A Brief History of Chopsticks: Dos & Dont’s
chopsticks diner

Chopsticks have been around for centuries and, of course, they’re ubiquitous in Asia.

Actually, the sticks as we would recognise them today go back as far as the late Shang Dynasty.

In case you didn’t know, that was 16th-11th century BC, so just the other day…

In the early days, the Chinese word for Chopsticks was “zhu” 筯, and during that time, the tyrannical King Zhou ordered his craftsmen to make chopsticks out of elephant’s teeth which were deemed to be of utmost luxury in early Chinese culture.

chopsticks beef soup

The rise of chopsticks versus early versions of the spoon which were just as prevalent in very early Asian culture, is largely thanks to the rise of wheat!

Millet and other such grains used to be the staple for most early Chinese meals, but as the growing appeal of wheat continued, so to did wheat-flour foods such as noodles and dumplings.

With a lot more in the way of noodles and dumplings knocking around, chopsticks were clearly a much better tool than the humble spoon.

There’s an old Chinese proverb which gives testimony to the above: ‘you are what you wheat’.

Ok, sorry about that – here’s what you should know about using them:

chopsticks etiquette

Dos & Don’ts

It seems to be that chopsticks are no longer the novelty that they used to be and Asian restaurants are far less likely to assumptively provide silverware to their Western diners.

So with a modest 7,000 years worth of dining history behind them, there must be some etiquette rules around using chopsticks, right?

Well, there are loads!

Here’s a quick run down of the main ones that should see you through to the end of your meal and warmly welcomed back to dine again in the future.

Do take food from a serving bowl and place it in your bowl before eating – patience will serve hungry diners well here!

Don’t wave your chopsticks around or use them to point or gesticulate at someone.

Do place them on top of/across your bowl horizontally when not using them but DON’T cross them – crossing chopsticks is very taboo and a symbol of death…

chopsticks sharing

Don’t stick them into your food vertically as this is reminiscent of placing incense in rice at the altar during a funeral!

Don’t pick through food with your chopsticks looking for which item to choose from a shared serving plate, have conviction and commit.

Don’t suck the tip of your chopsticks – yes, even if there’s some amazingly tasty sauce left on it! This will see you ridiculed in front of everyone as someone lacking a family education…

Do hold the bowl in your hand and use your chopsticks to push rice into your mouth, if you need to.

Don’t do that if you’re in Korea.

Do NOT pierce pieces of food with your chopsticks, this is very rude!

Don’t pass food to another person chopstick to chopstick, that’s also a funeral ritual…

Don’t break apart wooden chopsticks and rub them together – this is because people would often do this with cheap wooden chopsticks that splinter. Doing so with any pair of chopsticks tells the host you think their chopsticks are cheap!

Remember those and you should be just fine!

chopsticks resting

Considering upping your chopstick game or perhaps introducing some Asian cuisine on your menu?

We can help!

We sell traditional yet modern chopsticks that are packed with potential.

Our custom branded chopsticks are a handy utensil for your takeaway customers and those dining in.

We can print the chopsticks sleeve with your artwork and logo to increase your brand’s presence.

Printing your chopsticks or chopstick sleeves can be an effective and visually appealing way to increase brand awareness and are a fraction of the cost of other forms of branded takeaway packaging.

We produce both wooden, disposable and resin reusable chopsticks.

Get in touch and let’s have a chat about what we can do to help you.

7 Examples of Ingenious Design
Ingenious design

Examples of great design are all around us and many form the backbone of our day-to-day living.

As keen enthusiasts for creative and functional design we’ve been exploring the very greatest examples, that is, the ingenious designs that have shaped the world, transformed onerous tasks into doddles, and those that are simply great in their own way!

design ideas

The Juicy Salif

In case you weren’t aware, The Juicy Salif is the actual name for the transformative and wondrous groovy metal lemon squeezer found in homes across the globe.

Phillipe Starck’s famous 1990 design, is one of the best in its class for industrial design and has even been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Modeled on the shape of a squid and cast in polished aluminium, this device is a dream for anyone wanting to extract the soury goodness from citrus fruits.

