I had the most amazing shopping trip today. A good friend of mine told me about a particular shop in Chinatown which supplies things to restaurants, cafes, hawker centres, and food courts. I thought there was only one shop, but as it turned out, the entire stretch of shophouses along that road was nothing but shops that sold kitchen ware and all kinds of culinary stuff that you find at any eateries.
My goodness! I was in kitchen heaven!
The entire experience was amazing. Everything you could ever use to cook, bake, steam, fry, deep fry, and more, were all there – nicely displayed on shelves after shelves of glorious cooking and dining stuffs! WOW! My jaw just dropped. What made it all the more surprising was the prices of things there. Most people would normally go to a departmental store to buy their plates and other utensils. Here, these things – which are used in most restaurants and hotel – are sold at prices between $1-10 (for everything porcelain)!
Anyway, what really got me very very excited was that one of the shops sold katana knives! Oh my goodness! I’ve always been dreaming of owning knives like that. You see, katana knives are knives which are made with the exact same material and technique as sumarai swords. These swords are super sharp and very strong thanks to the right amount of carbon added and to the way it was made – a large sheet of metal folded and hammered several hundred times under immense heat.
There are some historical records that testify to its strength and sharpness. When the Westerners attacked Japan to make them open up their ports to foreign trade, they fired their canons. But many of the sumarai protected the Emperor/Shogun by charging towards the canon balls and sliced them into half! In fact, I once watched a Taiwanese variety show that went to put this claim to further testing. They mounted a katana sword and aimed a machine gun at it. The first few bullets that hit the sword head on got sliced into two! But eventually the recoil of the machine gun shifted the direction and the subsequent bullets hit the sides of the sword and broke it after some time. It was so strong it required several bullets to hit it on the side to destroy it!
That’s how sharp and strong a katana blade is!
And now, I am a proud owner of two katana blades in the form of a cleaver and a long cutting knife.
One word: AWESOMENESS!
Here are some close-up photos of the knives. The distinct wave-pattern at the edge of the blade is a result of the many folds of the one same sheet of metal.
Look at the words on the blade! “Made in Japan”! Yeah! Real katana knives!
I had the opportunity to use these knives today as I was cooking. The feeling was great! No effort needed to slice through things. Just fantastic! It really enhances the whole cooking experience!