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No Fork!

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posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 12:10 AM
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So I think I've mentioned I love food all across the world, right? I LOVE food!

However, there are some strange customs in far away places. Places like SE Asia. (I lived there for a few years).

Now, as one might expect, the cuisine is different there in many cases, all delicious, but it takes a bit to get used to.

Much of the Malay food is Halal, and even beyond Halal, much of it is vegetarian. That's cool. At the same time there are (3) cultures in Malaysia...(Malay, Chinese and Indian).

I could go into a novel about cultural history here, but I won't. The bottom line is...when you get served food you get a spoon and a dull butter knife (if you get anything at all). Forks are completely absent; they don't even exist.

So, for eating food, you have...

A- Chopsticks
B- Your fingers
C- A spoon and a butter knife

That's it.

If you're doing Chinese, you use chop sticks. If you're doing Indian, you use your fingers. For everything else, you use a spoon and a butter knife!

You'd be surprised at how fast some of these guys can dissect a mutton bone with a spoon and knife. Westerners constantly want a fork, but there are simply not any.

After a while you get used to a spoon and knife. When I came back to the US, my wife made fun of me because I never grabbed a fork.

A fork is a handy tool, but it is very foreign in many cultures.

Sorry for the boring post, but it's true.




posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 12:49 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Chopsticks...

Been eating Pho for years... started with a fork, but when you see everyone else in the place using em… you tend to want to practice



I can ninja them things now!


edit on 17-6-2020 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 01:21 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
So I think I've mentioned I love food all across the world, right? I LOVE food!

However, there are some strange customs in far away places. Places like SE Asia. (I lived there for a few years).

...

After a while you get used to a spoon and knife. When I came back to the US, my wife made fun of me because I never grabbed a fork.

A fork is a handy tool, but it is very foreign in many cultures.

Sorry for the boring post, but it's true.


Not a boring post. I've lived in a few out of the way places myself and you are right: food and eating is a wonderful way to learn much about people and culture.

I tend to grab a spoon when most 'Muricans would grab a fork, as well, but it's not because of living abroad. Granted, in mountain villages in Mexico it was just corn tortillas (fresh hand made from hand ground corn on a clay griddle over a wood fire). In Asia, it was sometimes just a spoon, occasionally forks, very rarely chopsticks where I was.

I've eaten with tortillas, spoons, pita bread sops, my hands, nothing but a knife. Hell, I've whittled a spife (like a spork, but it was a combination spoon and knife) out of a twig.

Often I just prefer a spoon because it's easier and I'm sure to get all the tasty juices.

Can I share a story?

When I lived in Outer Mongolia, I had a lot of Kazakh friends. I'd often drop in to visit and it'd be along around meal time. When a Kazakh family sits at table to eat, they often have a meat and rice or meat and noodle dish, and they will pile it all into one big tray in the middle of the table and everybody eats from the common plate, each with his own spoon.

As a visitor, I'd always be politely handed my own bowl of food to eat from. I remember the first time I was just handed a spoon (or maybe it was a fork) and invited to dig in with everyone else.

MAN,THAT MADE ME FEEL GOOD!
:
edit on 2020 6 17 by incoserv because: computer did some weird crap.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 05:43 AM
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Haha the first time I could use chopsticks at a Chinese restaurant without struggles, I enjoyed it so much. I trained at home to not make me look like a fool.

It is a different kind of eating feeling for me. I change behavior when I chopstick, I tend to have all foods separated then and only mix them up right before eating. Sauce, sticky rice, vegetables, meats and I can combine them, eat each plain, or dunk into the sauces, just how I want to. It is pre cut in stripes, no knife needed, too big just take a bite.

Plus, the wooden sticks do not have that temperature difference you get with metal forks or spoons. Hard to explain.


a reply to: incoserv
What my dad used to say, in my language it rhymes.
"Using a fork is elegant but the spoon get's you more!"



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:19 AM
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On one project I was on they had a jobsite cafeteria (it was that or 60 miles though the jungle). They had a bunch of them actually, but this particular one was geared mostly toward expats. Still served indigenous food, but it had some of the more western accoutrements like tables, with chairs, and plates...and silverware, more specifically...forks. A cafeteria / restaurant with forks was rare.

Personally, I didn't care for the place preferring instead the hawker stalls and street vendors of the nearby man camp. But we had these Indian junior engineers who worked for us and they just loved this place, so I had to eat there on occasion. I always marveled at how they would grab only a spoon and a knife. Even if they were eating something like fried fish or chicken, it was a spoon and a knife. And, they were pretty handy with those spoons too. I asked some of our guys one time why they never grabbed a fork, and the response was because they really never learned how to use one and even the more westernized guys/gals said they felt a spoon/knife combo was more efficient. Judging from how well they could clean a fish fillet off the bones I'd say they were right, not a morsel left. It was kind of amazing really.

