20 Essential Kitchen
What are the essential tools and equipment you need in your kitchen? What kitchenware should you get for your kitchen?

Setting up your kitchen - or even de-cluttering one - can be a baffling task, especially when space and storage is limited.

Here, the Codlo team have distilled an ultimate checklist of  the top 20 kitchenware that would allow you to do most (if not all) forms of cooking, whilst taking cost and storage space into consideration.  Simples.

I nearly chopped off my right pinkie 2 years ago.

That moment of excruciating pain is unforgettable. It happened while I was cutting a piece of courgette. That tough, green, unwavering skin refused to give way despite the increasing pressure from my chef's knife. 

And of course, the inevitable happened. 

The knife skidded off the courgette and went straight for my right pinkie, making a mark so deep (a third of my fingertip) that I  swore like a sailor. In the midst of the chaos, panic and dizziness, my legs went Jell-o and all I could do is lean against the wall and breathe deeply for a minute or so. 

Out of the blue, I suddenly remembered a First Aid teaching in school that the injured finger should be first treated under running cold water - and so I did, and felt better immediately. After slumping near the sink for 15 minutes, the bleeding slowed and the pain subsided. There's something soothing about cold, hard water putting out the fire of a burning wound. I turned around - the kitchen looked like a mini battlefield with blood drips everywhere.

All that saga due to a blunt knife. 

I lived with a bright blue bandaged pinkie for a month, but that scar still serves as a reminder till today. Since then, I've read and learnt more about knives, never wanting to mess with it again. In the spirit of sharing, here's my ultimate guide to kitchen knives.

How Cutlery Changes the Way Food Tastes
Image from Vera Wiedermann
Why would anyone eat with chopsticks given that a fork is easier to handle and commonly available?

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think we “just want to make life harder than it already is”.

I believe that our choice of cutlery can actually enhance or impair the taste of food. For example, I would never dream of eating sashimi with a fork, I find that rather…well, distasteful.

Is this intuitive or the result of a long, drummed-in habit? 

I recall growing up in Malaysia and when encountering dishes of different cuisine, I know I have to switch between cutleries, but without consciously thinking about it. Let’s see:
  • Rice served on a banana leaf, doused in various soupy lentils and curry sauce has to be eaten with hands, using the tip of our fingers to form a little makeshift spoon;
  • Steamed dumplings have to be plucked up using a pair of chopsticks and saddled on a Chinese soup spoon;
  • Tomato fried rice and all its glorious fried motley bits should be scooped up with a stainless steel fork and a bouillon spoon.  

It’s not really about functionality anymore since we could technically eat all of the above with a fork, so it must be how cutlery affect the taste of food.