Monday, November 18, 2013

For The Gourmand On The Move

The Nobashi Ready To Eat
With Christmas around the corner, it maybe time for some to start looking for ideas for gifts or stocking stuffers.  MontBell currently has older model Japanese made Nobashi travel chopsticks on sale for $10.20.  
Each End Of The Nobashi
These Nobashi chopsticks are a self enclosed unit. The laminated wood is hidden within the stainless steel casing.   Unlike Snow Peak's version, where it is two pieces and needs to be reassembled for each use and disassembled for storage, these chopsticks are a one piece system which allows ease of use and also helps prevent loss.  One end is open for retracting of the wood portion and collapses within where it is stored and the other end is closed with a cap to prevent the wood from slipping out.  The cap can be removed to allow complete disassembly for easy cleaning.  To use the Mont Bell version all is needed to let the wooded section fall out and then twist to lock it in place. 
Two Different Travel Chopsticks And Their Cases
Years ago when the Snow Peak chopsticks hit the US shores, outdoor magazines were writing about how innovative or unique these eating utensils are and were all the craze, the fact is portable chopsticks are nothing new.  Asians have been carrying these for years long before it was fashionable.  While environmentally conscientious people will claim these chopstick will save bamboo trees, in Asia the reasons aren't as honorable as being "green" but for more practical hygienic reasons.  Disposable bamboo can be hazardous as they are treated heavily with bleach and other chemicals.  Also eating with non-disposable chopsticks in night stalls can be at times less than hygienic. 
These are a pair of metal portables that my mother gave me years ago.  The chopsticks are inconspicuously encased in a tube similar to that of a pen with a clip to attach to a pocket. 
The second half of it is stored within the top half of the chopstick just like the Mont Bell but unlike the Nobashis, these are spring loaded for rapid deployment.
The top of the chopsticks contain a button to engage the spring to dislodge second half of the sticks similar to a stiletto knife.
Full extended and ready to eat.  The spring loaded feature is a good way to either impress someone or have them tease you.  These are definitely conversation starters with non-Asians, they look more kung fu movie than eating utensil.


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