Chopstick bonanza in Chinatown

July 14, 2009 3:36:18 PM PDT
You can find anything in New York City, especially with all of the unique specialty shops. Now, there's one that is all about chopsticks. Everyone knows you can buy beautiful silver cutlery, so why not beautiful chopsticks? There are all different kinds, and dozens of stores do it in China. Now Chinatown has its very own chopstick store.

"Everyone should have one or two sets," Richard Lam said.

So how many chopsticks do you own? If Lam has his way, you'll buy some more.

"It's just like cars or clothing, different styles for different people," he said.

And he has hundreds at his store, Yunhong, in Chinatown. There are the colorful ones, oxbone ones or dark and sleek ones.

There are also crystal chopsticks that come two pairs to a box.

"It's a great wedding gift," Lam said.

And, in fact, giving chopsticks as gifts is traditional in the Chinese culture.

There are pencil chopsticks, pen chopsticks and even traveling chopsticks. For kids, there are training chopsticks.

So why such a range?

"Nice chopsticks really feel different," Lam said, adding they can even make foods taste different.

Ten pairs of gold-tipped ones will set you back $544!

By the way, Japanese chopsticks are pointy, perfect for eating fish roe. Korean chopsticks are often made of stainless steel, good for Korean barbecues. And Chinese chopsticks tend to be longer, providing greater reach to the food at the center of the table.

A knife and fork were traditionally considered barbaric in Asian cultures because it would allow you to stab or hurt your dining companion. Chopsticks are considered to be more elegant, refined and less dangerous. And they've been used for thousands of years.

For more information, visit HappyChopsticks.com.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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