Japanese knives are such a hit in household and gourmet kitchens throughout the world. Since the banning of samurai-sword production in Japan, highly skilled smiths and craftsmen had to take up other ventures where they can use their talents, thus the birth of the modern era of the Japanese knife. European brands have long dominated the knife world, but Japanese knives have fast made their presence known in the market. In fact, Japanese knives are often the cutlery of choice in household as well as in chef kitchens, because of their superior quality. How food is cut makes a great difference in how it looks and tastes. Slicing food in a certain way not only enhances the presentation, but the taste as well, because well-cut pieces cook differently, maximising their taste. Here are some of the best reasons why a lot of people prefer Japanese knives to other types of kitchen knives:
They are samurai-quality knives – Made by former samurai-sword makers, Japanese knives have the same quality as the ever famous Japanese swords. Many of the best Japanese knives come from Sakai, Japan, where centuries of outstanding craftsmanship and sword-making tradition are very much alive to this date.
They are made out of quality steel – traditional Japanese knives are crafted out of carbon steel, which has the perfect hardness to form very sharp edges, ideal for precision cutting.
They are available in stainless steel – To appeal to western markets; Japanese knives are also available in stainless steel varieties to make them more resistant to rust. While stainless steel Japanese knives are not as hard as carbon steel knives, they are much easier to maintain. Modern advances have also made stainless steel more durable.
They are available in pattern welded steel – Two different types of steel are layered together, folded and sandwiched repeatedly during the forging process. This gives the knives a unique wavy pattern that makes them stunning pieces of art.
There is a Japanese knife for everything – There are numerous types of Japanese knives for all purposes, ranging from chef's or all purpose gyuto and santaku knives to vegetable knives (nikiri and usuba knives), and even boning and slicing knives.
Japanese knives are angled from both sides – This makes it easier to make cleaner cuts. Some may not be angled from both sides, but they still make cleaner cuts than most other regular knives.
Japanese knives are used by cooks and professional chefs.
Subtle variations on the design and the chisel grind of each Japanese knife make them more efficient in separating food more cleanly and reducing drag and adhesion.
There are Japanese knives made specifically for cutting shellfish, with the grind on the opposite side so that the meat isn't cut when chopping the shell.
While it takes skill to cut food evenly, Japanese knives make precision cutting much easier.
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