I do not know what will be those atavistic motivations that drive us to buy knives without rhyme or reason, possibly the most expensive out there, but the fact is that all men feel a real passion for the erotica of these instruments.
I always hid my squint because I was aware that my collection of hunting knives did not obey at all rational use (never got to slaughter any animals and I don’t think I’d use it for anything other than cutting some tenderloin), but I started to buy kitchen knives, and I discovered that my case was not pathological and that many cookery specialists I knew, kept the same sinful fascination in their hearts.
So much so that for a decade, manufacturers release a premium product with a masculine aesthetics and image, with a fierce look for us to feel like a cool pirate or something, or an ancient warrior defending his cave from some traitor dinos. Sorry, my imaginations gone a little wild…
Brands such as Müller, Solingen, or WMF Zwilling, compete to make items that are close to artwork with the prices consistent with this idea.
The latest craze is ceramic knives, but they fail because they lack the erotic of steel. A ceramic blade that cuts like a razor does not transmit morbidity, I mean, they do not convey passion.
When my wife first visited my kitchen and I showed her my collection of knives (to amaze a woman, work out your abs and show her your kitchen knives), she was so amazed that when we moved to a new house, she was almost ashamed to ask if we could include in our household my cutlery. Since then they were her favorites because they cut like wind and have the steel like silk.
No need to buy the most expensive ones, there are cheaper range of brands that should cost four or five dollars apiece, but they work so well, I use them up to fillet the finest cuts of white sashimi fish and cuts are almost transparent.
By this I mean that in addition to giving us the pleasure of buying the complete collection of laser-sharpen knives to kill the neighbors’ envy, it is also advisable to have a few really ugly working slicers, that might be called “The Essentials”, namely you are going to need an onion knife or as it’s sometimes called Chef’s (it must be broad bladed, one piece to the end of the fist and be as heavy as possible), a ham knife (long, thin blade), a bread knife with ragged edge (against most current best, although there are also expensive), and a paring, I personally never use it but surely if I did, on occasion it will be an essential.
Japanese sashimi masters (more sophisticated in the specialty of Japanese cuisine who can use any knife you give them) always say that students should learn to do everything with one knife and when they do well, they can buy another.
Cooking tips today are about how to use these dangerous weapons without putting our own lives in danger.
The first thing to know is that your knives must be as sharp as a Samurai Katana. This is the first mandatory compliance, because there is nothing more dangerous in a kitchen than a poor sharpen knife.
Except for specific uses already mentioned, by default we will always use the onion knife, because its weight allows us to cut anything with ease, accuracy and minimal risk, as its broad blade rests on knuckles, avoiding any possibility of accidental cut.
Although it may seem secondary, the work area should be firm and well lit.
From there, the rest is a breeze, because it gives the same chopping to onions, peppers, garlic and capers.
As a practical exercise using a ham knife is to cut an onion in what some people call “sticks.” Divide the onion in the middle twice. It should be cut as thin as paper, for what we save the sheet in its entirety with little pressure. Here’s how knives should be used, doing nothing of force, as the safety of our fingers is our priority here.
BTW cutting onions with a sharp knife helps to do it without tears. And tomato slicing will be much more fun with a well-sharpen knife as tomatoes won’t squirt keeping the juice inside for your dish to be more aromatic and savory.