Type 301 - F. A. Porsche P 04 14cm Chef’s Knife

Well! You could have knocked me down with a feather! Last Friday teatime; there I am minding my own business when there's a knock at the door. Pauline answered and reappeared with a white plastic postal packet and that 'what have you bought now' look on her face. In fact, she said, "What have you bought now?" (She's very predictable!). So, I look all guilty - like you do - then my little brain clicks in and I think to myself, "Hang on a minute, I've not bought anything", so with true originality and wit I say, "Hang on a minute, I've not bought anything". Yes, we're frightfully boring in this house, but I find that being clever with Pauline is generally painful!

We opened the packet and I could hardly believe it, it contained two Chroma knives. One, a Type 301 designed by F. A. Porsche and the other, a Japanese knife by Haiku, sent for my review by Franco who owns www.sausagemaking.org and is the new UK importer of Chroma knives. I'll talk about the Haiku another time, but firstly, the Porsche. I could have been disappointed when I slid the cardboard sleeve off the neat wooden box inside it, only to find that it didn't contain the keys to a 911 GT2 RS. But, with a bit of thought, I realised that it would have been heck of a job to fit my wheelchair into the boot - hence it was great that instead it contained a Chroma, designed by F. A. Porsche, P 04 14cm Chef's knife. So if you know any 14cm chefs...

Joking aside, what a knife! It's completely different to the type I normally use, and I have to admit that it's clever to take an everyday object like a knife and make it look different; but is it a case of performance sacrificed for design?

Why so negative? Well I'll explain - I've always thought that when you see a fancy set of knives in a posh kitchen it generally indicates a lack of cooking going on! You see, most serious or professional cooks will have an eclectic mix of makes of knives that they have accumulated over the years. When they acquire more expensive knives they don't abandon those old favourites. Even in my own case - and I'm no chef, but I have Sabatier's that were bought as presents by elderly relatives when I first started cooking, 6 or 7 Henckel's 4 star knives, the odd Henckel's 5 star, and a token Global knife. Now that I can afford more expensive knives, I actually tend to buy the cheap but good knives from Victorinox, mainly because nowadays I generally only need specialist knives that will receive little use: Ham or salmon slicers, filleting knives, butcher's steak knives etc. So Franco's took a major risk sending this to me for review: he must think highly of them to risk it.

Well, It certainly looks the part:

Type 301 - F.A. Porshe Chef's Knife

It's heavy with a very wide end to the handle compared to a normal knife. My initial reaction was that it would be cumbersome to use, but they have not just come up with a 'trendy' design, they've obviously put a lot of thought and research into it. It slots so nicely into the palm of your hand; it's one of the most comfortable knives I've ever used: you feel as if you could use it all day without tiring. The blade is also deep for its length, which means that you have no fear of catching your fingers when slicing and chopping. I'd happily use this knife for jobs that I would usually choose an 8 inch (20cm) or 10 inch (25cm) blade for.

So is the blade any good? ...Is it good? ...Is it good? ...It's more than good, it's fantastic! Now, I know that even the cheapest knife will be sharp when it's new: this knife, however, is in a class of it's own. It cut through carrots, sped through spinach, zipped through zucchini, obliterated onions, sliced through salami - and p... through parsley! Seriously, it passed the squishy tomato test with flying colours: the sign of a good knife in my book.

So how do you show that it's a cut above the rest? I know. The scoring pork rind test! Even my butcher uses a craft knife for this as he says it blunts his normal knives. The Porsche knife just sliced through the rind on our Sunday Pork Loin roast like butter.

In all honesty this knife should be good; it's not cheap. But, do yourself a favour, if you're in the market for additional knife for a specific purpose, or a whole set for your new designer kitchen, bite the bullet, ignore the pain in your wallet and buy a set of these Chroma F.A Porsche 301 knives: you'll won't regret it.


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There is one comment

Keith

The knives must be good if you recommend them. I know that it takes a lot to impress you, something I haven’t managed to do!

I visited the site, but at first glance I didn’t see any prices. My old Gran (silly old bat!) used to tell me that "if you can’t see the price, then it’s bloody expensive, and if it says it’s ‘only £so-and-so’ then it’s not worth buying".

I have several "Parapluie a l’epreuve" (Umbrella-proof) knives. (Only the French could come up with a name like that!) They are not stainless, so they have to be treated with wet’n‘dry paper every so often, but the cutting edge when honed up would cut through a brick (not tried it though) if necessary.

P.S. How many Lovage plants do you want?

Keith, (Email ) (URL) - 31-03-’11 12:41

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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