Chinese eating habits are quite different from other countries. Chinese people like to use chopsticks. Chinese chopsticks are normally made of unfinished wood or bamboo. The Chinese invented chopsticks (or kuaizi in Chinese) as a set of instruments to be used when eating, but most people do not know the reasoning behind why they prefer it over other utensils. Actually, the Chinese were taught to use chopsticks long before spoons and forks were invented in Europe (the knife is older, not as an instrument for dining but as weapon). Chopsticks were strongly advocated by the great Chinese philosopher Confucius (孔子). Chinese people, under the cultivation of Confucianism, consider the knife and fork bearing sort of violence, like cold weapons. However, chopsticks reflect gentleness and benevolence, the main moral lesson of Confucianism.
Chinese’s habit of eating with chopsticks
Eating Chinese food would not be as enjoyable if the wrong utensils were used. Using two slim and slippery sticks to pick up grains of rice and little pieces of meat and vegetables is actually not a difficult task to accomplish. In fact, there are foreigners who are as competent in using the chopsticks as the Chinese. When dining with Chinese friends or business partners, it is always better for foreigners to try learning how to maneuver the chopsticks. You should only ask for a fork and spoon if all else fails.
Top Chinese tableware brands: Supor (苏泊尔), ASD (爱仕达), Shins (双喜) and Choositon (厨壹堂)
Supor (苏泊尔) is China’s biggest and the world’s second biggest kitchen ware research manufacture. There are five research bases located in Hangzhou (杭州), Yuhuan (玉环), Shaoxing (绍兴), Wuhan (武汉) and Vietnam, with more than 10,000 workers. The company sells its products in 41 countries and territories. ASD is also a Zhejiang (浙江) company which was founded in 1978. It mainly produces kitchen ware and kitchen appliance. It controls its own research, manufacturing and marketing for its products.
Western tableware brands in China: Zwilling (双立人)
ZWILLING J.A.HENCKELS is a knife manufacturer based in Solingen, Germany. Henckels is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of kitchen knives, scissors, cookware and flatware. It has been a part of the Werhahn-Group since the year 1970. The company maintains several brands, including Zwilling J.A. Henckels, J.A. Henckels International and BSF. In addition, the company independently operates its retail shops, studios and partnerships both in Germany and internationally, with about 200 shop-in-shops in China. Since 1970, the company has been part of the Werhahn Goup, with a staff of 3,200 worldwide. Profits amounted to €282 million in 2007 with 80% of its profits generated outside Germany.
The Zwilling group also has a section concentrated on specialist hairdressing products. Since 1988 J.A. Henckels has been a strong partner of Solingen-based professional hairdressing equipment manufacturer Jaguar, which became part of the Zwilling group in 2004. Since July 2007, the Zwilling group also includes Tondeo GmbH, Solingen, another manufacturer of professional hair cutting equipment. In 2004, Henckels acquired the Japanese knife manufacturer Nippa and the U.S. beauty specialist Tweezerman. With the 2008 acquisitions of the Belgian manufacturer Demeyere and the French group Staub, Zwilling moved to expand the cookware segment of its business.
Picture Source: Chopsticks