‘Chopsticks’ goes beyond the restaurant experience

Many diners make a point of using chopsticks when they eat at Asian restaurants. It just seems like the polite and culturally correct thing to do.

What they may not know is that chopsticks have been around for, oh, about 6,000 years and come with their own set of etiquette. It’s all detailed in the scholarly and fascinating “Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History” by historian and university professor Q. Edward Wang (Cambridge University Press, $30, 224 pages).

Before you dive into that mound of rice with your chopsticks, you should know that it’s bad manners to leave them “standing vertically in a bowl of rice or other food while dining.”

Among the book’s many color photos is one showing Neolithic bone chopsticks unearthed in Jiansu, China. Good stuff.

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.