Burja - Prosciutto Knife 300mm (11.8") [Custom Zebrano handle]
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Burja [pronounced as 'booryah'] is a prosciutto slicer knife. Burja is a knife of our own creation - we love good knives, we love good prosciutto, and good prosciutto should be sliced by hand using the sharpest knife around. Burja is the first Japanese-made prosciutto knife. Designed by SharpEdge, forged by Japanese smithy Suncraft, based in the famous blacksmith town of Seki, made of Japanese steel and optimized for cutting prosciutto. No one has ever paid so much attention to making a knife that will meet all the needs of cutting prosciutto. It is especially difficult to make a universal knife since there are a lot of different types of prosciutto, as well as there are many cutting techniques to slice it.
What does Burja mean?
But no worries - Burja is not just a knife for cutting prosciutto. Because of its harder, but still flexible blade, it can be used for cutting other dry meats as well. And due to its thin and long blade profile, it will perform well as a slicer for larger pieces of meat and fish.
Burja knife is made of Japanese Aichi steel 1K6M VM which will take care of the long edge retention and will be easy to sharpen. Only one layer of steel is used for the knife to be flexible. When deciding on the steels we wanted to make a knife from, we weigh the characteristics such as hardness, sharpness, ease of maintenance, graininess and ease of sharpening. The biggest challenge was to make the blade flexible enough while keeping the hardness at 58 HRC.
The shape of Burja is unique, although at first sight resembles other prosciutto knives. It has an extremely thin spine of the blade at 1.8mm. The slightly concave secondary grind helps the knife to glide smoothly when making longer cuts. For the same purpose the hammer's imprints, called Tsuchime, were left on the top part of the blade. This keeps the air in the dents, which helps the knife sliding smoothly through prosciutto. The blade is 300mm (11.8") long and finishes with a thin, pointy tip, revealing its origins and traditions of blacksmiths that were once forging katanas. The profile of the blade is not completely straight. The slight curvature of the sharp edge reduces the point of contact, which greatly eases the cutting.
Flexibility is necessary to some extent, but we have opted for somewhat more rigid flexibility with Burja since this makes it more versatile and suitable for many different types of prosciutto, and at the same time excels when cutting other large pieces of dried meats and other proteins.
Custom Zebrano Handle
The handle is an integral part of any knife. With our Burja knife we want to keep things a bit more funky by experimenting with unique, custom-made handles. While the standard version was fitted the black pakka wood handle, custom handles are also available, inspired by designers, artists and woodworkers that we got to know along the way.
For the handle of this knife we used stabilised zebrano wood that is known for its highly figured heartwood. It is straw-like in color and distinctively marked with narrow veining or streaks of color ranging from dark brown to almost black. These streaks give it a zebra-stripe appearance. It originates in West Central Africa, mainly in Gabon, Cameroon, and Congo.
The handle is positioned a touch closer to the blade and the thumb support or bolster at the front is made from black G-10 fibreglass composite material and a decorative red ring. It is shaped downward and outward to comfortably support our thumb during cutting for a better and stabler grip. The handle was hand-crafted by Mark van Elteren (MVE Knives).
If you would like your Burja with a unique handle, please contact us at email@example.com.
Burja knife is a combination of the rich culinary tradition of prosciutto ham with the Japanese tradition of forging knives. Since Japanese blacksmiths are the best blacksmiths in the world, possessing centuries of knowledge and experience of forging steel, it made perfect sense to make our prosciutto knife in Japan. From idea to design, after many conversations with knife makers, trial&errors, finding the right steel and handles, many sliced (and eaten) prosciuttos, visits to Japan, the process finally ended after a good two years.
The Ethos of Burja knife
The invisible presence of the wind, this great architect of nature who bends mighty trees, invigorates sea waves and creates magical dunes, is also a key component of some of the most distinctive flavors that have accompanied us for millennia. Many times when we look at the beautiful landscapes created by the wind, or at the delicious plates of wind-dried delicacies that melt in your mouth, we are reminded of this humble but undisputed king of natural beauty. Prosciutto makers don't forget to mention their beloved wind - without it, they wouldn't be able to serve their dried delicacies. It is the sharpness of the northeast wind that cuts through the pores of the meat and slowly, with precision, squeezes out the juices and dries the meat until we can call it prosciutto crudo.
Burja will be delivered in a beautiful wooden storage box, as seen in the product photos. You can also add a Burja leather saya to your order, a knife sheath that we specifically designed for Burja. Saya will protect Burja and yourself whenever you are not using the knife.
|Steel type:||1K6M VM|
|Hardness (HRC scale):||58|
|Overall length:||430mm (16.9")*|
|Blade length:||300mm (11.8")|
|Spine thickness:||1.8mm (0.07")|
|Weight:||135g (4.8 oz)*|
|Handle length:||130mm (5.1")*|
|Handle type / wood:||
Custom Zebrano Handle
*handmade item, actual pieces may vary slightly in color and size from the images
Use & Care:
- Handwash in warm water and towel dry
- Use a sharpening stone (not a honing steel!) to sharpen your knife
- Do not cut frozen foods and meat bones
- Do not put the knife in a dishwasher
- Read our comprehensive guide on proper Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
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