Profile photo for Aya Shawn
Chopsticks are an evolved tableware
Tableware found in ancient Chinese ruins dating back 7,000 years
For a civilization to use chopsticks as tableware, it must be built on a highly developed ancient civilization.
Let's imagine how humans ate food tens of thousands of years ago
Initially, people obtained meat by hunting or fishing
In the most primitive state, people ate meat directly, which was no different from animals
After humans mastered fire, they could get cooked food by roasting food
If they wanted to process and eat meat more conveniently, humans must have knives so that they could cut food into pieces. Early knives were made of stone and bone, and later knives made of metal appeared.
Therefore, the most primitive tableware of humans must be some kind of knife
In addition to meat, humans can also eat grains and vegetables
After people invented pottery, "boiling" became the second cooking method.
With liquid mixed in the food, the knife can no longer meet the requirements. In addition to holding the entire pottery and pouring it into the mouth, people must need a second kind of tableware to put the food with liquid into the mouth.
Therefore, the second kind of tableware used by humans must be some kind of spoon
A set of spoons from the Shang Dynasty, 3,500 years ago
The formation of the fork must be later than the knife and spoon, because it is not a necessity. The early role of the fork could be replaced by a branch or another knife, or they simply grabbed the food with their hands and cut it.
Therefore, the appearance of the fork must be later than the knife and spoon.
As for chopsticks. It appeared much later than the previous three tableware. The appearance of chopsticks represents that civilization has developed to a considerable height.
Can you cut a piece of meat from a whole leg of lamb with chopsticks and put it in your mouth? No
Can you use chopsticks to put fish soup and boiled beans into your mouth? No
If the food is not carefully pre-processed, chopsticks are useless.
A pair of bronze chopsticks from the Zhou Dynasty, 3,000 years ago
In fact, any food must be carefully processed, such as cut into suitable blocks, strips, slices, and their size just fits the human mouth, so that chopsticks can play a role.
People have sophisticated knives that can cut materials into a more delicate state
People have more condiments and spices, and find that smaller cut ingredients are more suitable for mixing with condiments.
There is a class differentiation in society, and some nobles enjoy special people preparing food for them.
A stone carving from the Han Dynasty in the 1st century AD shows a nobleman using chopsticks
This means that "cooking" has been divided among human skills, and this civilization has people who specialize in making food: chefs.
Chefs pre-process, divide and process all ingredients. It is no longer necessary for people who eat to process them at the table. This is the result of the development of civilization and the result of social division of labor.
In fact, the Chinese used chopsticks quite late. According to archaeologists, the Chinese did not fully popularize chopsticks until at least the early Tang Empire. Before that, only nobles and the upper class had the opportunity to use chopsticks, while ordinary people basically used knives, forks, spoons, bamboo pieces, and their own hands.
Therefore, chopsticks became the daily tableware of the Chinese only 1,500 years ago. China has a clear history of more than 4,000 years.