First, let’s stop by Asia where chopsticks are all the rage. Who knew you could eat with two sticks? With the right technique, the most talented chopstick users can even pick up slippery peanuts! Trust me; it’s a skill that most of us can not perfect. I’ve tried. The best part about chopsticks is that you can pretty much eat anything but soup with them.
Next, let’s drop by a fancy steakhouse where place settings include a steak knife, a butter knife, a salad fork, a dinner fork, a teaspoon and a soup spoon. Oh, and don’t forget to leave space for a dessert spoon and dessert fork! Confused? Yeah, me too. It’s okay, though, because when my steak arrives, I very much need a sharp steak knife to cut into the large hunk of meat. A butter knife just won’t do.
Now that we’ve had our steak fix, let’s visit a typical American restaurant where diners are usually provided with one fork and one knife. If you order soup, then you get a spoon as well. Nice and simple.
Finally, let’s drop by an American elementary school, the only place (other than in the movie Wall-E) where I’ve seen a spork. It’s a novel concept, a shallow scoop with three to four fork tines. Genius but not entirely practical. Whenever I try to drink soup with a spork, the majority of it spills out through the tines. Whenever I try to pick up a meatball, it slips off the tines before I get it to my mouth because the tines are too short. Sometimes, the meatball doesn’t even leave the bowl. In the end, I give up on my spork and start hunting for more conventional utensils.
With the conclusion of our utensil adventure, we now must decide. Which utensil is the ultimate utensil? The fork? I can see why you’d think that. Chopsticks? Yeah, those are very versatile, but they still aren’t the ultimate utensil! For me, it’s definitely hands. (Plot twist!) Let’s figure out why with a few rhetorical questions. Why waste precious time picking up a peanut with chopsticks when you could use your fingers? Why use a spoon to drink soup when you can use your hands, lift the bowl and drink straight out of the bowl? (Fewer dishes to do!) Why bother with a knife and fork when your fingers (with some help from your teeth) can do the same thing?
Think about it. All the best foods are eaten with your hands. Pizza, fish tacos, ribs, hand rolls (it even has the word “hand” in it!), chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate, BLT sandwiches, egg rolls, bagels, popcorn, garlic naan, popsicles, buffalo wings, Chipotle burritos, red velvet brownies and so much more! So what are you waiting for? Dig in!
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