Thursday, 2 September 2010

Call that a knife?

Of course all of you will remember this quote (spoken in an Australian accent) from the film “CrocodileDundee”.
Many people at meals where meat has been on the menu have been amused at my efforts to cut the viande with the cutlery provided. They smugly pull out their pocket knife and proceed to easily slice through their own meat saying “you should get yourself one of these”.
In the UK, carrying a knife is an offence, over here not carrying one to cut up your food, build your shelter, gut your fish etc is an offence.
The Pastoralis meat fiasco was the last straw. I typed “couteau Ariege” into google.
The top two were sites that I had looked at briefly before.  
is the site of a master knife / cutlery maker who won a medal as a “best craftsman in France” a few years ago . His products are handmade / forged and you can even pay lots of euros to go on a half or full day workshop at his premises to make your own knife under his tutelage. He also does work on commission. It is worth having a look at the site to see what you could buy for 500 euros or so. Such knives are not destined for the belts or pockets of peasants like me.
The other site  links to a shop in the centre of town. Many of its links do not work and it is not easy to find the content but as this was my handiest outlet, I decided what I was going to buy and that afternoon I headed off to the shop.
Of course I did not buy the 55 euro “Ariege” knife with the walnut handle that I set off to get. A 70 euro “Cathar” knife with a cow’s horn handle. (Both types of knife have a blade which is shaped like a laurel leaf. Don’t ask me why, I do not know). A type that the web site said was out of stock. Indeed the young man in the shop who assembles the knives said that he had only assembled it and put it in the window display the previous day. The blade is the same as the “Ariege” but the handle is a slightly fuller shape. I bought a leather belt sheath for the knife to keep it safe and warm (15 euros). He did give me a small whetstone to sharpen my blade when required. The blade is carbon steel and therefore needs to be looked after and not left wet, or it will discolour and no doubt rust.

So now I am equipped and ready for action. Bring on the tough meat!

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