A few days ago, two of my friends here went over to Sayula, Jalisco, Mexico, to visit the knifeworks of Jose Ojeda and his sons. Because I’m not a chef, by any stretch of the imagination, I had no idea that Ojeda knives are world renowned. But I did know that they are great knives and I wanted one, so I asked them to pick out one for me. Just a general purpose kitchen knife.
For apparently 13 generations, the Ojeda family has been making sharp bladed objects of all kinds, ranging from sabers and lances to kitchen knives. As much as I might like to get my hands on a machete [well, “hands on” might be a bad term], I really just wanted a good sharp kitchen knife. You know, something to cut a prime rib or a watermelon in one swooping movement instead of having to saw through either, as I do now.
Then I went online to check out prices and I almost passed out. The prices seemed to start at about $50US and go on up into the hundreds. I should have known something was up when Ojeda knives were listed under ‘fine arts.’ I figured that the ‘fine arts’ knives they were talking about were like those in the photo above. You know, not a knife you would actually USE in the kitchen, but one that you could display.
And that’s generally correct. But in looking online at US prices for the type of knife that I wanted, I still found them to be priced at about $70US. So I told my friends to forget it. While I might like a really good knife, I just couldn’t justify spending that much for one.
The day after my friends returned from Sayula, I got an email saying “Hey, we got a great knife for you!” I hesitated to even ask what the price was, but I trusted them not to spend TOO much….knowing that I would have to take out a loan to reimburse them.
But when I finally DID ask, I found that instead of $70US, it was gonna cost me $200MX, or about $17US. And, boy, is it a great knife! It feels great in my hand and has, so far, whacked through anything I’ve used it on.
Anyhow, thought you might be interested in reading more about the knifemaker of Sayula, so here’s a link where you can: http://www.cuchillosojeda.com/ojedaen/index.htm
If it comes up in Spanish, look up in the right hand corner and there should be an option for English. And be sure to check out the photo Gallery to see how these great knives are made. In the meantime, I’ll be in the kitchen whacking something!