I should've said 'fancy bamboo/wood' - the stained or lacquered jawns, versus the un-lacquered pull apart disposables.
     
  12. changy

    changy Senior member

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    Your major chopstick types are

    Metal - Easy to wash, hard to use (heavy and skinny)
    Bamboo - Easy to use, Good Grip, Hard to clean - Replace every 6mo -1 year
    Lacquer - Nice looking, slippery, low quality ones might contain unsafe material / chip
    Ivory - More for collection rather than everyday use
     
  13. DJackson

    DJackson Well-Known Member

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    just buy several different ones and try them. They're cheap. Or just buy bamboo and don't look back.
     
  14. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Senior member

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    I've always preferred lacquered chopsticks. They feel nice in the hand.

    Even as a Koreaman, I cannot successfully use thin metal chopsticks. Then again, my parents never corrected my chopstick usage, so I use the improper X method.
     
  15. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    you're a heathen of the lowest class. Even whiteman with the choke-up two inches above the tip method has you beat.
     

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