Dispensing Happiness

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.-Elsa Schiapirelli

That's me, the magical good cook.

Borrowing from my friend Dexygus, I've created my own food blog.

Read of my exploits in the kitchen! Salivate over the descriptions of fabulous desserts and savory meals I've concocted!

No, seriously...go ahead. It'll make my day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Product Review: New West Knife Works Super Bread Knife

.

Because he takes slicing bread very seriously...for reasons you'll soon learn..Matt has taken on this review




Growing up in a household where bread was baked up to three times a week, the bread knife was an important object. You used the bread knife to cut bread and nothing else. If you just cut bread, it remained fairly clean. If you got it dirty by cutting something else (say, cheese or roast beef), it had to go through a full cleaning cycle, during which there could be no bread. And not being able to slice bread properly was unacceptable. That's so deeply ingrained that, for me, the most disturbing scene in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill had nothing to do with blood, dismemberment, or even Uma Thurman. It was the scene towards the end of the second part where David Caradine sliced some bread and then stuck that same knife INTO A JAR OF MAYO! HOW'S HE GOING TO SLICE BREAD NOW? HE'LL CROSS-CONTAMINATE! MANIAC!

So I regard bread knives as serious business. For the past couple of years, we've alternated between a cheap, flimsy, and easily replaced nondescript bread knife and a bow-shaped knife (a left-handed version special-ordered for me years ago, as a gesture of resistance against the revanchist forces of the running-dog dextrist hegemony). The bow knife cuts well, but it cuts slices in a very narrow range of thickness. The cheap blade is more versatile, but doesn't cut nearly as well. So we had a strong interest in how the New West Knifeworks bread knife would do. The blades we got from them a few months ago have become my go-to knives (sharpness comparable to our ceramics but without the fear factor about dropping them), but that weird curvy blade...

Turns out it's absolutely brilliant. In fact, it cut so well that it took some getting used to. The blade bites very deeply with each stroke, practically sinking into the loaf. It gets through the bread with surprising, even alarming, speed, so it requires a touch which is different from any other knife we own. However, once you've adjusted to that, it's outstanding. I was able to cut through a baguette with a single pull of the blade, no back-and-forth sawing. I was able to cut nearly transparent, perfectly even slices from Pullman-style loaves without the slightest suggestion of a slant (and equally even thick slices). I sliced a fresh croissant in half the long way without crushing the outer layers or smashing the inside. Yes, it doesn't look like a standard bread knife, but it's much better than a standard bread knife. If you buy only one bread knife this year...well, you know the drill.

10 Thoughts for food:

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous The Trinigourmet said...

wow! :) Now that's an endorsement :) Wishlisting :)

 
At 12:09 AM, Blogger Charles Thomas said...

To be fair- that IS a sexy knife!

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger breadchick said...

Going to have to take a serious look at this knife.

BTW, the same theme in KB disturbed me too for exactly the same reason.

 
At 12:42 PM, Blogger Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

What a great looking knife! I haven't seen them up here yet, but I will keep an eye out. I am a knife fanatic.

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger SilverMoon Dragon said...

I'd freak you out then. I use my bread knives to slice tomatoes. :D

I have an award for you over at my blog too.
http://silvermoon-dragon.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-won-award.html

 
At 5:34 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Sarina; I can't say enough about these knives. They are truly amazing. And pretty much works of art at the same time!

 
At 5:34 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Charles: damn straight it is!

 
At 5:36 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Mary; it's ...amazing. I'm not kidding. Took me maybe...eight minutes? to slice & cube two loaves of bread when making stuffing. It's astounding how well it works.

 
At 5:37 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Natashya, I will continue to beat my drum for this company. The knives really are that good. And if comes down to it, you know I'd order & send to you!

 
At 5:42 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

SM D; hey...thank you for the award!

If I ever get back to blogging, I will blog it forward, promise.

Ack! Just tell me it's not a Ginzu, & I think we can still be friends! (that's where a sarcasm and/or humor font would come in handy)

 

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