In the beginning of eating, there was the hand, enabling fistfuls of food to be moved to the mouth.
Then there was the knife, still an admittedly handy eating implement, followed by the spoon, a variation on the cupped hand and really a rather superfluous tool when you consider that you can gain the same effect with most foods by simply tipping bowl to mouth.
From Orient and Occident sprang almost simultaneously chopsticks and fork, one for precisely plucking morels from a plate, the other for stabbing and shoveling.
At the National Restaurant Show in Chicago last week, I was introduced to…the Chork, a brilliant combination of chopsticks and fork, enabling one to both meticulously pick out single pieces of food as well as pierce/scoop larger mouthfuls as necessary.
As a side benefit, the connector at the top of the Chork permits novices to practice using chopsticks in “training mode.” As manual skills are acquired, the Chork can be broken apart on the fork-end, freeing up chopsticks to be used in the more traditional way (and when moved back together, the fork-ends join to function, again, as a fork).
I’ve been eating with the Chork for the last few days. I like it. Had a stir-fry for lunch, and the sticks were great for eating big pieces first; the fork-end came in handy cleaning up the final sauce-soaked rice bits.
The Chork is truly a step forward in the science of eating utensils.