Even upscale restaurants would not put out a place setting with a fork, but you could sometimes ask for one.

Ever since those days I've always looked at a fork differently. It is no longer a 'gotta' have' item. But if you really want to get some funny looks, go into Olive Garden and try not to use your fork! Though I have to admit, I never did figure out how to eat pasta without a fork. I can eat pasta with chop sticks no problem, but not regular silverware not using a fork.
edit on 6/17/2020 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:25 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
The only thing that comes to my mind that I really need a fork for, but also spoon and no knife, is spaghetti.



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 08:57 AM
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a reply to: ThatDamnDuckAgain

LOL! I flew my parents over to visit once and we went to the local Chinese place for dinner. I had forgotten that the only eating utensils they had were chopsticks. This restaurant was the first place I went to when I got there. Ironically, it was called "Charlies" (because no one could pronounce the real name). Like most places it was an outdoor affair.

Anyway, they brought out our first dish. The dish had a spoon (for serving). Mom took a serving and put the spoon down on her plate. Uhhh, Mom, that's the serving spoon! She asked what she was supposed to eat with (?) I told her the same thing I had been told several years before..."Well, around here, you learn to use chopsticks really fast. Otherwise you're on a liquid diet of tea!"

I took them up to Hong Kong at the end of their trip. Afterwards Mom always said she liked Hong Kong the best...because there you could get a fork, and the bathrooms had actual toilets! She was very old-school (even went to a "finishing" school to learn how to be a proper 'lady'...like really old-school!). I think the real reason she liked Hong Kong better was because it was a lot more westernized than Malaysia was.

On a funny note, while in Malaysia I took my parents to a place called Tioman Island in the S. China Sea. There was a big 4 star hotel chain in Malaysia called Hotel Berjaya. I made reservations there...because they had...forks! At one point I told Dad the name of the place and without a pause he said he refused to stay there! LOL! I asked him why, and he instantly replied..."There's no way I'm staying at some joint called the Hotel Vagina, just no way!" Tried to explain that wasn't the name, but he said it didn't matter, it sounded like it. LOL! (still makes me chuckle even to this day) He was serious too. In the years before his passing he would always talk about that trip, and he always made a point to say..."And I'm still glad we didn't stay at the Hotel Vagina!". He never forgot that. Too bad, it really was a nice place.

edit on 6/17/2020 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
Stubborn dads


My situation was an upcoming business dinner at a Chinese high quality restaurant in Berlin. I got note of it two days before, went to a normal Chinese restaurant, the first time ever. I ordered wang tang soup and then went on to the buffet.

I tried the noodles, the rice, all in small portions and, started to train but failed of course. The waitress saw my struggle, approached me to refill my glass and whispered, if I need different tools, I said thank you, but I have to learn.

She brought a new pair of chopsticks, curbed with a knife and a rubber band on top. That was way better. I got shown how to hold it and from then on I was learning fast. I took a new pair when I left. For two days I ate everything with chopsticks. How my hand muscles hurt!!

Then at the dinner evening, most were asking for normal set of tools, duh. I pulled through anyways and at some point was asked if I like Chinese food a lot, nodding at the chopsticks.

I told him this is the second time I eat Chinese food, made a longer break and then said I just learned it to not blame myself here in front of you all, but like it, the chopsticks and clapped the tips together.

Everyone laughed, toasted and then they tried in on their own. Quickly going back to normal tools. That broke the ice but ruined a dinner dress.




posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I enjoy your stories, you have a nice way of puttin things. Also love of food is a common ground for most good people so we can get along.

I really found out how to use chopsticks and appreciate cooking overall by an awesome Korean woman a long time ago. I knew how to use chopsticks, but the first night I went to visit her parents for dinner I was in for a surprise. They served me all sorts of rice, noodles and small items, but the big test was this bean curd, it was like tofu jello. The chopsticks they gave me were of the thinnest metal chopsticks I've ever used, they were almost surgical. Well I kept up a good effort on almost everything until that bean curd when it just started slicing between the metal sticks! I was able to get a few bites until her mom started to giggle.

This same woman is probably responsible for most my current cooking interest and some of the techniques I learned. I wasn't allowed in her kitchen until I knew how to properly clean the wok, and how to clean all my surfaces and use my knives. Her mom's kimchee was amazing and I'm really blessed she shared it with me.

I haven't really done much of the hand food other than pizza, empanadas and a great naan bread recipe (does coldcuts cheese and crackers count?), which goes great with aloo matar, but forks come out





posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

What, no straw?




posted on Jun, 17 2020 @ 04:54 PM
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originally posted by: Aliquandro
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
]Well I kept up a good effort on almost everything until that bean curd when it just started slicing between the metal sticks! I was able to get a few bites until her mom started to giggle.


Sorry to interject. I found that if I can not grab something because it is too slippery, I can still try poke into it with one chopstick and then use the other one to grab it from the side.

Or use a spoon



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