| Shun's santoku knife on caramelized onion tart. Photo: Alex Van Buren
They have a bad association as, um, dull conversational topics: There's the unwelcome knife salesman banging on the door, or that eternal infomercial ("Only $39.95 in three easy installments!"). I owned a sub-par knife for years, until a friend trained at a local culinary institute basically took it away from me.
I've been shopping ever since with an eagle eye for sales. The santoku style caught my attention for its multiuse blade (note the indentations, which purportedly help keep food from sticking) and stylish look. And when I grabbed a Shun in hand at a local shop -- its base has a slight teardrop shape, perfectly suited to that soft nub between thumb and index finger -- I fell in love.