From The Washington Post:
Meet “the chork”: a fork-chopstick hybrid that is, depending on whom you ask, genius, stupid, fun or ridiculous, and most likely a mixture of these things. The internet was in an uproar earlier this month when Panda Express, America’s largest Chinese food chain, announced it will introduce the chork on some occasions.
For the uninitiated, the chork can be used three ways. It can be used as a fork, for Americans who prefer to stick to stabbing and scooping, or as “trainer” chopsticks, where the ends remain attached, making them easier to use. Or the plastic can be snapped apart to make “normal” chopsticks.
— Jeff Faria (@PatriotsOfMars) August 22, 2016
As we’ll see, the chork represents the inevitable culmination of America’s long tradition of Chinese food apostasy.
Utah-based Brown Innovation Group has been making the product for several years, but Panda Express’s announcement catapulted the chork to Internet fame. Today.com called it “the kitchen-utensil equivalent of the mullet.” Said GQ: “It’s a little gauche, but so is most of American culture in 2016.”
Part of the appeal, of course, is the inherent comedy of hybrid utensils. Think of the spork, not to mention the silverware drawer’s lesser-known illegitimate children, the knork, the spoonstraw, the spife and the woon. Then there is the product’s name, which to some was akin to the sound of choking on orange chicken.
Others described the product as either a brilliant solution for the challenge of chopsticks, or a somewhat offensive way of preventing coddled Americans from having to learn about other cultures. The product does make non-Asians seem pretty inept: A marketing video for the chork shows white people helplessly covering themselves in noodles while trying to use chopsticks.
Panda Express had a more positive take. In an interview, chief marketing officer Andrea Cherng called it …