But what sets Korean chopsticks or "cheot-garak" apart is that unlike the usual wooden ones that is seen in every Asian restaurant, it is made of metal and has a flat tip, square in shape, and observably in between the size of that of Japan's shorter chopsticks and China's longer ones.
According to Gastro Tour Seoul, these metal chopsticks used in Korea today, are often made of steel. But in the old times, the rich families would use gold, silver or brass chopsticks for special occasions to showcase their affluence in the society.
One theory that explains the origin of Korea's metal chopsticks dates back to the reign of Baekje (18 B.C - 660 A.D). It has been said that silver chopsticks were used as a protection of the royal family from any assassination plot of the enemies.
Silver can easily identify any hint of poison in the food, as it would change its color once it is directly in contact from any poisonous substance present in the food. From then on, commoners adopted the practice of using steel chopsticks as part of their family tradition to show reverence to the King.
Another theory suggests that since Koreans use a large metal spoon to scoop and eat their rice, wooden chopsticks were not needed to get the sticky food from their bowls.
Foodbeast writes that in a typical Korean meal setup, a large metal spoon is placed on the left-and side for scooping rice, while a pair of metal chopsticks laid on the other side, reserved for getting their steamed vegetables, fried egg, kimchi and beef bulgogi to name a few. These metal chopsticks are also adorned with intricate Korean designs that reflect the quaint beauty of their culture.
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