Hi all -- Please forgive what is likely a silly question, but I watched "Julie & Julia" recently and one scene in particular has stuck in my mind: Julia Child (as played by Meryl Streep) is practicing her onion chopping technique with a mountain of diced onions. (I've appended the YouTube video link.) What struck me was *how* she was chopping: she was slamming the knife down over the onions from the top, rapidly, with what looks like a great deal of vertical force. For lack of a better term, because I am ignorant, I shall call this the whap-whap-whap technique.
To judge from the movie, this was very effective, as the knife seems to guillotine the onions. By contrast, when I chop onions, it is a measured careful slicing, drawing the knife through the onion methodically and painstakingly. I cannot imagine doing the whap-whap-whap -- wouldn't the knife lodge itself in the onion? Wouldn't one crush the onions? Is this scene realistic, in that this is how "real chefs" chop onions, or is it just a movie set where Meryl Streep is doing whatever and nobody cares?
This is causing me to question a great many things. Is this a knife skill I have not yet acquired? Is the whap-whap-whap technique reliant on a better grade of knife than I possess?
Please, onion-choppers of Chowhound, I have many questions. I welcome enlightenment.