Function and form standing and excelling together – if you haven’t used one, you haven’t lived. 

Salif design

Dyson Cool Fan

James Dyson is undoubtedly a pioneer.

Tucked away in his top secret location which is constantly under threat from undercover employees (moles) planted by competitors, he can’t stop coming up with amazing inventions.

Of course, the bagless, cyclone vacuum cleaner was an absolute game-changer, but what we really want to celebrate is his bladeless fans!

The Dyson Cool Fan is a sensational device that does exactly what it proposes while looking great, blowing our minds (and hair) and keeping fingers and cats safer than ever!

Rotate, speed up, slow down, this piece of tech is as revolutionary in function as its beautiful zen-like circular design (or elongated if you get the larger model).

What’s more, the latest models claim to be 75% quieter than their previous versions.

dyson design

Coca-Cola Glass Bottle

In the pursuit of creating something of great recognition, the iconic Coca-Cola glass contour bottle was created.

It dates back all the way to 1915 when designer Earl R. Dean attempted to design something which could be recognised even in the dark as well as paying homage to the product inside.

The resulting shape that we’re so fond of today – influenced by the ingredients – stems from the shape a cocoa pod which Dean discovered in his encyclopedia, having first ruled out images of the cocoa leaf and Kola nut.

coca cola design

iPod, iPhone, iPad

Game. Changed.

Apple have been rocking the world for decades now.

Thanks to Sir Jonathan Ive – the quite-rightly exalted industrial designer behind these products – Apple have soared to become one of the largest (and wealthiest) companies on the planet.

The products are graceful in both design and user experience.

The touch-screen interface makes for a multi-sensory approach with softly gliding screens and pinching motions that serve to enhance the simple, understated elegance of the hardware.

Apple are almost guaranteed to make any list in the modern age relating to great design.

apple design
ipod design

Thermos Vacuum Flask

Sir James Dewar, chemist and physicist, invented the vacuum flask in 1892.

As many of us will have learned in school science classes, the flask consists of two walls that have air vacuumed out from between them to keep liquids either hot or cold, for longer.

Unfortunately, the tale turns a little cold…

You see, Dewar never patented his invention, leaving it wide open to the German company, Thermos GmbH, who snapped up the idea and began manufacturing it themselves in 1904.

Once in production, they patented the design and left Dewar with no rights to the product.

thermos design

Weber Barbecue Grill

George A. Stephen’s 1950 design can still be found in gardens and garden centres today.

Weber Brothers Metal Works was metal fabricator that primarily made buoys.

While working there, Stephen – being a dab hand in the kitchen –  was frustrated with his open-brick grill, because he felt that it produced uneven heat and too much smoke.

Moreover, the open top allowed too much wind to blow ashes into his food!

Not one to be easily defeated, and being the metal works bright spark that he was, Stephen took half a buoy and welded three steel legs onto it.

Unbeknownst to Stephen, he’d just revolutionised garden parties, forever!

Weber-Stephen Products Co. was born, and with it, one of the most iconic cooking objects to date!

weber grill design

The Bicylce

There is nothing more efficient than a man, or woman, on a bicycle.

S.S. Wilson, an engineering lecturer at Oxford University, took it upon himself to carry out an efficiency study.

The study was published in Scientific American in 1973.

Wilson found that a person on a bicycle was more efficient than any other animal or machine. Ever.

Now, without trying to blind anyone with science, according to Wilson, a cycling human uses a fifth of the energy as one walking; 0.15 calories per gram of bodyweight per km for cycling, versus 0.75 for walking.

Human efficiency

Casual cyclists travel about 9-12 mph while a person walking travels about 3 mph, resulting in cyclists being 15-20 times more efficient than a person walking (per hour) and about 5 times more efficient than the most efficient animal, which is the American Condor.

