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The Knives Have It

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Enjoyed Russ Parson's piece on the superiority of Japanese knivesin last week's Food section of the Los Angeles Times.But got the real scoop from Gavin Shorto of Pondblog, who writes:

There are drawbacks, though, which writer Russ Parsons doesn't mention. First, they are made of softer steel than Western knives commonly are, and so need a lot of maintenance. If you live in a humid climate, the job gets harder. Second, they are very specialised - a suite of a dozen different knives would not be out of place in a well-equipped kitchen. There isn't such a thing as a knife for all purposes. And since the Japanese eat lots of vegetables and fish, they are designed for cutting those materials and will suffer if you try to use them for meat or fruit. Third, they can be expensive - knives that cost one or two thousand dollars are not at all uncommon. Having said all that, if you like fine things, these are the Rolls Royces of knives.

Photo credit: Ricardo DeAratanha, Los Angeles Times