When you’re practicing for an international marmalade competition, you need to do a lot or paring and slicing and you need excellent knives to do it!
I have won six blue ribbons for jams and jellies including the State of Pennsylvania. Ths year I’m going for the “gold” overseas to the International Marmalade competition in England.
Marmalade is made with the pulp and rind of citrus fruits. You slice the rinds paper thin and then soak them to remove the bitterness before cooking and canning.
WÜSTHOF to the Rescue!
You can’t just use any old knife you have lying around in the kitchen drawer to do a job like this.
Fortunately, WÜSTHOF agreed to help me, sending four different paring knives to test out and help make the job easier, faster, and more efficient.
For my first test batch of lime and of lemon marmalade, I sliced more than 25 lemons and limes This took several hours.
WÜSTHOF has a staggeringly large variety of knife types and collections ranging in cost from just a few dollars to $100+. For this test, I received knives from the more budget-friendly product lines:
Popular: Classic and Gourmet
Two of the most popular consumer lines are Classic and Gourment. They both have high-quality blades, but the edges are slightly different. We also tried one knife from the PRO Line….(more article follows)
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One basic difference is that the Classic knives are precision-forged and have durable synthetic material designed to resist fading and discoloration. (this one also arrived in a box, not a blister package). The Pro and Gourmet knives are laser-cut (lighter, not as expensive).
The Pro and Gourmet knives are laser-cut (lighter, not as expensive).
You can read more about the collections on the WÜSTHOF site, www.wusthof.com.
Classic: The classic has a 14-inch angle per side and it’s pricier than the WÜSTHOF Gourment or Pro line.
Gourmet: The gourmet features a traditional sharp edge design that has an 18-inch angle per side. It is the value-priced line, but all the knives still have high carbon rust-resistant stainless steel blades from Germany.
Pro line knives are stamped from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel. The handles are synthetic and textures for a good grip great for student chefs and for high volume kitchens.
Forged or Laser-cut stamped?
What kind of knife do you really need? According to WÜSTHOF, forged knives go through over 40 steps to create the blade and have a bolster, which helps to balance the knife.
Laser-cut stamped blades go through 14 steps, are lighter in weight, and don’t have a bolster.
Should you want to try them, the WÜSTHOF forged lines include: IKON, CLASSIC IKON, CLASSIC, GRAND PRIX II and the Laser-cut stamped lines include: GOURMET, SILVERPOINT II, PRO
I only tried one forged blade and honestly, I didn’t find a lot of difference in performance between the collections other than how the handles felt in my hand.
The shorter knife blade was slightly better for peeling the rind off the fruit, the larger for slicing paper thin sections.
Really, it’s a matter of personal preference, cost, and what you need the knife to do!
All of the blades dulled a bit after peeling and slicing for hours through the tough rind of limes
I’m not an expert with a steel and didn’t want to compromise the blades, but a few swipes through a hand-held sharpener sharpened the blades perfectly.
TIP: How to Properly Use a Paring Knife:
When using any knife, for safety make sure the blade is sharp. You need to be in control of the blade. The grip has to be comfortable and the knife should feel balanced and secure in your hand.
WHERE TO BUY WÜSTHOF KNIVES:
You might not be entering an International competition, but WÜSTHOF Knives will help you become a winning cook!
WÜSTHOF knives are available in a lot of online and other retailers such as William-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Bed Bath & Beyond and Chef’s Catalog.
I suggest getting more information from the WÜSTHOF website to help you choose the knives you need.