Tuesday, August 28, 2012
My Knife Is The Bomb
I just realized it's been two years and I haven't written about my awesome Kinmen knife. I'm not the first to write about this, but as the owner of one of these remarkable products, I can attest to the quality. Talk about a unique souvenir from Taiwan, and the ultimate in upcycling!
We were given one of these knives (basically the same as the knife pictured above) from Maestro Wu's knifery (is that even a word?) as a wedding gift, and I have nothing but great things to say about it. It's heavy - if you use it to cook a dish that requires a lot of chopping prep work, the first time you do it'll tire out your wrist - but onions, garlic, scallions, ginger, vegetables (even the harder ones) melt beneath its blade.
Earlier this week I made a pasta with sundried tomato sauce. I started out by finely chopping scallions and garlic. Then I added the sundried tomato paste, regular tomato paste, cherry tomatoes chopped in half (as their own stand-alone vegetable rather than a sauce component), chopped red and yellow bell peppers and mushrooms. Using my Kinmen knife, all of this prep work was easy, like spreading warm cream cheese or grating soft cheddar. It just melts through meat and vegetables of all textures. The week before that I had some coworkers over; I made stuffed peppers and tomatoes and a trio of Mediterranean dips. Cutting and goring all those peppers and tomatoes was a breeze, as was chopping up all the vegetables that went in them with brown rice, with my handy bomb knife!
Kinmen knives are made from the found shells of bombs hurled at Kinmen island when hostilities between China and the ROC (better referred to as Taiwan) - and as such, have the strength and durability of the steel that goes into bomb-making. They're really remarkable.
My one piece of advice is to get it sharpened before you use it - we used ours straightaway and it felt blunter than it ought to. One day I found a knife-sharpener in one of those little random storefronts that line the streets of urban Taiwan and brought him my Kinmen knife. He sharpened it right up (took him awhile, too - even he was struggling with the heft of that metal) and now, well, I've almost sliced through two fingernails along with my vegetables, it's so sharp. That was almost a year ago, and it's still as sharp as the day I brought it in.
They're not cheap, but if you get one, a Kinmen knife will not only last you through your days in Taiwan, but it'll be something you can use, well, for the rest of your life. Or at least for as long as artillery shells remain strong, which I would assume is a pretty damn long time. Just don't get your fingers too close to it.