The Unexpected Origins Of Chopsticks, And How You’re Really Supposed To Use Them

The wooden set of paper-tucked utensils that are hastily shoved into a greasy Chinese food takeout bag have much more of a sophisticated history. The first-known chopsticks were found in tombs in the Henan province, located in a central part of China. They were initially used for cooking — made of bronze, the sticks could be submerged in pots of hot water. With time and a move toward smaller bites (a population boom in year 400 led to smaller portions and bite-sized eats) chopsticks evolved into an eating utensil. According to, their tight grip on smaller pieces of food was effective, and the trend began to migrate across Asia.