Choosing the right knife for the job and then knowing how to look after it is fundamental to enjoying preparing food to nourish and share with your friends and family.
The way we collect, prepare, cook and present our food is inextricably linked to our culture and heritage. With an emphasis on the artistic presentation of fresh, seasonal ingredients, the Japanese have an incredibly rich and varied diet. Cooking is a ritual and a way of honoring friends and family. The Japanese also have an extensive history in knife making, honed from generations of samurai sword makers and the use of high quality carbon steel.
The steel in Japanese knives is generally a good deal harder than in Western knives. This means that when they cut or run against a board surface, the edge will not bend easily. As a result, the knives stay sharper longer. Western knives will also generally have thicker blades. The softer steel means the blades need to be thicker in order to be as strong.
Steel comes in a variety of forms. Pure carbon is known as "White Steel". White steel can be sharpened to an extremely thin edge, enabling it to be super sharp, but because of the thinness, it also makes it brittle. "Blue steel" is carbon steel with Chromium and Tungsten added to improve durability (make it harder).
"Stainless Steel" is a mix of up to 4 or 5 alloys which makes it far more rust resistant and easy to maintain than carbon steel, but it looses some of the effectiveness of the sharpness of pure carbon steel.
Traditional Japanese knives have hand-forged layers of both white and blue steel, in order to gain the benefits of all the properties. The central layer is white steel to provide the sharpest blade, supported on the sides by layers of forged blue steel which add durability. These knives are kept rust free simply by ensuring they are cleaned and dried after use and a little oil (traditionally camellia oil) is wiped along the blade.
Our range of Tadafusa Japanese Knives offer the best choice for whatever it is you are cutting, and with both the traditional Japanese style and look and the European style, there's something for everyone.
The style of knives we have include;
Aijikiri - aji means 'Japanese Horse Mackerel' which makes this knife great for small fish, meat and vegetables
Gyuto - literally means 'beef knife' so is ideal for cutting meat
Petty - means small utility knife and is great for garlic, onions, herbs, vegetables and fruits etc
Santoku - means 'three uses' so is perfect for slicing, dicing and chopping and is a general purpose kitchen knife
Bread Slicer - not a Japanese word, but designed for bread and hard skinned food such as sausages and tomatoes
Sashimi - means a Japanese dish of bite sized thinly sliced pieces of raw fish, and this knife is perfect for exactly that
Keeping it Sharp
Sharpness is defined by the quality of the intersection of the two bevels which meet at the cutting edge of a blade.
Traditionally western knives have been sharpened using steels, however the main function of a steel is to realign a blade (take the bends out) to make it cut better. The Japanese use sharpening stones to bevel the edge of a knife, with the aim of producing a zero radius join where the two beveled edges meet. Sharpening is therefore concerned with the precise abrasion of the two beveled edges.
To take a closer look at the Tadafusa range we have, click here...