Despite the fact that Korea has one of the world’s greatest ceramic-making traditions and it is also surrounded by nations (namely Japan and China) which use ceramic bowls and chopsticks made of plastic or wood, it is ironic Koreans like to use stainless steel bowls, dishes and utensils.
Being a Korean fanatic like me, I’ve taken notice of this and started using metal chopsticks since then. Back when I was in teaching college, I would go to supermarkets with my fellow Korean freak and look for metal chopsticks that are sold along with long necked spoon. Until now, I think I’ve bought a few pairs of them. LOL .
A little reading brought me to an explanation to this. It dates back to the Joseon dynasty, when kings, who were extremely cautious about security, would insist on using silver chopsticks and bowls because silver would neutralizes poisons (is this scientifically proven??). This custom caught on and was passed down to the common people, although they could only afford metal cutleries. Besides that, metal is also easy to clean, hard to break and last longer.
As for yours truly, I still can’t get used to using metal chopsticks. I’m not saying I don’t like using them, but it is a bit heavier than the usual wooden or plastic ones. By the time I finished my bowl of Ramyeon, my right hand would feel the pressure from holding the 젓가락 (cheot ka rak -chospticks). Or did I not hold them correctly? Hehe.