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Reviews by: boar_d_laze

Props and Love


Pros: Forschner Butchering Knife

Cons: Forschner Butchering Knife

Let's start with a little orientation.    R. H. Forschner is a Swiss company which makes a lot of products -- including knives.  Among those knives are high quality, high value professional knives and "Swiss Army" pocket knives.  The Swiss Army knives are branded "Victorinox."  Because the Swiss Army brand became so prominent, Forschner rebranded their high value professional knives as Forscher/Victorinox R. H. Forschner.  Those knives come in two flavors, Fibrox and Rosewood, which are identical in every way other than handle material.  Fibrox is dishwasher safe, comfortable, non-slip, plastic; and Rosewood is... well... rosewood.   ...
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What's Old Again Is New Again


Pros: Fantastic Coffee, Great Looks

Cons: Expensive

Hard to believe from its looks but it's a vacuum coffee maker that works pretty much like any other vacuum coffee maker with a few fillips.   The design has been around since at least the early 19th Century in exactly this form.  From it's looks, you can guess it wasn't the method of the hoi polloi. If you want to drink coffee the way Thomas Jefferson, Talleyrand, and Metternich did it, here's your pot.   Alright it's gorgeous, it's a gimmick, it looks fantastic.  The thing of it is though -- like any competent vacuum coffee maker -- it makes extraordinarily good coffee.  The brewing method makes for a very smooth, very clean, round and edgeless cup. ...
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Bodum's Prettiest French Press


Pros: It's Gorgeous as French Press makers go

Cons: It's a French Press

It's a Bodum French press, like any other Bodum French press but better looking.  Bodum makes very good French press brewers, none better.   I had an Eileen when they first came out, but retired it a long time ago after damaging it slightly and never getting around to repairing.  Somehow it disappeared through no fault -- I'm told -- of my wife's.    I found this one, on sale, at Sur La Table for $35.  They're currently widely available for $10 - $20 more, but I believe the design is or will shortly be discontinued.  If you want one, don't dawdle.   The glass carafe, rod, and filter-pack are still the same.  However, I remember...
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Fugly Is As Fugly Does aka This One Can


Pros: High Value, High Performance, Fugly

Cons: Not Cheap, Not a Vita-Mix, Fugly

To make a good frozen drink, milkshake or smoothie, a blender has to get to speed quickly, stay at speed as the blade hits ice and as the mixture thickens, and must stay cool enough and work fast enough so as not to transfer a lot of heat to the mix.   Most home blenders can't do that.  Many, so called, "commercial" bar blenders can't either.  Just for the record, the "can't do" category most definitely includes the beehive bottom Osters and Warings.  The problem isn't "watts," it's torque.  Even though a lot of manufacturers are posting high wattage figures, the little guys' motors don't generate enough torque of either the start-up or general persuasions.    If you want a...
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Good If You Don't Ask For Too Much


Pros: Well Designed. Well Balanced. Good Looks. Comfortable Handle. Lots of Value.

Cons: Mediocre Steel. Not as Good as Forschner.

A friend of mine asked me to sharpen her mother's Mundial Olivier Santoku.  While it was here I had the chance to fool around with it, and did.    General: Mundial makes knives of a peculiarly German type in Brazil.  They are thoughtfully, computer designed, forged from a "quality" German "high carbon" alloy.  The boys in Brazil do alright.  While the workmanship may not be top-end Henckels or Wusthof, neither are the prices.     Profile: I don't like santokus, but that sure as heck doesn't mean you shouldn't.   A santoku is hardly a German design, but they have become very popular worldwide and all the German makers are producing them.  Santokus are "intuitive,"...
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Way Too Expensive


Pros: Decent Bec D'Oiseau. It Does What a Bec D'Oiseau Does, Decently.

Cons: Forschner Kicks Wustie's Butt For A Tenth The Price.

Would Madame Care For an Amuse Bouche d'Context? Called a "bec d'oiseau" in French, a bird's beak shaped blade makes tournes and paring some fruit easier.  Unfortunately, the blade's inward curve makes it hard to get sharp once it's begun to dull with use.  To make matters worse, bird's beak knives are very narrow (not much distance between spine and edge), which makes them inherently difficult to sharpen anyway; the difficulty in sharpening reasonably acute, flat bevels (what you want) is made worse if the knife's thick at the spine.   Unless you don't mind working with an increasingly dull knife or you own and can actually do a fair job of sharpening on a slip stone, this means...
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Wanted To Like It


Pros: Decent, but just decent, cup of espresso

Cons: Very slow steamer. Lots of equal machines for Less. Lots of better machines at the price point.

  The old Livietta was a rebranded Olympia and was an excellent small machine.   I'm not sure who, if anyone, makes the new Livietta for Pasquini.  But I am sure there are much better machines for the money.   I should mention that I had a Pasquini machine (Livia 90) forever and loved it.  And that all of my face to face dealings with the company (it's in Los Angeles) have been cordial and gone well.  I've been invited to the old man's table for grappa and coffee on more than one occasion.    My trusty old Livia recently developed some probably fatal problems -- hey the thing's more than 20 years old!.  So I ambled over to Pasquini to take a look at what's new.    Believe...
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