Through form and function, the humble push bike is therefore an ingenious design which has remained as effective (and efficient!) as it has timeless and classic.

bicycle design
cycle design
Let’s talk about Frozen Custard

Frozen Custard is a cold dessert. It’s very similar to ice cream but is made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar. It is usually stored at a warmer temperature than ice cream, and tends to have a denser consistency.

Ice Cream VS Frozen Yoghurt

Soft serve ice creams often have an overrun as large as 100 percent. This means half of the final product produced is composed of air.
When made in a continuous freezer, Frozen Custard can have an overrun of 15 –30 percent, depending on the machine used. Frozen Custard has a similar overrun percentage to Gelato.

Where to find it
The Frozen Custard Company
Frozen Custard Company Founders
Founders Joe Peters and Steph Hinder.

The Frozen Custard Company is an excellent place to go for Frozen Custard. With 6 delicious flavours available, including Blackberry & Apple and Salted Caramel, we’re sure you’ll find something to keep you happy. Check out their parlour in Cornwall.

Visit Frozen Custard Company

Frozen Custard
Ambrosia Frozen Custard

A very popular choice for custard, Ambrosia have launched a line of Frozen Custard, available to buy in major retailers and online. They offer a delicious vanilla flavour custard ice cream made using west country milk and cream and is available in a range of tempting flavours.

Are you a Frozen Custard vendor?

We have some pretty amazing EcoBowls in stock to serve your Frozen Custard in, view them online here, request samples here, or get in touch with us to find out more.

We can also brand these tubs with your artwork and logos, get in touch with us to find out more or visit our design service page. When you opt for bespoke packaging, this puts you in control of all factors of your packaging, including size, style and colours. This also gives you the opportunity to take an eco-friendly approach and make your packaging biodegradable and compostable!

Like this blog? You can learn all about Frozen Yoghurt here.

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How to make Sushi Rolls

We’re mad about Sushi this week at Takeaway Packaging. Ever fancied making your own sushi rolls? Follow this simple recipe and let us know how you get on!

Serves: 8
  • 150g uncooked short-grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 nori seaweed sheets
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut into small strips
  • 2 tablespoons pickled ginger
  • 1 avocado – peeled, stone removed and cut into small strips
  • 225g smoked salmon, crab meat or tuna, flaked
Ready in: 1 hr 5 min

In a medium saucepan, bring 325ml of water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Blend the mixture into the rice.

Preheat your oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. On a medium baking tray, heat the nori in the preheated oven for 1 to 2 minutes, until warm.

Centre one sheet of nori on a bamboo sushi mat. Next, wet your hands. Using your hands, spread a thin layer of rice on to the sheet of nori and press into a thin layer. Arrange 1/4 of the cucumber, ginger, avocado and seafood of your choice in a line down the centre of the rice. Lift the end of the mat, and gently roll it over the ingredients, pressing gently. Roll it forward to make a complete roll. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Cut each roll into 4 to 6 slices using a wet, sharp knife. Serve immediately.

Enjoy your Sushi Rolls!

Like this blog? Read all about our branded Sushi packaging solutions here.

View more recipes at AllRecipes

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Our Top 10 Facts About Ice Cream

Following on from our favourite ice cream parlours in London, check out our top 10 facts about ice cream!

1. Ben & Jerry’s employees get to take 3 tubs of ice cream home with them every single day.

2. The UK is the tenth largest consumer of ice cream, with an average of 7 litres per person per year.

3. The 20th of July is National Ice Cream Day

4. In 2014, Joey Chestnut won the 2014 World Ice-Cream Eating Championship, eating 15 pints in six minutes.

5. The average dairy cow will produce enough milk in their lifetime to make over 9000 gallons of ice cream.

6. In 1988, the biggest ever ice cream sundae was made in Canada. It weighed over 24 tonnes.

7. The Italian word ‘gelato’ means ‘frozen’ or ‘to freeze’.

8. One third of ice cream bought globally is consumed in China.

9. The UK spends over £1.1 billion on ice cream each year!

10. Vanilla is the most popular flavour of ice cream

Like this blog? Read our top Ice Cream Parlours in London 2018.

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