Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Seville’s knife sharpener

One sunny Saturday afternoon we were doing what we like to do most in Seville, wandering along its streets in the sunshine. Suddenly we heard a high pitched whistle. We were curious about what this might be and went to investigate. We saw this elderly gentlemen standing next to his motorbike sharpening a knife on the back. Apart from looking utterly professional he seemed to be quite a celebrity as lots of tourists took photos of him. Turns out we found an ‘afilador’, a knife sharpener.

I was very surprised as I’ve never seen anybody doing this before. After a little research on the internet I learnt that his trade is one of those old Spanish traditions that are on the verge of dying out. His job is to walk around the streets of the city and offer his trade to anybody who’s in need of knife sharpening, thus saving money and time for the businesses. The service comes right to your doorstep and it is apparently cheap (although I’ll be honest I’m not entirely sure what the going rate is for kitchen knife sharpening).

If you’d like to read more about this, watch this short video that the BBC shot about an ‘afilador’ in Madrid here.

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