The Secret Purpose of the Block at the End of Your Disposable Chopsticks

September 9, 2019 Updated: September 14, 2019

Did you know the wooden block at the end of disposable chopsticks actually has a real purpose? This simple revelation will change the way you use chopsticks forever.

It's obvious once you see it.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Daily Mirror‎‏ في الخميس، ١١ فبراير ٢٠١٦

An Australian woman sparked a viral sensation when she shared a life hack on Twitter (since removed) using the caption “I never knew!” Have we really been using chopsticks wrong this whole time?

It’s not rocket science; the picture that Twitter user “Bort of Darkness” shared with the world depicted a set of wooden chopsticks that had had the chunky wooden tab at the end snapped off. Why, you may ask?

This. Changes. Everything.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Daily Mail‎‏ في الأربعاء، ١٠ فبراير ٢٠١٦

Well, the sushi lover responsible had then used the wooden tab as a stand for their chopsticks to keep from having to lay the eating utensils directly onto the table. Ingenious, or impossible? Either way, Bort had gone viral with this.

“I tweeted a dumb picture,” she explained, after being unduly credited with coming up with the smart-thinking food hack herself. “I didn’t invent chopsticks! she continued, speaking to the Daily Mail. “I just tweeted it thinking a couple of people would be like, ‘Oh.'”

Illustration – Pixabay | yugo107

“But it got retweeted about ten times in a minute.”

Viral fame is a mysterious creature, so the Australian woman went to bed on that first night thinking it would all blow over. She was wrong. The innocent tweeter received delighted, outraged, and curious responses from multiple countries and cultures.

Illustration – Pixabay | yugo107

“I guess my conclusion from this whole thing was that it was nice to have had responses from all over the world,” she mused, “and to see people having some nice discourse about proper chopstick etiquette!”

But what about the million dollar question that remains? Does the hack really work?

If it sounds too obvious to be true, then perhaps it is. Here’s why. The grain in the wood of most disposable chopsticks is vertical. Therefore, it’s likely to splinter when broken horizontally.

Incredulous staffers at HuffPost gave it a try for themselves, but they weren’t impressed. One set of disposable wooden chopsticks cracked right down the middle, while the other didn’t break at all. For chopsticks shaped like the pair below, however, there is a viable secondary use. Fork, anyone?

Illustration – Shutterstock | New Africa

These “united chopsticks,” explains the dual-purpose chopsticks patent, boast a tail end with a very specific function. “The head of each single chopstick is in the shape of a cone,” says the patent. “The united chopsticks can be singly used as a fork…”

So is this a novice chopsticks user’s dream come true?

Illustration – Shutterstock | Antonio Guillem

When “torn along the direction of the gap between the two paralleled single-chopsticks,” the patent goes on, this unique design also functions as the normal chopsticks that we all know and love. Easy, safe, and downright ingenious.

If you simply can’t let go of the chopsticks holder dream, however, then don’t be disheartened. Check out this great instructional video that will teach you how to make your very own chopsticks stand out of the disposable packet they came in.

Illustration – Shutterstock | ViChizh

Did you know there were so many different ways to employ chopsticks? Is there no end to the hacks that will change our lives for the better?