Shine On

‘Chork’ combines chopsticks and a fork in one utensil

The chork is a utensil that doubles as a chopstick and a folk. (Credit: The Chork)It might just be the greatest innovation in eating since the Spork. Combining the elegance of chopsticks and the simplicity of a fork into one tool, think of the Chork as the great equalizer of utensils.

If you've ever struggled with chopsticks in a food court or sheepishly requested a fork in a Cantonese restaurant, you're not alone.

"My issue with chopsticks stem from having terrible hand-eye-mouth coordination," says Elizabeth Robichaud, a self-described foodie in Toronto whose personal claim to foodie fame was once appearing on an episode of Eat St. "I still haven't perfected how to hold chopsticks so it looks like Edward Scissorhands is trying to stab a piece of sushi or Korean barbecue. I don't want to be the odd duck out who uses a fork…so I solider onwards."

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For Elizabeth and those like her, the Chork could be the answer to your culinary clumsiness.

Casey Chan at Gizmodo explains:

The Chork is a disposable utensil that starts off as an elongated fork but can be ripped apart and flipped around to be chopsticks or can be just kept together to act as cheater chopsticks for people who aren't skilled with their fingers. It covers every base, every age, every food, every skill level.

No retail outlets in Canada currently carry the Chork, but there are several Canadian food service distributors who order the Chork in bulk and the company does ship orders directly to Canada.

Nick Van Dyke of Brown Innovation Group, developers of the Chork, says "Our CEO, Jordan Brown...always shared an interest in product innovation and development, and would constantly brainstorm for new product ideas. One night we went out for sushi and, while both of us are decent with chopsticks, we still needed a fork to pick up the rice and smaller items on the plate.  While alternating between chopsticks and a fork, the idea for the Chork was born."

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Those who find the Chork a little bit silly might do well to think of it as a mere transitional tool —  training wheels for those looking to make the leap from the simple fork to the artful, learned elegance of a chopstick.

As explained on the Chork website, diners can "use the sticks while adjoined together to practice with the trainer function of the Chork. You will be a pro before you know it!"

"Feasibly, the only place I would see myself using the Chork would be on a picnic or camping where space-saving is essential and it's more acceptable to use non-traditional utensils. I would feel more self-conscious than I already do using traditional chopsticks if I pulled out the Chork at a restaurant," says Elizabeth.

Still, novelties can be fun, right?

Check out the video below of how to make a stove top mac and cheese.

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