Knives maybe not the most dangerous things in the kitchen, and other news…

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More dangerous things in the kitchen

Last time we warned you of the perils of the humble avocado. It turns out that the kitchen can be a pretty dangerous place all round – and what’s more it’s got very little to do with the knives you find there (although we did run an article a few years ago about knife injuries in the workplace). It’s got more to do with some of the gadgets that often live in the kitchen.

In France, whipped cream (chantilly) dispensers regularly explode, as they are powered by small gas canisters similar to the ones used in soda siphons. Apparently there was a design fault in some of these which was fixed in 2015, but older ones would regularly malfunction, causing broken bones and teeth and in one unfortunate case causing a heart attack by hitting the person using it in the chest, who subsequently died.

One knife does make it on to the list – the oyster knife – which causes injuries not dissimilar to the previously described avocado related injuries, due to knife slips, even though oyster knives do not have a sharp point. People who shuck oysters for a living wear oyster shucking gloves for a reason.

Other devices you should be wary of include mandolines (not mandolins – we’re not talking music here) which are those devices with small sharp blades for cutting uniformly thin slices of mushrooms, potatoes etc, and handheld blenders and cheese graters. Of course this is not an exhaustive list of dangerous kitchen items, just a selection of the top ones, and we’re sure there are others you can think of that should be included…

The Australian love affair with Japanese cooking, food and drink continues

At Total Knife Care we already know that Japanese style chefs knives like our very own IO Shen range, are super popular at the moment among jobbing chefs as well as home cooks, but we weren’t aware that the whole Japanese food and drink thing was, well, a thing. It is.

Up and down the country from Hastings Street in Noosa down to Adelaide, smart Japanese restaurants as well as more humble little Japanese cafes are popping up everywhere, equipped with all of the authentic Japanese equipment, like the ‘robata’ grill. It’s apparently down to the fact that Japanese food is seen as ‘light and healthy’.

It may also be because Australian chefs who have visited Japan are getting wise to the fact that they can create great tasting food in a fraction of the time using Japanese dishes and flavours instead of spending hours creating a French sauce.

Knife blocks are no good

Apart from the IO Shen one of course. This was confirmed recently in an article on the Architectural Digest magazine website in the US. Traditional knife blocks with the slits in the block of wood can’t be cleaned and so who knows what’s lurking in them?

A better bet, according to the magazine are in-drawer organisers – not just somewhere to put your cutlery but a wooden block specially designed to hold your chefs knives (all architects should have one). Or what’s described as a ‘knife grabber’ – a wall mounted strip with magnets on it. If neither of these work for you, they recommend a knife roll, and then your knives are portable as well as being protected (and you can pretend you’re a celebrity chef, except of course if you are one).

We agree wholeheartedly – the IO Shen knife block is really a cross between the knife grabber and the conventional knife block – no slits in a wooden block, but a smart black block with magnetised sides so the knives just stick to it. And if you’re after a knife roll to keep your IO Shens portable and protected, we’ve got one of those too.

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