In Japan a fork is a utensil often found in western restaurants, and rarely if ever used in Japanese cuisine. The hashi, chop sticks are key to the enjoyment of any fine dining and are fundamental to the enjoyment of any Japanese experience.
Think about it, most detailed chefs work with kitchen tweezers, they place their details carefully, building up the form of a dish. Now imagine a fork, it’s a destroyer, too large, too many teeth, it cannot manage any real precision.
While the hashi, manipulated by your hand-eye coordination, you squeeze too ends together, you precisely pick up what you need. A morsel is obtainable, the eye sees it, the brain says it, the hashi are forced to do their work.
The complexity of Japanese food is maintained by the fact that the hand tools are so precise, each person deconstructs and reconstructs his/her preferences in a single movement. Hashi are stick tools, made of precious woods, they denote quality in any restaurant. Hashi come in many qualities, and some are disposable, while others are reused. The most expensive are made from hinoki and even perfume the foods slightly. Hashi are an extension of your own hands, you learn to use them as if they are your own fingers.
The spoon, commonly used with hot liquids, or alternatively you can raise a bowl up to your mouth, gently sipping it, or slurping away oxygenating your foods. A spoon is a wonderful tool, it makes good sense as it delivers a concentration of flavour and taste. A single bite, nothing is lost in the process, only gained, we need spoons especially when it comes to certain precious foods, e.g. caviar.
Categories: Life Cycles