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Shel_B

Quality - Who Cares?

34 posts in this topic

The problem as I see it is that the manufacturer wants to sell a lot of product. To do that they must be in the big stores. To be in the big stores they must meet the store's price points...which are probably too low to make a good product and still make a profit.

One solution is to accept that appliances are disposable items, which offends me, but that's what the data says.

Yup.

The big chains tell you what price point they want.

Me, I'm just a very smaller mnfctr of chocolates, but I do have experience with retailers. Now take for example "X", a local chain of 7 high-end supermarkets and about 40 middle-range supermarkets. I've got my products in all of thier high end stores, and have for the last 4 years now. For the last 2 years I've been getting into 5 of their middle-range stores. My stuff sells, or they wouldn't be ordering it. Now head office informs me that if I want to continue with their middle -range stores I have to belly up and supply each store with one free case of each item (22 items/barcodes). Stores are already making well over 50% mark up on my stuff, and I have a proven track record of decent selling stuff. If anybody needs a break, it's me.

These are the nice guys, they pay within 14 days.

Other chains want even bigger freebies or insist I rent shelf space. Some insist I go with a distributer because they don't want to deal with individual suppliers, and most distributers want at least a 35% mark up. Biggest kick in the crotch I ever got was when I approached the Vancouver Int'l airport, 7 gift shops and tourist-y boot-teeks----all owned by one (1) mega Spanish conglomorate who has 90% of the world's airports in thier pocket. Those guys want 167% mark up. One-hundred-sixty-seven-percent-mark-up.

Ah, but K.A mixers.... I've got a 7 yr old Costco special in my business, gets a work-out every day and works just fine. Stay away from the tilt-head mixers and you'll be fine, stay away from designer colours and you'll be fine.

It's funny though, I visited an old employer last week and we were just talking about K.A. mixers. He's still got the same one I worked with 12 years ago, he bought it at Sears in the early 80's, paid over $300 for it then, in 1982 dollars. Now you can buy a tilt-head in neon pink for less than $250.00. Prices always go up: Labour goes up, materials go up, fuel and transport always goes up, but crap just keeps on getting cheaper and cheaper.

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Who cares?  I do.

 

I'm with you about 99.9% Shel.  When it comes to kitchen equipment and cookware, I have gradually concluded that--with some qualifications--vintage is better.  IME, this is certainly true when it comes to copperware, butcher blocks, knives, small appliances (notably toasters and blenders).

 

If you retreat about 40-50 years in the Wayback Machine, you can find some quality pieces.  What a mystery--they seem to be US- and European-made!

 

Two years ago, I installed a 1905 solid-fuel range to put under my tinned copper, and I couldn't be happier.  Stir-fried with wok hei last night, AAMOF.

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wooden cutting boards are best because wood is natural provided its good quality wood and well made, ive had my wooden chopping board for 15 years now and it hasnt split one bit, worn a little but can always be cut down.  I wouldnt use plastic materials chopping board or bamboo purely for the fact that chopping food you tend to cut minute pieces of material off the board and end up in the food, i would rather eat wood which is natural and has not been treated in anyway chemically than to eat plastic or hard bamboo (you cannot eat bamboo that boards are made with). Natural is best!

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Natural may be best, but how do you sanitize a wood cutting board?

 

Don't get me wrong, I love wood, and am a hobby woodworker.  But at work, I am a professional cook.  My choice is nylon cutting boards. The sole reason for this is ease of sanitizing: I toss them in the dishwasher, Boom! sanitized. Mo mixing of quats, no applying sanitizer, that's it. 

 

I also have problems with the word "Chop"  Chopping is for firewood, in the kitchen we cut with a knife.  The lower the knife is to the cutting board, the more control you have, and if you are cutting meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. all day, it 's all about control.

 

I also have problems with "little bits of the cutting board getting in the food"  Cutting boards--regardless of the material will scar.  Only if the board is heavily abused with violent chopping actions will you create particles. If this happens, it's virtually guaranteed that your knife edges are heavily abused as well.

 

With scarred boards, they can easily be smoothed by running the board through a woodworker's thickness planer.  I've done this with nylon boards very easily

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Natural may be best, but how do you sanitize a wood cutting board?

