“Madame Mallory, studying her sous-chef, abruptly held out the small knife she herself had been using, and said, not unkindly, ‘Marguerite, use the grapefruit knife. It’s a trick Maman taught me. The bent blade makes it much easier to remove the choke'”
-Richard C Morais, The Hundred Foot Journey
The best avocado knife is hard to find. Why?
First of all because I have never actually found one helpfully labelled ‘avocado knife’…. they usually masquerade as ‘grapefruit knives’.
In fact, they are endlessly useful for all kinds of things – anything curved, so gouging out the insides of anything from tomatoes to melons and pineapples if you are thinking of stuffing them. Or using them – as in the quote above to obtain the heart of an artichoke, cleanly and without major carnage.
And secondly because they are shy, retiring types. They need to be clothed in a bright colour, otherwise you will spend hours shovelling about in drawers looking for them.
What you’re looking for is a knife which will release the avocado from its dark green outer skin with one swift, careful, caress. It needs to be flexible, double-sided, and serrated.
I had an old favourite made by Rockingham Forge (see nostalgic photo below), but it’s no longer available. So now I have found a new one and it’s a beaut. It’s a laguiole style (that’s a sort of classic French pocket knife with a flow-shaped handle) made by Claude Dozorme. Mine’s bright green (you can choose from a range of jewel colours) and it comes to a sharp point so it can also function as a knife for loosening citrus segments if it needs to. You can buy these knifes (under the name ‘grapefruit knife’) here.
If you can’t get hold of one, the Swiss manufacturer, Kuhn, makes one – go here for that.
Lakeland also produce, again, not as good as my Claude Dozorme knife, a bright yellow knife which might do. Go here for that.
“I once read somewhere that a kitchen gadget is a tool that does the job in half the time it takes to find it.”
-Ipse Dixit, from a letter on FT.com