How to use chopsticks to eat noodles
I think there are probably a few answers about related questions floating around, but heres my take on it:n- knives and forks were originally weapons scaled down for the dinner table.
In fact, forks didnt even exist until well into the 1600s- in the Middle Ages, people would just take their hunting knife and cut up meat with it, then stab the meat (ie use it as a fork).
Obviously thats horrible table manners today, and back then people probably also thought hmm, maybe theres something more efficient than using just one knife.
So they had knife+smaller knife! Which became todays knife+fork.
,In China, you had a different kind of cooking- meat wasnt as readily available so as to allow the massive meat dishes (like roast beef) which you find in western cuisines.
Neither was firewood/fuel, and coal wasnt even considered as a fuel source back then.
Hence- and you may have heard of this theory- people cut things up into smaller pieces in order to increase the surface area that could be heated up.
,This made for more efficient cooking, but having a knife to eat a stir fry isnt exactly sensible! Something to pick small pieces up was the go-to tool, and if you think about it, chopsticks are basically a pair of detached tongs.
They work by a lever mechanism, which is perfect for non-cutting-related dishes.
,( Related to the lack of wood fuel was an over abundance of bamboo, which is what chopsticks are made of.
This might explain a lack of similar utensils found in Europe, where the native tree species were too difficult to whittle down.
),Interestingly, chopsticks werent used as a eating tool for a few hundred years- they were originally used to stir/pick food in a wok, but when people realised that they were much gentler on chinaware than other utensils, it replaced the use of knives.
The first mention of chopsticks (used for eating) is in Han Feizi, a text from ~300BC, even though they already existed in the Shang dynasty (~2000BC).
So there was probably a time when knives and chopsticks were both used by the Chinese, but in the end the former stayed in the kitchen while the latter is everywhere.
,This is a question plenty of Chinese people ask, when they start asking about stuff- all the above is a mix of my own conjecture and what my parents had read!