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Kitchen knives buying guide

A good, basic set of knives is a must, even for the smallest kitchen or the most infrequent cook.
Don’t buy rubbish – cheap means cheap… and keep them sharp.

Good knives will make food preparation faster and easier and the best will last for many years.
Make sure your knives are always sharp – a blunt knife is dangerous – use a sharpening stone and a steel

The right knife for the job – using the right knife makes your work easier & safer...
Kitchen knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The shape of a knife makes it suited to a particular job and a wide range is available. You may want to use purpose-made knives or keep to a few that will cope with most tasks.
But what must you have… for the basics?



Potatoes – which are best for chips?

One of the key elements to perfect chips is the variety of potato.

The perfect chip has a crispy outer coating and a light and fluffy inside. The correct potato is essential to get this combination. Floury potatoes, generally known as old potatoes, are the best potatoes for chips. If you use new potatoes for chips you will never achieve that light inner filling. However, some varieties of old potatoes make far better chips than others.

The two varieties I recommend for the best chips are Maris Piper and King Edwards. Both are readily available at supermarkets at reasonable prices.


“Pipping Hot” – temperature affects food’s taste…

“Pipping Hot” – No!

Accepted that food needs to be cooked correctly – to the correct temperatures in accordance with health and safety guidelines etc.

But… serving food at high temperatures stifles taste

The University of Leuven in Belgium has  demonstrated that “the perception of taste decreases when the temperature rises beyond 35C”. With very hot food it is possible that the burning feeling “masks” taste sensations, because it works as an alarm signal to warn us about the danger hurting ourselves. “Perhaps we do taste at such temperatures,” he says, “but we don’t pay attention to it because we become worried about the burning feeling.”