Thursday, February 22, 2007

Anything Else Would Be Uncivilized

Acquired Japanese Habit #346:

  • Using a fork and spoon together to eat pasta.
Although awkward at first, I have come to appreciate both the aesthetic and logical reasons for using both utensils to enjoy the multitude of spaghetti dishes available. Twirling pasta with a fork on one’s spoon makes for a neat, flavor-filled bite without a mess of noodles wiggling their way out of sight to satisfy hunger. It’s also a practical way to cut down on sauce flying all over the white blouse you’re inevitably wearing and anyone else within a 100 yard distance.

But mostly… I finally feel like I’m able to eat pasta in a dignified manner, which I never achieved in the time-honored way of “going solo” that I grew up with. Not to say that there aren’t places or people in the U.S. that came up with this mannerism on their own, I just never witnessed it. As for Japan… I’ve seen it everywhere. It’s just how things are done.

Except in that odd pasta restaurant where you’re required to eat with chopsticks instead, which everyone including your Japanese friends find strange given the slippery nature of Italian spaghetti, yet is endured because the taste is fantastic.

It wasn’t by choice though, there just wasn’t a Western utensil in sight.

Final Verdict: This is one habit I fully intend to bring back to American soil.


Ljw said...

I don't think my grandmother (on mother's side) could've have even LOOKED at a plate of spaghetti without somehow associating a fork and spoon to it, whether it was hers or someone elses. Definitely something I remember strongly about her. As such, all of us in the family (minus dad) are at least moderately familiar with double utensiling it. Though my brothers could hardly care.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "Aquired Japanese Habit," how about creating a list of "Aquired Japanese Addiction" and add Hanayori Dango to the top of the list with an annotation "Hopelessly" in bold type. Giggle... The problem, though, is that it's not available in the US. What are you planning to do about that?

Star said...

Sis- It's too bad we didn't go eat pasta while you were visiting. You could have cultured me! :) We'll have to compare "form" one day just for fun.

Anonymous- I was always amused by how enamoured my roommates were with "Pride and Prejudice" (the tv series) back in college. Now I understand :)

The internet is a beautiful thing when it comes to watching things from Japan, although I'm personally rooting for resolution at the end of this series instead of another season. I'm not a huge proponent of dragging things out endlessly... (DBZ and Bleach come to mind).