Chopsticks have been around for 6,000 years. But that doesn't mean that people aren't trying to improve on the design — if you can call two sticks a design.
Vice reports that a Japanese company is developing chopsticks that blend innovation, Japanese tradition, and more environmentally friendly eating options. How? Edible chopsticks.
While Japan's on the cutting edge when it comes to viral mobile games, technology, and more, its reliance on disposable wooden chopsticks has been a sore spot. But the Marushige Confectionery company is looking to change that with chopsticks that aren't just utensils for eating a meal, but also a part of the meal itself.
Rocketnews describes the chopsticks as pretty ordinary looking. At first glance, they just look like a more rustic set of chopsticks than what you get when you're noshing on your orange chicken combo bowl. And how do they work? Like any pair of chopsticks, of course. They're stiff and rigid enough to pick up food, but they're also soft enough to bite through, because they're made from igusa, a type of reed that's also used to make tatami floor mats.
And that's where the innovation ends. While the idea of an edible chopstick seems great, Vice says that they don't taste all that great. (If you've ever wondered what tatami mats taste like, this is your chance.) Two Tokyo restaurants have already signed on to test-drive the edible igusa chopsticks, but we don't know anyone who wants to end their meal with a mouthful of grass. Not surprisingly, the chopsticks pack in a lot of fiber. Eating on a set will give you 60 times the amount of fiber as lettuce, so you could think of these chopsticks as a salad course.
Maybe the team at Marushige Confectionery can add a little bit of flavor? A dessert-ready pair that tastes sweet would be a logical option and encourage diners to chow down on their chopsticks when they're finished with their sushi, katsu, curry, ramen — or some wacky Japanese snacks.
Check them out in action, below.