Tomato knives are small kitchen knives that are configured especially for cutting or slicing tomatoes. Sometimes confused with a bagel knife, the typical tomato knife sports a serrated edge along with a handle that is molded to fit securely in the hand. The handle on a tomato knife may be hard wood or heavy-duty plastic. Blades for tomato knives are usually made of stainless steel.
One of the interesting features of the tomato knife is the forked tip that is found on many models. When coupled with a serrated edge, the knife is effective for peeling as well as cutting tomatoes. The tip can be used to pierce the skin of the tomato and gently lift small portion of the peel from the surface of the fruit. The sharp edge of the blade can then be employed to remove the peel from the body of the tomato without accidentally cutting into the pulp.
A forked tip on the tomato knife can also come in handy when arranging slices of tomatoes on a platter prior to serving. The tip can be used to pierce each slice and position the collection of slices for an effective presentation. While an ordinary fork could be used for this function, the tomato knife does not leave a series of punctures in the surface of the slices. This is thought to create a more refined presentation.
One of the advantages of using a tomato knife to slice tomatoes is that the slices can be more exact and uniform than the effect achieved with an ordinary carving knife. Because the tomato knife is constructed to fit into the hand snugly, and has a sharp blade that is just the right size to slice into most types of tomatoes, it is possible to create thinner slices. This may be practical if there is a need to create more slices in order to stretch the use of the tomato, as well as an esthetic touch when thin slices are desired for the presentation.
A tomato knife is not difficult to locate. Just about any kitchen shop will carry several brands of the knife. While a tomato knife may cost a little more than the typical kitchen knife, the end results are usually worth the added expense.