I like Chinese food a lot. Well, not just Chinese, I pretty much like any Asian food. I love noodles, rice, egg rolls, Kung Pao Chicken, and more. The only time I’ll eat broccoli is if it is prepared with chicken and curry. Admittedly I prefer Americanized meals where the food is heavy on the meats with less of the grains and noodles, but either way I like it. The one thing that bothers me about Asian restaurants, though, is that you have to ask for chopsticks, at least at all the restaurants where I live. It even kind of bothers me that you don’t have to ask for a fork and spoon, though I’m sure that most Americans would disagree with me there.
I was first introduced to Asian cuisine when I was in the fourth grade. In Social Studies class we were learning about the various countries and ethnic groups of the world, and we had “Asia Day”. As part of the celebration, we were given a snack that was supposed to introduce us to Asian food. Each of us was given a Styrofoam cup filled with rice and a set of chopsticks. We had the option to put soy sauce on the rice if we felt so inclined.
We had a student teacher working with us at the time, and he demonstrated the use of the chopsticks. He showed how to hold and use them. I’m glad he gave us that little tutorial, because I never would have figured out how to use them on my own. I was hooked right away. It was a pleasure for me to struggle to lift each grain of rice out the cup. I’d heard of chopsticks before that, of course, but I’d never used them, and so it was a big day for me.
I always use chopsticks when eating food from East Asia, even if I make it myself. To be honest, I can’t stand eating rice or noodles without them. It just isn’t any fun. Normally I don’t find eating very fun, but when it’s Asian food with chopsticks it is fun. The only time I don’t use chopsticks for Asian cuisine is if I am a guest at someone’s house.
I’m not claiming to be an expert at using chopsticks, I don’t eat Asian food every day, but I am proficient, definitely more-so than your average American. I’m even proud to say that I can lift an ice cube out of a glass of water with them. I’m still working on catching a fly with them. Okay, I’m not really, I doubt many Asians can do that, but I’ve definitely improved a lot since that time in fourth grade.