Thursday, December 27, 2007


I spent a lot of time and thought looking into what brand of knives I wanted for my knife set. I looked at many different kinds. Wüstof has a great reputation. German knives in general are thought to be the top of the line. Many friends of mine own these knives, and I have always enjoyed using them. At the same time I have never been terribly impressed. It's not that they didn't work well, but I always felt that even some of the top of the line Wüstof's were not much better than the Henkels that I grew up using. While these knives seemed good, I wanted something really special for my first set of knives.

It was time to turn from the Western style of German knives to the beautifully crafted Eastern style of Japan. I have heard more and more about the precision of Japanese knives over the past couple of years. I knew it was worth a shot, but I had no idea what brand of Japanese knives would be the best. In the end I put "Japanese knives" on the list of things I wanted for my birthday and Christmas.

My birthday came, and the only knife I received was an 8-inch chef knife from Henkel's Twin Cuisine line. It looked like a nicely weighted, sharp knife, but I really wanted a set of Japanese knives. I went to bed that night looking forward to the knives I hoped to unwrap the following morning.

Christmas morning came, and I noticed a bag from Williams-Sonoma sitting beside the tree. This was from my uncle, who had arrived the night before. He was one of my major culinary influences, so it seemed appropriate that he might be getting me some knives. I couldn't wait to open that white and green-trimmed bag.

I pulled two long thing boxes out of the bag, now I was trembling with excitement. There was only one thing that could be inside these boxes. I undid the bow and quickly unwrapped the smaller box first, and I was holding in my hand the 4-inch paring knife made by Global. The other box contained the 8-inch chef's knife, also by Global.

These were the knives I had been looking for. Beautifully shiny stainless steel, these knives look like miniature katanas. This is no coincidence either. These knives are made using the same ice-hardening process that has been used in Japan for over a millennium to make samurai swords. Needless to say, these knives look very sharp. Their stunning handles are silver steel spotted with black, and fit perfectly into my hand. In the traditional samurai way, the knives are perfectly balanced, and unbelievably light. I knew I needed to try the Global knife out immediately. I ripped the chef's knife out of its box and ran to the kitchen where I saw half of a Bermuda onion sitting on a cutting board. How perfect is that? I put the knife up the surface of the onion, and before I knew what was happening there was a thin slice of onion on the cutting board. I gasped with pleasure and quickly cut the rest of the onion into paper-thin slices. The knife was so sharp it went through the onion with no resistance whatsoever. The knife was so well balanced that I hardly had to put any pressure on the blade in order to force it through the onion. Cutting was now effortless. I had soon chopped, sliced, minced, and diced as many vegetables and fruits as I could quickly find between the chef's knife and the paring knife. The paring knife, though much smaller than the chef's knife, was still as useful for cutting as its big brother, and pleasure to use for cutting small things like garlic and shallots. I knew that I needed more of these knives.

After returning my Henkel, I decided on buying the 5.5 inch fluted vegetable knife, and the 6-inch serrated utility knife. These knives are just as satisfying as the others. The hollow-ground vegetable knife is big enough for just about every vegetable that comes in its way, as well as almost anything else that a utility knife normally accomplishes. It is easily one of the most useful knives to have around because it is big enough to handle the big things, but still very maneuverable for chopping herbs and other small spices. The fluted sides work wonderfully for preventing things from sticking to the sides. As for the serrated utility knife, it cuts any kind of bread with ease, whether it’s a crusty, fresh baked loaf, or several day old sandwich rolls. It also slices things like tomatoes and lemons into any size needed without squeezing out any of the valuable juices. This knife is incredibly useful for just about any fruit or vegetable with a tough outer layer, but soft and juicy insides.

I can't wait to continue adding to my collection of Global knives. I love these knives, and highly recommend them to anyone looking at buying new knives. They are completely worth the money.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

These knives are beautifully crafted and seem to mold well into your hands. Thoughtful and perfect gift bound to generate many a delightful meal! Crop 'til you drop!