A kitchen knife in Tagalog is called “kutsilyo sa kusina” or “kutsilyo na pang kusina.” Kutsilyo means “knife,” while kusina means “kitchen.” Unlike combat knives, kitchen knives are specially designed for preparing food and not for stabbing. Kitchen knives can also cause severe injuries or death, but they are better used with a sangkalan.
The origin of “knives” can be traced to the era when humans learned how to cut. Historical evidence shows that ancient humans during the Lower Paleolithic period (about 2.3 million years ago) used Oldowan knives. These cutting tools were made of sharp flakes taken from stone cores. The oldest Oldowan tools were discovered in Kenya.
During the Bronze Age (1500 BC), knives already had wooden handles. But because bronze is not durable enough, these knives were small, prone to corrosion, and not an ideal cutting tool in the kitchen. Instead, bronze knives were used for cutting hair. Come the Iron Age (1000 BC), metal knives were introduced and are now suitable in the kitchen.
During the Middle Ages era, kitchen knives in Europe were made by local blacksmiths. And although they were popular in the kitchen, their designs were basic and not as sharp as the modern ones. It was only in the 18th century that different steel manufacturing technologies emerged, and kitchen knife designs have been improved.
In 1731, Peter Henckels of Solingen, Germany founded Zwilling, one of the oldest kitchen knife companies in the world. Japan also has its own history of making kitchen knives, which dates back to the Medieval period. Japanese kitchen knives (“hocho” and “debabocho),” a combination of iron and steel, are designed for slicing fresh fish and vegetables.
Nonetheless, steel knives were replaced by stainless steel in the 20th century. Stainless steel kitchen knives were proven to be better due to their ability to resist rust. Aside from wood, knife handles are also made of plastic, wood composites, and stainless steel. Apart from stainless steel, knife blades can also be made from ceramic and titanium.
There are several types of kitchen knives, and each of them has special uses. This includes the chef’s knife, slicing knife, paring knife, vegetable knife, butcher’s knife (cleaver), and utility knife. The santoku knife, which originated in Japan, has a shorter blade than the chef’s knife. It has no blade tip and offers a more refined slicing.
Meanwhile, the bread knife is a special type of kitchen knife. As the name implies, it is used for cutting or slicing bread. Bread knives have saw-like serrations and are used in a sawing motion, rather than putting pressure downwards into it. Using a bread knife to cut meat can destroy raw meat, and using a chef’s knife to cut bread might crush soft bread.
In the Philippines, knife-making is also a common industry. Aside from the world-famous balisong (butterfly knife in English) from Batangas, there are also a lot of kitchen knife makers. This includes Nacionale Bladeworks, founded by couple Chef Ryan David and Karen David. Their Philippine-made kitchen knives are used by international chefs, too.
Use kutsilyo na pang kusina in a sentence.
Paki bigay sa akin ang kutsilyo na pang kusina. Magluluto ako ng tinolang manok.
Please give me the kitchen knife. I will cook chicken tinola.