Quarter Life Crisis

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Cutlery

351 words

I’ve got this thing about European cutlery: It’s just not very nice. Just compare it to chopsticks and you’ll immediately find your knives, forks and spoons to exhibit a lack of symmetry, simplicity and ease of use. They also make it harder to set the table ‘correctly’.

Sure, the European tools are more versatile than chopsticks but looking at many of the dishes from chopstick using countries suggests that they just shift all the effort and responsibility of the extra cutting into the kitchen and thus avoid the extra hassle for the eater himself. So – if you wish – the clean and simple way of eating well prepared food with chopsticks is like using a Mac; while using European cutlery that leaves you the ultimate choice of how to cut and eat your food is like using Linux. I suppose that using Windows would be like getting some toothpicks and an unfuelled chainsaw to deal with your meal, then… but I digress.

Apart from steak, I have a tendency to prefer food which can be eaten with a fork only. Like well-cut salads, Lasagne, pasta and so on. Not only is this much easier, it also saves you the trouble of having to decide how to hold the cutlery. When eating meat and vegetables, say, I usually don’t like that for cutting the meat I’ll have the knife in my right hand and the fork in my left. But for eating the vegetables, I’d feel more comfortable to just use the fork in my right hand, causing strange swaps.

Using European cutlery for eating the food made by lazy chefs also means that you need a number of different tools to eat simple meals. Today I ate one of the simplest meals in the university restaurant: Lentil stew. However, it was served with an uncut sausage. So apart from the spoon for eating it, I also ended up needing a knife and fork for cutting the sausage. Finally I needed a small spoon as there was a kiwi for dessert. Four different pieces of cutlery for such a simple meal!

Different chopsticks

July 23, 2005, 1:34

Comments

Comment by Paul Mison: User icon

Maybe Windows is comparable to eating with your hands; the same lack of cutting implements as with the Mac, but lacking the elegance.

July 24, 2005, 21:42

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