August 9th, 2009
New West Knifeworks introduces the "Fusionwood Petty Knife"
East meets New West: a new style for a classic Japanese shape.
New West Knifeworks is pleased to introduce its latest knife- the "Fusionwood Petty." This knife is based on a traditional Japanese blade shape used for peeling, paring, boning and carving. In the Japanese kitchen, the knife performs all of the tasks of a Western paring knife, but is longer and therefore, useful for other tasks as well.
The interplay of cultures has a rich tradition in the world of cutlery. Especially, when it comes to "Japanese knive." The phrase implies an authenticity which is, actually, quite difficult to locate when one examines the actual history of cutlery. The quality of Japanese crafstmanship is undisputed and takes its source from the legacy of Samurai sword making. But the evolution of Japanese cutlery is inextricably linked to trade and the influence of the West.
The Portuguese introduced tobacco to Japan in the 16th century. The production of knives in Seki actually began as a result of the need for knives to cut tobacco. Seki has since become the world epicenter of fine cutlery. The interplay of cultures continued to influence Japanese cutlery design. For example, the "Santoku" has easily become the most popular knife in professional kitchens, and is often thought of as a "traditional" Japanese knife. However, the Santoku was the Japanese response to the French Chef knife. Ironically, the Japanese consider the Santoku to be a "Western" style knife. No matter which way you slice it, the Santoku is a keeper. The dialogue between cultures has led to innovation, change, and ultimately- a new synthesis of the best of all worlds.
New West Knifeworks endeavors to continue the conversation by putting our own spin on a Japanese classic. The Petty knife serves as a paring knife in Japan- but it is also used for deboning and other big jobs. It has been said that you only really need two knives to survive in the kitchen- a chef knife and a paring knife. The petty knife challenges that old adage, taking on the delicate detail work of a paring knife, and the larger slicing jobs of a chef knife. With a petty in the kitchen you may find yourself neglecting to reach into the drawer for the "other" knife. If you could only have one knife in the kitchen, the petty would be the best bet.
New West introduces its Phoenix petty two years ago and the feedback has been outstanding. The only complaint has been that some of our customers are addicted to our colorful Fusionwood handle. The Fusionwood petty packs all the punch of the Phoenix with the addition of New West's unique Fusionwood handle design.
Here's the specs. Fusionwood handles are made of select hardwood veneers, vacuum impregnated with advanced penetrating dyes. In plain words, the gorgeous display of colors is designed to last a lifetime. If the surface loses its lustre, you just buff off a layer of molecules to reveal the splendour underneath.
The petty, as well as all New West knifeworks knives, uses AUS-8 steel. AUS-8 steel falls under the category of "high-carbon, stainless- steels." Metallurgy has evolved tremendously during the space age with the discovery of new alloys which add beneficial qualities to the steel.
There is a real alchemy involved in making a quality chef knife. Several different qualities must be balanced against each other. You want a hard knife, but not one that is so brittle it is going to shatter into a thousand pieces if you drop it. You want the knife to take a keen edge, but you also want it to be easy to sharpen, and on top of all that, you want the edge to last a long time. At New West, we strive to balance all of these attributes to create a tool which responds to the precise needs of your kitchen.
The Fusionwood petty is a light-weight, agile knife with the serious edge and durability to handle the delicate work of a paring knife and some of the heavier tasks of a full on chef knife. Like the Santoku, the petty knife is destined to become a favorite in both professional and home kitchens. New West is proud to be on the vanguard of bringing this knife to the larger market.