Posts Tagged ‘kitchen knife’

in search of a cutting edge

February 2, 2008

Some knives refuse to become sharp, whatever one does to them. One day, I was frantically trying to get a new over-long boning knife in trim, which was made of some especially rubbery steel that just didn’t react to grinding at all. When it eventually did, it had developed a micro-serrated, messy edge that would perhaps cut through half-decomposed gravlax, but little besides. A middle-aged member of the extended family was watching me, glasses flashing dispprovingly in the sunlight (sorry, I made this up. I needed some sun here at my desk, in early February, in Sweden). “You know, you really have a knife fetish of some sort,” he said eventually.

There are excuses for that kind of statement. (more…)

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chopping – and then?

January 29, 2008

I am watching this popular Swedish TV cook, all smiles and a chaarmaing South-Swedish accent. She chops fresh herbs, using a 24cm Chef’s knife while chatting and looking into the camera. I bet her pussycat is waiting someplace out of the camera angle, purring in anticipation.

So is blind-chopping without maiming yourself the trademark of a professional chef? Nope. Herbs well chopped, she carries the plank, knife still in her hand, across the studio to the stove and – scraaatch – scrapes them into whatever is sizzling there, blade across the plank, multiple times, scraping angle 90 degrees. I can’t watch and switch off the TV.

Why, one may ask, do the better kitchen knives have backs that are only slightly curved? For reasons of an elegant design? Ah well, probably, but that’s not where I want to go – forget rhetoric: for scraping chopped goods off the plank, and for saving the cherished and painstakingly honed blade. But perhaps, TV cooking is there for showing us that things really don’t matter so much.