Monday, September 04, 2006

Shuk Sharpening

When Y and I moved here we sold a lot of our stuff instead of shipping it. That meant that we had to buy new things when we arrived in Israel. Right after we got here we bought good knives. I am kind of a kitchen stuff snob and searched all over Jerusalem for good knives. I found them eventually and I was happy.

Now that we're almost two years into our Israeli adventure, it was past time to get those knives sharpened again. Those of you familiar with Israeli or Arabic salad know that knives in Israel get used a lot - there's a lot of chopping involved!

Last weekend Y showed me the stall of this guy in the shuk who sharpens knives. That's all he does - he's a sharpening specialist. Today I wrapped up three of our good knives in bubble wrap and headed off to the shuk.

I pulled out my three knives and I asked him how much before he started. 30nis for all three - about $6. This is an important lesson for Israel: negotiate the price before the service! On my way to the shuk I thought that it'd be fun to ask this guy some questions and find out more about him. After he was all done sharpening my knives, I asked him how long he'd been working in the shuk. He said, "What difference does it make?" This was all in Hebrew of course. His buddy thought it was funny that I was taking a picture of his friend.

It was cool to stand in the shuk and watch people for a while. Usually when I am in the shuk I have a pack full of heavy vegetables and want to get out of there as fast as possible. It was fun today to see my Jerusalemite neighbors busy in the shuk. After my knife adventure, I stopped by to visit with two of my favorite Jerusalemites, Michael and Dave. It was good to see you guys!

When I got home, I did the tomato test - if a knife cuts a tomato easily then it's really sharp. The knives passed. Of course you don't have to go to the shuk for knife sharpening - try it at home with help of this video (I think it only works in IE.).


At 9/05/2006 8:48 AM, Blogger JR said...

I need one of these knife sharpening guys. We have snobby cooking equipment here too and so it would need special care and in fact im not sure my partner would trust anyone. Thanks for the dictionary link I was lost on Shuk.

Hope all is well...

At 9/06/2006 9:17 AM, Blogger RR said...

I'm with you, I love good, sharp knives. When hubby and I got married, some friends gave us a few Henkels (sp?). I was like, who needs expensive knives, the cheap ones are good enough!

But I quickly changed my mind- now I can't tolerate crappy knives and they've gotta be SHARP. Hubby does the sharpening around here- he bought a whetstone, and we also have one of those long knife-sharpening thingies.

Nice shuk story :-)


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