How to choose a Japanese Damascus knife?
« To each knife its blade, to each blade its function »
The knife is the essential tool of the cook. It is therefore important for the culinary artist toit is therefore important for the culinary artist to have the right tool. Different types of knives exist, find out how to make the right choice!
But why choose a Japanese knife? Many questions arise!
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Here are the different characteristics of the Japanese knife that will guide your choice.
Why the Japanese knife?
First of all, it is important to understand why the Japanese knife is so successful in the country of gastronomy.
The arrival of the Japanese knife was in the early 1990s: Japanese chefs arrived with their own equipment to create a renowned kitchen. It was then that Japanese knives caught the eye of French chefs: not only because of the quality of its steel but also because of its robustness and above all its cutting precision. Thus, the major brands of Japanese knives were created on the French market with a growing demand.
Why choose the DAMAS blade knife ?
The manufacture of the DAMAS blade
From the 2000s onwards, the knife with a damascus blade arrived. It has the particularity of being composed of a multi-layer alloy: made up of a hard core, layers of hard and soft steel are superimposed by alternation. This know-how originated with the blacksmiths at the time of the manufacture of swords.
There are two ways of designing damascus blades! It all comes down to the manufacture of the metal.
First manufacture of the DAMAS blade
The first is « natural » and rare: the first steel comes from the Middle East andand mainly from India. At the time, it was sought after for its quality and its unique moiré patterns thanks to the carbon present in its alloy. It is often said that to make a good sword you have to forge it in both fire and icethe Wootz damascus is a successful experiment, since these blades are the result of thecrystallisation of the metal after it has been melted.
Second production of the DAMAS blade
The second is « handmade », and represents all steels and is therefore much more widespread. Wrought damascus is used in many countries around the world, and Japan has mastered the technique like no other like no other.
It involves the superimposition of layers of soft and hard steels in alternating layers that only the blacksmith masters. The creation of these blades is therefore unique and made to measure, since the patterns are created according to the desires of each person and the know-how of the blacksmith.
Maintenance of the DAMAS knife
Of course, like any other utensil, a Japanese knife must be maintained so that it retains its effectiveness and lasts over time.
Steps to maintain your DAMAS knife
First of all, the knife must be cleaned properly after each use:
In order to respect the hygiene measures. Avoid putting it in the dishwasher because the products used and the treatments used are too aggressive, so it will wear out more quickly. Simply wash it by hand with a mild dishwashing liquid and dry it with a clean cloth by the back of the blade
Then store it in a dry place.
Like all knives, Japanese knives need to be sharpened to keep their edge.
The frequency will depend on the use of the tool. A chef will sharpen his knife at the end of his shift. If you use it in non-professional circumstances, sharpening it once or twice a week will be sufficient.
Sharpen your knife like a pro:
CAUTION: Things to avoid with a Damascus knife :
You must also be careful how you treat it when using it! You should NEVER USE a support such as granite, glass or any other metal! Very bad for knife blades in general, prefer wooden or soft plastic boards.
Also avoid contact with aggressive foodstuffs such as lemons, otherwise the knife otherwise, wash it by hand immediately after use.
Be careful not to leave the Japanese knife in water otherwise oxidation will damage the blade and the wooden handle.
You must not store your Japanese knife in any way! If you want it to keep well, storing it in a drawer is not the right solution! A knife should not be in contact with other utensils. Keeping it still is the best way to care for it. For this purpose, a wooden sheath is highly recommended to avoid any impact with other objects.