The striking rounded blade of the Thai moon knife captured the interest of Jacquie Lewis and Jules Vertrees, a mother-daughter team who runs Verve Culture. Based in Colorado, they travel the world hunting for iconic kitchen items crafted by local artisans. The two discovered the cleavers in the Aranyik village north of Bangkok, where the knives were traditionally used to cut pork in the markets. Blacksmiths in the region 200 years ago made swords during the Thai-Burma war: a craft that evolved over time into producing chefs’ knives. “We come across artisans through word of mouth and from translators and drivers,” says Vertrees, who with her mother decided which knife makers, or family co-operatives, to work with. Made of carbon steel, with a pradu wood handle (akin to rosewood), the knives are hand-forged, so no two are identical. Although the blade can hack through bones, easily slice a watermelon, and looks heavy, it is actually lightweight. The knife rocks like a mezzaluna to chop nuts and herbs. For dads who are serious cooks, the moon knife can make an excellent Father’s Day gift ($70). A wooden box is included for safe storage. Available at verveculture.com.
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.