Say Hello to Edible Chopsticks, the Eating Utensils of the Future
The sustainable utensils are made out of the same material as tatami floor mats, and taste like them too.
Next time you're slurping on some noodles or devouring a stir-fry, don't stop when your bowl is empty. If you're still hungry, set your sights on the utensils in your hand. Yes, chowing down on chopsticks has become a reality — and whatever you think they'll taste like, they won't. Unless you were really hoping they'd have the same flavour as furniture, that is.
Unveiled by Japan's Marushige Confectionery, the edible chopsticks are designed to serve two purposes: provide a sustainable alternative to current chopsticks, which are usually made out of bamboo, wood, plastic or steel, and are used in the billions each year around the world; and provide a reminder about the country's agricultural traditions. It's for the latter reason that they're made out of igusa, the soft reeds usually used to make the tatami floor mats that are common around the nation. By turning igusa into chopsticks, then getting folks to munch on them, Marushige hopes people will come to appreciate the substance's cultural significance.
At present, the tatami-flavoured chopsticks be made available at two restaurants in Tokyo, but whether they'll spread to become a broader trend is yet to be seen. No one can argue with the fact that it's an ingenious idea — how many pairs of disposable wooden chopsticks have you used and then thrown out recently? More than you probably realise. As for the taste, maybe it's the kind of thing that you just get accustomed to.