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eating with fork and knife

Thunder Bay, Canada
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2,277 posts
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eating with fork and knife

Just a question should i learn to use chopsticks?

or do most places have fork and knife for eating?

I was told it was considered an insult to use chopsticks wrong and its ok to use fork and knife?

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: eating with fork and knife

If you want to enjoy East Asian food in your life, I suppose learning how to use is better.

It depends on where you want to go, but many places have fork and knife as well. Perhaps you might bring your own picnic knife and fork set just in case.

It won't be necessary insulting but rather a bit embarrassing for you if you go to a kaiseki restaurant but request for and knife- like eating with your hands at a plush french restaurant. Foreign looking people can get away with almost anything concerning manners.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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2. Re: eating with fork and knife

Most places won't care that you can't use chopsticks properly. If you can't manage, fork and knife would be just fine.

Nara, Japan
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for Nara, Kamikochi
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3. Re: eating with fork and knife

OP, for your future references, see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8mw8SWS5nM

Who says some 'sushi aficionados' insist on eating with their fingers, I wonder? It's like every man for himself, yet not with a knife'n fork. ;)

Another one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSXwc9LwMuQ

Philadelphia...
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4. Re: eating with fork and knife

Here are the essentials: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2039.html and some general info on manners and customs: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e622.html

As for not holding them correctly, I wouldn't worry too much. I thought I was doing well until, after about six months, a colleague laughed and said, "That's how children hold chopsticks." I still don't know what I was doing differently from the instructions.

tokyo
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for Tokyo
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5. Re: eating with fork and knife

It depends on the establishment, generally speaking, if the item requires a knife or spoon, one will be provided. Eg curry rice will generally come with a spoon.

Some places don't carry forks (or at least I've never seen one), so it would be an advantage to know the basics of chopsticks, but there's no offense if you use it incorrectly, just follow chopstick protocol and don't leave your chopsticks sticking out of rice for example. Not withstanding, if you are a foreign tourist, there's a wide latitude in mistakes you can make.

Tokyo, Japan
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6. Re: eating with fork and knife

It's not an offence, so you might practice on the spot- just relax, or bring your own knife and fork just in case (as long as you don't go to high end establishment).

Kyoto, Japan
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7. Re: eating with fork and knife

The guide page above is interesting to see:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2039.html

dont worry, many Japanese, particularly young people, do not maneuver chopsticks like this. Many people hold chopsticks like pencils. Some hold the end of chopsticks, resulting in difficult to pick beans. It is a shame.

Hotel coffee shops and restaurants serving both Japanese and western foods(?) provide you knifes and forks if you ask a server. Some local pizza house do not have knifes since people eat Pizza with hands only. Many people slurp spaghetti and noddles, particularly Japanese noddles, showing taste good.

Some people use chopsticks to eat Sushi; this is OK, but Sushi lovers normally eat Sushi with hands. Curry and Rice, Japanese modified dishes, is eaten with a spoon, but not with our hands except limited Indian restaurants.

Auckland Region...
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8. Re: eating with fork and knife

Hi Worldtraveller,

It might be worth having some practice at home. You may not become perfect but I'm sure it will help you enjoy the Japan experience even more.

Skill increases on a proportionate rate to hunger.

Cheers.

Edited: 25 September 2012, 09:53
Philadelphia...
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9. Re: eating with fork and knife

Most often the chopsticks will be disposable flickr.com/photos/davidlebovitz/2239154926/ (I'm told that the reason you have to break them apart is so that you will know they were not used). I find that the shape and texture of the wood makes it much easier to hold onto the sticks and to the food than with chopsticks that you may have encountered in Chinese restaurants in North America.

Toronto
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for Tokyo
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10. Re: eating with fork and knife

And it's not like there is no Japanese/Chinese restaurants in Thunder Bay. You have lots of opportunities to practice before your trip.