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Cookware

Do we need more kinds of knives?

tim irvine | May 11, 202111:08 AM     57

My world is already adequately full with chef, petty, paring (of numerous sorts), boning, slicing, bread, gyuto, deba, yanagiba, honesuki, and so on, but some think that the evolutionary process labeled fusion holds promise. I am a cynic, but I think the needed types of knives have already been created, and while some will continue to be refined and some will evolve as artisan creations, most of what is newly created will be largely marketing driven, like the fins on cars in the late fifties and early sixties. They won't generally make the knives better or more functional the way a metallurgical break through that would make a laser gyuto as tough as a hefty Wusthof would be. I think the most versatile shapes were devised ages ago and little about them changes or needs to change. I deeply admire the specialized forms of Japanese knives and, to a lesser degree, French knives, but for those of us who do not make a lot of sushi or sashimi or break down a lot of fish and fowl, only a few of them seem terribly useful in most home kitchens. Of course some can be very versatile, like using a small deba as a tall parer or petty, but the same could be said for the versatility of a French boning knife.

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