After a winter eating cellared potatoes, the spring radishes at the market look almost exotic, an uncanny juxtaposition of tender greens and stout bright roots that stand out among the mass of spring sprouts and lettuces.
They’re one of the first things we pick up at the beginning of the season. Market radishes taste as they should, every bite a peppery jolt. It’s the same with other produce. The green onions are edgy and sweet. Salad turnips slice like butter. Market produce is true to its own nature.
It’s the same with our best kitchen tools. We like a knife that acts like a knife should, one that stays balanced against the fingers and palm and remains sharp, from julienning to gristle trimming and back again. When an implement performs well, we remember it—its weight and gloss and utility.
Chances are, you have very few kitchen items that are satisfying to use. Every item in your kitchen came from somewhere and chances are, the ones that are mass-produced don’t bring you joy. Many won’t last long enough for them to matter.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The items we use every day can become as much a part of our story as the food we post and share. Kitchen items are personal by nature. You chop herbs while a child tells you how the math exam went. You study the handle of the wooden spoon while you mull over a problem at work. You toss the salad as you sing along with your playlist. Good tools will accompany you more reliably and with more longevity than your furniture, your shoes or your cars. Scaling up is an investment in the small tasks that matter the most.
Why, then, don’t more home cooks own quality tools that feel just right? Because they’re hard to find. Common stores don’t carry uncommon items. And internet searches are time-consuming and undependable. Unless you inherit them, where will you find tools that function like old-world treasures?
There’s only one reliable answer that we’ve found. Fine kitchen goods, like small-batch sauerkraut or preserves, come directly from the people who make them. A handcrafted item is made, not produced en masse, by an artist who cares about the grade of steel, the grain of the wood, the shape of a bowl.
Artists and makers are able to imagine something other than an ordinary wooden spoon or a mediocre cutting board that’s prone to warping. Without the constraints of mass production, they’re free to focus on function. The amount of attention and care put into making their tools matches both your dedication to cooking and deep affinity for the food you put on your table. When you bring an artist’s creation home and use it, you support the artist as well as your own cooking skills. Using beautiful, long-lasting items honors the process of finding, purchasing, preparing, and serving good food.
There are thousands of independent craftspeople out there out there, and some create higher quality goods than others. Finding the best takes time. At Mastro Company, we’ve spent hundreds of hours meeting artists, testing their tools, and collaborating with our favorites to create a selection of beautiful, functional, high-quality kitchen implements that will inspire you to create beautiful meals. We’re in it for the long run. Consider us your scouts.
Learn about the authentic kitchen goods in our online store and get started on your new collection. And if you love what you see, tell the other home cooks in your life. We bet they’ll love these items as much as you do.
Until next time,
The Mastro Team