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Cookware

Cleaver of shrapnel

Melanie Wong | Aug 29, 202003:57 PM     1

The substance of this post from "The Cleaver and the Butterfly" blog is actually about other things, but I loved this intro describing a cleaver made of the shrapnel of Communist bombs. So I'm sharing it here.

"I own a cleaver made from the shrapnel of bombs lobbed by the Chinese Communists at the Taiwanese-controlled island of Jinmen from the late 1950s into the 1970s. This cleaver was given to me by my friend Cindy Tsai, who is of Taiwanese extraction. Every time I look at it I grin. Wu Tseng-dong, a Jinmen hustler descended from a family of knife-makers, figured out how to cash in on the bombs flung at him by the anti-capitalist vanguard of the proletariat! Exactly such relentless entrepreneurial ingenuity has made Taiwan into one of the contemporary world's great economic success stories.

I love this knife because it is a discrete physical object bearing the weight of modern Chinese history. But sadly, my Commie-bomb cleaver feels a little light when I lift it above the cutting board. Maybe the available stock of bomb shrapnel has shrunk after all these years, or there is more profit to be gained from narrative gimmicks than zealous attention to quality. It's worth a sigh: I will treasure it forever, but without the necessary heft, it is more of a relic than a tool. . ."

Garlic & Ginger & Friendship

I own a cleaver made from the shrapnel of bombs lobbed by the Chinese Communists at the Taiwanese-controlled island of Jinmen from the late 1950s into...

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