CUTTING FOOD IS NOT JUST ABOUT MAKING GOOD SIZES FOR COOKING OR EATING
You cut food to make it delicious. You cut with purpose; cutting is one of the key elements of cooking. The main purpose of cutting food is to transform it into a good size for eaters. Another part of cutting is doing away with the inedible parts of food such as skin and bones. Because foods have fibers and cells, knives can change how foods taste just by changing how they are cut, sliced, pressed, chopped, etc. How you handle knives, cut with them, and interpret “cutting” makes a great difference in your cooking.
「切っておいしくする」 (Knives’ Time, Place, and Occasion – Use different knives for different tasks) from Gakko Hojin Heisei Gakuen Heisei Chorishi Senmon Gakko. (2007). Ichiryu Ryorinin ni Manabu Hocho Tsukai. Tokyo: Nihon Bungesha; Shibata Shoten. (1999; 2008). Hocho to Toishi. Tokyo: Shibata Shoten; Fujiwara Teruyasu Hamono Kogei. Products. Retrieved on March 19, 2010 from, http://www.teruyasu.jp/products/sujihiki.html; Aoki Hamono Seisakusyo. About Types of Knives. Retrieved on March 19, 2010 from, http://www.aoki-hamono.co.jp/qa/qa.htm
There are many types of knives and you will most likely need more than just one knife. Why are there so many types? The answer is simple – because professional chefs use different knives for different tasks. The key difference between Japanese knife and Western knife is the way the knife is ground. Traditional Japanese knives are called 片刃/Kataba bocho (single sided edge/blade), having a bevel on only one side of the blade (if you are right handed, the bevel should be on your right when you hold a knife.) Thus, if you cut with a Japanese blade, you will find it has a natural tendency to steer to the left. On the other hand, Western knives (両刃/Ryouba Bocho) have a bevel on both sides of the blade and so the knife will cut through food without steering.