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History of Chef Knives for Culinary Purposes

In cooking, a chef's knife, also known as a cook's knife, is a cutting tool used in food preparation. The chef's knife was originally designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today it is the primary general-utility knife for most western cooks.

A chef's knife generally has a blade eight inches (20 centimeters) in length and 1+1⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) in width, although individual models range from 6 to 14 inches (15 to 36 centimetres) in length. There are two common types of blade shape in western chef's knives, French and German. German-style knives are more deeply and continuously curved along the whole cutting edge; the French style has an edge that is straighter until the end and then curves up to the tip.

Most Chefs have prefences regarding the details of the specific knives they like. The criteria can be very broad; things like weight, balance, type of metal, the handle construction and so on.

This leads us into a long discussion that wont be covered in this blog, however you can find much of this information on our website or Etsy Shop.

Back to the history.

Archaeologists found the oldest evidence of protein residue on stone tools from 250,000 years ago in Azraq Oasis in northeast Jordan. The residue was remains of butchered animals, including horse, wild cattle, duck, and rhinoceros.

NEW MATERIALS: The discovery of fire, about 1.6 million years ago, opened the door to the creation of tools that were formed rather than chipped, scraped, or carved. The copper and bronze ages followed and brought drastic changes to the sharp-edge technology. These new metal tools were much more durable than stone ones, and in this survival-of-the-sharpest scenario, the handheld stone knives would appear to be selected against.

As centuries passed, bronze gave way to iron and then steel. With each new material, the durability and ease of maintenance of a knife improved, and a variety of purposes it could serve appeared—like mincing, boning, and paring. The ancient Romans even had a device close to a Swiss army knife that included a knife, a fork, a spoon, and various picks.

FULL CIRCLE: From the Stone Age through the Iron Age, the development of the knife was closely related to warfare. The Roman kitchen knife’s design echoes that of the Thracian Sica blade. And later German and Japanese knife makers—Solingen and Seki—made weapons first and foremost.

Just a few of the sets and single knives that can be purchased from Chef tools Canada. Christmas is coming folks, start your shopping today. I know a fair amount about knives, and I can tell you honestly that you wont find better tools for less. Don,t fall for BIG brand, mass produced crap. Support small business. Cheers, and have a great weekend!

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