The Japanese Baguette – Beyond a simple table cover

The Japanese baguette is a table cover that has its origins in Asia and is still used today mainly in Asian countries. It serves as a fork to catch food. Japanese chopsticks can be made of different materials but it is mainly with wood. The Japanese baguette is one of the objects that characterizes the Asian and Japanese culture, as can be appreciated by manga fans or people who have already traveled to Asia. The history of the Japanese baguette The appearance of chopsticks is attributed to China, where the first baguettes were discovered. At first it seems that they were used as kitchen utensils or for the maintenance of fire (between 1600 and 1200 BC) and not as covered, it will happen later. The use of the wand as a cover was a result of the difficulties that China has experienced in its economy. Indeed metals have seen a significant rise in their price, and to overcome this (iron cutlery become too expensive) the population has adapted using the stick as covered because it was easy to manufacture and it could be in wood (materials much more affordable than metal). Then over time the use of the baguette is popularized in most of Asia and each country has adapted baguettes to their culture. In Japan, for example, Japanese wands, Hashi (for traditional Japanese chopsticks), ryoribashi (the Japanese wand for cooking) and waribashi (for the Japanese disposable baguette) have appeared. The characteristics of the Japanese Baguette: The Japanese baguette, like any Asian baguette, has an elongated and thin shape (tapered). However it stands out on different points including shape and size. Hashi: The baguette for the meal is different in size, in fact the Japanese baguette is slightly shorter than the Asian baguette, 20 cm on average. Also that for the use to the men is longer than that for the women. There are also suitable chopsticks for children. The Japanese wand at the end (the one to catch food) in tip unlike the Asian wand in general. Ryoribashi: Japanese chopsticks used for cooking are suitable for this use. Indeed they are longer for more convenience, to avoid burns for example, about 30 to 40 cm. They are therefore also more robust and wide because they must withstand significant heat. In Japan the baguette is mainly made of wood (precious or not) or lacquer (shrub resin which when it dries becomes very solid). The use of Japanese baguettes Using a Japanese baguette is not as simple as it looks. Indeed, several difficulties are to be identified. First of all, from a technical point of view, for us in Europe it is not common to use chopsticks and it’s hard to get used to it at first. Then there is the cultural side, because in Japan and Asia more generally there are rules to follow. Cultural rules to follow Using the Japanese wand therefore requires following certain rules that we will try to synthesize. To start you should know that the chopsticks are held with the right hand, it is not a question of religion or really cultural but easier because holding Japanese chopsticks in the same hand avoids colliding with its neighbors. Chopsticks, if possible, should be placed on a chopstick holder (hashioki). Just like the previous rule it is not a religious matter but more respect and hygiene. To eat the only way to use Japanese chopsticks is to gently grasp food between chopsticks and bring it to your mouth. It is therefore very frowned upon to do differently like pushing food or poking in it. Moreover planting the Japanese wand vertically is very frowned upon during a meal. Indeed this gesture is considered as a bad omen or misfortune, because it is reserved in Buddhism for the worship of the dead and ancestors. It is therefore important to respect this rule. It’s the same thing when you cross the chopsticks. With chopsticks you just have to use it …


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