Chef's Knives

Napoleon said:
Was this an ANNUAL show?

Or are they a staple at some section of the Rural that I don't know about? . . . .
It's an annual exhibition -- a huge one, sponsored by the Sociedad Rural de la Argentina ("SRA") -- at the Society's exhibit area near the zoo -- you know the location. Generally held in July or August (I've forgotten which), and great fun, even if you don't have anything to do with farming or ranching.

In addition to livestock, machinery, and other things directly connected with country living, there are exhibitors of well-made (if expensive) clothing and items of "national heritage", such as those knives.
Napoleon said:
In general, I'm pretty skeptical about a domestically produced knife, because I'm not a gaucho and I won't need to gut an animal and then eat its cooked flesh an hour or two later and use the same knife for both activities.

I want something that I can grab in the kitchen and slice away with minimal effort. Something that makes think "What am I going to slice, dice, and chop today?"

PS- I doesn't have to fit in a sheath and then slipped in my belt. It's just for the kitchen.

Lol, Napoleon, if you get a custom-made knife it will of course match the purpose you want. I recently had a very nice grill fork and kitchen knife made as a gift for my father.
Böker has an e-shop if you wanna see what they got here

RWS I sent you a PM with the cuchillero's details.
Google it to find out which store are closest to where you are in Argentina and then work your way from there if not you can wait until you get back to the states. I like the Global brand too.
As an ex professional fisherman and amateur cook I have used and abused many a knife, and I actually prefer regular steel to stainless for the following reasons:

1) Carbon steel is MUCH easier to sharpen. A stainless knife with a good edge can be honed with a steel or ceramic rod, but if it looses it's edge it takes a VERY hard stone and a certain amount of talent to bring it back. Carbon steel can be sharpened with any stone, and honed with a few strokes on a steel. Arguably, a good stainless blade will hold an edge longer, but I give ANY blade a few strokes before I use it so so what!

2) Carbon steel knives are MUCH less brittle, so when you use them as a screwdriver or to pry open can lids you are less likely to snap them!

3) Carbon steel knives are cheaper, so you can buy two in case you do somehow manage to break it per reason #2

4) I like the taste of rust with my tomatoes.

A good selection of either type can be found walking the streets around the 2000-3000 block of Peron (in Once). Many shops selling appliances and Cooking/culinary supplies.

My 2 (copper) cents!

My Dad was a butcher. The most important thing about a good knife is the steel it is made from and how the steel is attached to the handle. (second would be the way it feels in your hand) I am sure they make wonderful knives here....they definitely butcher a lot!!! I would go around asking the old-time carniceros. They use their knives every day and can steer (pun intended) you in the right direction. There is a very nice carnicero in Juncal Market in Palermo (entre Godoy Cruz y Oro).
Napoleon said:
And why do people like a Santoku over a traditional chef's knife.

I think some people prefer the Santoku knife over a traditional knife because of the quick release design on the Santoku. It is supposed to make cutting thinner slices easier by preventing suction between the knife and what you're cutting. I have the Wüsthof 7" Santoku, but I rarely use it... to me it just doesn't work any differently than the traditional. If I had to pick one, I'd stick with the catchall traditional chef's knife.

As far as the brand goes, I have a set of Wüsthof knives and I think they're the best thing in my kitchen. I definitely recommend them.
I finally bought a knife. I went to the Kitchen Supply District (Jujuy b/n San Juan & Juan de Garay) and went into a place on the corner of Jujuy & San Juan (SW corner). They had some knives on the wall near the counter, they had some knives on some racks by the lockers by the door, they had a few more knives... They weren't looking to help, it looked like they focused on plate wear and some other stuff...

Then I went across the street to the SE corner and they didn't have any chef's knives, but the guy told me to go next door. (Todo Bazar, Jujuy 1214) I did and this is where I ultimately bought my knife (knives).

For a chef's knife, I went with this one:

Mundial 5100 Series 8-Inch Chef's Knife, Black

Amazon Link

Amazon says that it lists in the USA for US$51.00 (AR$189-ish), but Amazon offers it for US$40.80 (AR$151-ish) with FREE SHIPPING. But I bought mine today for AR$113.40 (US$30.50-ish). No waiting for someone to come in from the States.

8" vs 10"

I felt the 8" and the 10" and I could see wanting the 10" in the future if I start cutting enough things that I feel are too big (large potatoes into fries, large squash), but for now I think I would go with something that just felt better.

The salesman did a good sales job and I ended up buying one of those metal sharpening rods (AR$40 = US$11.10-ish today at the bank) which I'm not positive I needed. But I had him sharpen up my knife on it before I left the store and I was planning on buying some other knife at a different place and then paying AR$22 to have that done. And watching him struggle a bit to sharpen it and then do it some more when it didn't cut the paper as well (he shreds some receipt paper for his sales demonstration), was good to see. I now know it takes more than the effort that it takes to brush dog hair off your coat.

I ended up buying a 2 1/2" paring knife as well:

Mundial 5100 Series 2 1/2-Inch Peeling Knife, Black

Amazon Link

So that I'll have a paring knife to peel my apples with when I make some apple chutney in a few weeks.

I'm pretty excited that even with having to pay 5% more for using a credit card, I still only paid AR$219.00 for all 3 items. (US$59-ish) I might have been able to haggle and not paid the 5% because I was buying three items, but I forgot to think about it.
Thanks, Napoleon, both for telling us the end of the story and for explaining how you arrived at it. A question: what is this mark, "Mundial"? Domestic make, Brazilian, or what? Might you know the quality of the steel -- stainless, high-carbon?

Again, thanks.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
L Food and Drink 6
N Expat Life 10
G Expat Life 0