Using chopsticks to eat pretty much any food is a real skill. Until you try eating food with chopsticks it really is impossible to understand just how tricky these eating utensils are.
It takes a lot of practice to master the art of using chopsticks, and even then, you might find yourself struggling to eat some foods with chopsticks.
Before you visit any Asian countries, you may be eager to brush up on your chopsticks skills. In a lot of Asian countries, eating food with chopsticks is the norm. So if you want to get the most authentic experience in these countries, eating with chopsticks is an absolute must.
In this guide, we’re taking a look at the different countries in the world that use chopsticks. Keep on reading to find out more.
What Countries Use Chopsticks?
Across the world, there are lots of different countries where chopsticks are used. Eating with chopsticks is part of the culture of many people living in Asian countries.
So when people from these countries have moved to other countries, they have used chopsticks in that new country. Hence why chopsticks are sometimes used in Western countries as well as Eastern countries.
The majority of countries where chopsticks are used to eat are Asian countries and some of the places where chopsticks are used most commonly include China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
In these countries, using chopsticks is the norm. Most restaurants will offer chopsticks rather than a knife and fork. Often, if you want to use a knife and fork, restaurants will give you this cutlery if you ask for it.
But, when you sit down at the table, you will find chopsticks laid out for you, rather than Western cutlery.
One country where many people expect to use chopsticks that doesn’t actually use chopsticks as the norm is Thailand. While being an Eastern country, Thailand isn’t a place where many people use chopsticks.
While chopsticks used to be very commonly used in Thailand, they are no longer the primary utensils used in Thailand. Instead, a knife and fork are what most people use to eat in Thailand.
Where Do Chopsticks Come From?
There is much debate over where chopsticks come from. They are used across a vast amount of Asian countries, and this has left many people debating whether they originally come from China, Japan, or Vietnam.
However, it is generally accepted that the first country to use chopsticks was actually China. Chopsticks have been used in China since as far back in time as 1200 BC.
While they have come a long way since then, and have changed a lot in terms of appearance, the basic principle of chopsticks back then was the same as the chopsticks that we use today.
The chopsticks found that date back to 1200 BC were found in the Henan Province of China. This is also the place where early versions of writing utensils were also found. It is thought that after being used in China, chopsticks quickly became popular in other Asian countries including Japan, Vietnam, and Korea.
There is evidence that proves that by A.D. 500 chopsticks were being used in Vietnam and Japan. In the time between 1200 BC and A.D. 500, chopsticks had spread across Asia.
Since then, chopsticks have evolved a lot. Once humble sticks used to cook food, chopsticks are now sleek wooden sticks that require a lot of talent to successfully use.
What Culture Uses Chopsticks The Most?
If you are traveling to Asia, then eating with chopsticks will allow you to get the most authentic experience possible on this continent. Of course, not all Asian countries use chopsticks to eat, but some of the most popular tourist destinations – Japan, China, and Vietnam – do.
Of all the different cultures that use chopsticks to eat, it is China where these utensils are most commonly used. This is partly because chopsticks originated in China, and partly because China has such a large population.
However, even in China, you shouldn’t expect to eat any Western food with chopsticks. Western food is designed to be eaten with a knife and fork, not chopsticks.
So, eating these foods with a set of chopsticks would be inappropriate and really difficult. Instead, in China, you will only find that Chinese food is eaten with chopsticks, and it is generally the same across all the different countries where chopsticks are used.
If you visit a traditional Chinese restaurant in China, then you should expect to be given chopsticks to eat with. However, if you visit a Western restaurant in China, then you will be given a knife and fork to eat with. It is handy to know this information before you visit any of the Asian countries.
Why Do Americans Not Use Chopsticks?
Asking why Americans don’t use chopsticks is very similar to asking why people who live in Japan, China, etc. use chopsticks to eat. Ultimately, it comes down to culture and the cultural differences between Western and Eastern cultures.
In many Asian countries, eating with chopsticks has been the norm for centuries. Most Asian food is designed to be able to be eaten with chopsticks, so it simply makes sense to eat this cuisine with chopsticks.
Likewise, in Western countries, most food is designed to be eaten with a knife and fork, so it makes sense to eat these foods with this cutlery.
In Eastern countries, Western food will be eaten with a knife and fork rather than chopsticks. But in Western countries, a lot of Asian cuisines will be eaten with cutlery rather than chopsticks.
Some people choose to use chopsticks, but ultimately they can be quite tricky to eat with. That is why most Americans don’t use chopsticks to eat Asian food.
In short, chopsticks are used in many countries across the world. They are most commonly used in Eastern countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea. However, some people in Western countries choose to use chopsticks to eat their food. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference.
Thanks for reading!