Of all the kitchen utensils, knives are the most personalized. We’ve all seen what good care chefs take of their knives, honing them, cleaning them, and putting them away carefully. Other tools belong to the kitchen, the knives alone belong to the chef. Home cooks may not be as particular about their knives but they too have their favorites.
In my case ( and my wife’s), that would be the two dollar knife that our friend Sandy gave us almost two decades ago. She had picked up a bunch of them for two dollars apiece at a close-out sale and she let us have one. It is the best knife we’ve ever had, and we have had a few. Some of them have been quite expensive. There were two Cutco knives we bought from a friend of our son’s who was a high school senior working for a knife company that summer. They cost $ 108. Later , we bought some Henckel knives which were even more expensive. All of them were pretty good but the one that we prefer, the one that we always search for, is the two dollar knife. I don’t know its manufacture, never did, but it is just perfect to use. It has a serrated six-inch blade, has perfect balance, and is just as sharp, just as good, as when we first got it. We use it for everything. I only wish Sandy had given us two of them !
This whole issue of cost vs. value occurred to me the other day when I was out driving. It was stop and go traffic and I had plenty of time to notice the makes of the cars around me. There were all kinds : Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai when it occurred to me that if it weren’t for the logos I’d have difficulty telling them apart. No doubt the interiors were different and some had more options but, considering that some of them were twice or three times as expensive as the others, was the difference in cost worth it? Was an Avalon twice as good as a Corolla? A BMW three times as good as a Sonata? Not in my book but I know how cars can be a status symbol, proof that one has arrived.
What is true of cars is even more true of wine and food. Is the 300 dollar bottle of wine that much better than the $ 20 one? I can see that to some it might be but, any day I would go for fifteen twenty dollar bottles rather than a single three hundred-dollar one. As for the thousand dollar pizza which has toppings that include caviar and lobster I would not want at any price. It doesn’t sound good at all.
What something is worth is a highly individual matter and there are as many opinions as there are people. For me though, I’m happy with my two dollar knife.