 

Don't get me wrong, I love wood, and am a hobby woodworker.  But at work, I am a professional cook.  My choice is nylon cutting boards. The sole reason for this is ease of sanitizing: I toss them in the dishwasher, Boom! sanitized. Mo mixing of quats, no applying sanitizer, that's it. 

 

I also have problems with the word "Chop"  Chopping is for firewood, in the kitchen we cut with a knife.  The lower the knife is to the cutting board, the more control you have, and if you are cutting meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. all day, it 's all about control.

 

 

 

Here, try these videos.  Chopping? Most definitely.  Wood chopping blocks?  Yes.  (Hmm, I don't see anyone in them producing firewood with their implements, though.)  Quality of knives and workmanship? That too, at least for the professional stuff. (Of course, some will say that Japanese knives are better)

 

 

Note that the last two vids were NOT taken in China or HK.   ;-)


Edited by huiray (log)
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Yes, I am very familiar with that technique, having lived and worked in S'pore for over 6 years.

I hate it! (the technique, not the chicken or duck, that is...)

 

Both chicken and ducks are birds, and as such, have hollow bones.  In order to maximize the bird, the chop-ee chops straight down through the rib cage and through wing and leg bones with a heavy cleaver.  This results in a lot of bone splitters in the meat.  I hate it.  Char siew is a lot better under the chopping cleaver, but you can also use a cutting motion with the cleaver.  As for myself, I have portioned thousands of birds, both raw and cooked with a simple chef's knife, cutting through joints and not straight through the bone.

 

Also, if you look at the cutting boards, they are hollowed out, in some cases more than 3 0r 4 inches deep.  How such a large block is sanitized is unknown to me, but obviously it doesn't go through a commercial high-temp dishwasher

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Huiray, those are great videos. Thanks for posting. Cleaver is an amazing kitchen tool. In addition to the many cutting techniques shown on the videos, I have seen even more clever uses.

 

I would say 90% of the time I will be using my cleavers. 

 

Just yesterday, I had a whole salmon, I used the cleaver to chop the salmon into steaks. Today I had BBQ ribs. There are connecting soft bones between each rib, a cleaver just chopped right thru.

 

You do need a lower quality cleaver for hard chopping and a good quality one for slicing. A good quality cleaver is still very inexpensive.

 

dcarch

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Yes, I am very familiar with that technique, having lived and worked in S'pore for over 6 years.

I hate it! (the technique, not the chicken or duck, that is...)

 

Both chicken and ducks are birds, and as such, have hollow bones.  In order to maximize the bird, the chop-ee chops straight down through the rib cage and through wing and leg bones with a heavy cleaver.  This results in a lot of bone splitters in the meat.  I hate it.  Char siew is a lot better under the chopping cleaver, but you can also use a cutting motion with the cleaver.  As for myself, I have portioned thousands of birds, both raw and cooked with a simple chef's knife, cutting through joints and not straight through the bone.

 

Also, if you look at the cutting boards, they are hollowed out, in some cases more than 3 0r 4 inches deep.  How such a large block is sanitized is unknown to me, but obviously it doesn't go through a commercial high-temp dishwasher

 

Well, Edward J, to each his or her own.  Your kitchen, your rules. 

 

It might be an idea, however, to consider that some kitchens and chefs may not agree with your opinions.  (When you stated "in the kitchen we cut with a knife" that implied ALL kitchens, because you offered no caveats)  Or lots of diners in those parts of the world.  For that matter, lots of people like sucking out the marrow from chicken and duck bones, and if presented with a dish like one of these Cantonese/Chinese roast chickens/ducks, where all bones were intact and cut only at the joints, they would be aggrieved.  I for one would be.  For that matter I can't say that I have ever encountered "a lot of bone splinters in the meat" in dishes of such things where they have been chopped up in the Chinese/E Asian/SE Asian style.  It's not zero fragments, but nowhere near "a lot".  Not even when I do it myself.  ;-)  As for eating around whatever splinters there are, I have no difficulty whatsoever doing so, and neither do millions of people in E/SE Asia. 

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Yup.

 

Each to his own.

 

Although I\d stick my neck out and wager that nobody likes the "experience" of having a bone splinter jammed in between your gum and tooth.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love bone marrow, and love sucking it out of bones , but not at the expense of removing bone fragments from my gum line....

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