Your Vegetarian Kitchen Needs Specific Equipment
Kitchen Essentials: A Must Read For Serious Vegetarian Cooks.
In your vegetarian kitchen for example the knives and cutlery in it ought to be designed to handle fruits and vegetables rather than meat, fish or fowl, so you can immediately get rid of your slicing knife, your boning knife and all those serrated steak knives. They are actually dangerous to have around because they were designed to do a specific task which has nothing to do with vegetables, fruits or bakery products.
In choosing the cutlery for your vegetarian kitchen you will want to purchase the finest quality knives you can afford. Good kitchen cutlery is an investment in a lifetime of good food. Like a knight's sword, the well crafted knife is a family heirloom, to be cared for properly and treasured knowing it will be passed on to, and coveted by, your children and grandchildren as well.
As this is a lifetime investment you should purchase the best quality knives you can afford. There are several excellent companies that craft good kitchen cutlery for your vegetarian kitchen. Most of them are European. Wusthoff and J.A. Henkel are German, while Sabatier is French. I have a vintage Sabatier of carbon steel which holds its edge better than any of my fine German knives. Unless you know what you are looking for it appears dull and uninteresting. However, it is wonderfully thin and sharp; it fits my hand perfectly and it is exceptionally well balanced.
Shun is a Japanese offering with blades which have been forged in the classic manner of folding the heated steel back on itself repeatedly as it is being pounded and tempered. When looking at these blades you can see the legacy of the Samurai in each. They are beautiful, incredibly sharp, hold their edges well and are tremendously serviceable.
Additionally you will find Ceramic Knives crafted by Kyocera. These are Japanese and made of Zirconium Oxide. They resist corrosion and hold their edge for months and years without sharpening. They make a Santoku knife, similar to a Chef's knife but it is shaped differently and requires a different action for chopping. Kyocera also produces a paring knife.
The Chicago Cutlery Company produces some knives for your consideration too.
As you select your cutlery do be mindful of these factors:
Knives your vegetarian kitchen needs:
A Chef's Knife: 6" to 12" depending on your height and grip. This knife has a curved cutting surface for ease of cutting and chopping. Keep the point on the surface of the cutting board as you chop and mince.
A Paring Knife: This is a small knife that fits comfortably in the hand. It is used to peel vegetables and fruits and to slice them.
A Bread Knife: This is a serrated or scalloped knife.
A Tomato Knife: This is a small yet long thin serrated knife that will slice tender tomatoes without bruising or crushing them.
A Garnish Knife: This is a very small, very sharp knife with a thin blade for ease of making tiny cuts and slices in the fruits and vegetables.
A Steel: This is a sharpening tool which is used before each use of each knife.
Kitchen Shears: This is a must have for snipping herbs, opening packages and cutting parchment to size. It also doubles as a lid flipper and jar opener, having those tools built into the handle.
Vegetable Peeler: This is an obvious must have. My choice is available at Williams Sonoma and is shaped like a wishbone with the cutting edge suspended between the legs. It has a scoop built into its side to remove potato eyes. It is made in Germany of plastic and has an amazingly sharp steel blade. It costs under $4.00 and is used with wrist action. Once you use it you will never go back to the other variety.
To complete your essential cutlery collection, consider acquiring a knife block to hold your cutlery on the counter in an ever ready position. These blocks protect the edges of your expensive cutlery as well. A magnetic strip on the wall will do the same thing, though usually they are not placed as conveniently to your work area. What you do not want to do is store your fine knives away in a drawer as that creates a safety issue for unthinking moments and also small grasping, groping hands.
Other Essentials For Your Kitchen:
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