This post is part of the Reporter's Notebook blog.
The people spoke. Well, actually, they retweeted. And Panda Express heard them.
Last week, Rosemead, Calif.-based Panda Express rolled out General Tso’s chicken as a limited-time offer. At a press event, the dish was served with red plastic chorks, a hybrid utensil that is part fork, part chopsticks.
The Internet went mad for them. A photo of the chorks broke Twitter, and sparked news coverage across the country, from Fox News to the Los Angeles Times, indicating that: a) hybrid utensils are always inherently funny, and b) many, many people struggle to use chopsticks.
The latter is clearly the case, even though everybody everywhere in America also has a kitchen drawer full of those disposable wooden chopsticks, because someday they might need them.
Now maybe they can finally throw those away (but please recycle).
On Nov. 10, the birthday of General Tso, Panda Express will give away free chorks at restaurants nationwide.
“We introduced the chork because it embodies both American and Chinese cultures and captures the imagination of our guest while bringing to life the meaning of American Chinese cuisine in a fun and accessible way,” said Thien Ho, Panda communications director, in a statement. “Panda Express, General Tso’s Chicken and the Chork are all Chinese inspired and American crafted inventions that together have illustrated the meaning of an increasingly diverse nation craving an appreciation and celebration of differences.”
No word yet, however, on whether Panda will make chorks part of its regular utensil offerings.
Of course, those who can’t wait or who don’t celebrate General Tso’s birthday can also find chorks at Teriyaki Madness, a chain that has offered the hybrid utensil for years.