As home cooks and chefs begin paying more attention to their knives, it's become increasingly apparent that the quality of the tool matters just as much as any ingredient. Jacqueline Blanchard and Brandt Cox, the chefs behind New Orleans knife shop Coutelier, said that this shift is long overdue. Both Blanchard and Cox, who've worked at some of the top kitchens in the country, went to prestigious culinary schools, yet weren't taught anything about caring for or sharpening their knives. Only now is that starting to change.
At Coutelier, their mission is not only to sell excellent Japanese knives, but to educate their consumers—a pretty even split of chefs and home cooks—on the importance of quality knives.
Once you study up on how to properly care for your knives, check out these three benefits of keeping your knives extra-sharp:
It's healthier for you
If you're using a dull knife and cutting herbs, you might notice smudges of green on the cutting board and blade. As it turns out, this is a waste of excellent nutrients.
"If you damage less of your food and it's not left on your knife and the cutting board, it goes into your body," says Cox. "You retain more nutrition in your food."
So, the sharper the knife, the more nutrients you retain in the food that ends up making it to your mouth.
You cry less
To that point, a sharp knife cuts through an onion without creating as much cell breakage, which helps minimize the tear-causing gas released when you break the sulfoxides' cell walls.
"There are all these wise tales of why you cry," says Blanchard. "But when you use a sharper knife, it's literally damaging less cellular structure in that onion, creating less of that juice running out."
You cook more
Both Blanchard and Cox firmly believe that transitioning to sharper, higher quality knives makes cooking feel less like a chore or struggle because, wow, that eggplant got cut so fast and effortlessly!
"Once that you know your knife is sharp and that it's not going to be this chore, it makes it so much more enjoyable when you have this joy of cutting through something that’s so easy and effortless," says Blanchard. "It brings the joy back to cooking."
Speaking of joy, paying attention to the aesthetics of the knife's handle makes cooking even more fun, too.
"People want to buy products that express who they are and their personality," says Cox. "We have so many different shapes and sizes and styles so you can find something really specific. Even if it’s as simple as, 'This matches my kitchen décor and it's really pretty.'"
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