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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

TIP OF THE DAY: Kitchen Gadgets To Avoid

Does anyone need a gadget to remove the
avocado pit and slice the flesh? If so,
here it is.

Have you purchased a kitchen gadget, only to try it at home and wonder why it was manufactured in the first place?

Some tools, like a garlic press, an egg separator, a cherry- or olive pitter and an egg slicer make a difficult job easy. Others, like a vegetable peeler and a mandoline, are indispensable.

However, the vast majority of gadgets we test are such a waste of money and drawer space that we get angry at free enterprise for allowing them to exist. All they do is replace a sharp knife, and often not as well.

Here are some of the time- and money-wasters we’ve tried over the past year.

  • Avocado Pitter/Slicer. Is anyone truly incapable of removing the pit from an avocado and slicing the flesh with a knife?
  • Corn Zipper. It couldn’t be easier to remove corn from the cob with a sharp knife. You don’t need a special device.
  • Herb Mincer. A total waste for us. Our chef uses a knife to mince. Our knife skills are not as strong, but we happily mince herbs by snipping away with a sharp kitchen scissors. It’s fun, too.
  • Herb Shears. The only difference over a normal scissors are circular openings above the blades that can be used to strip the leaves from woody stems like oregano, rosemary and thyme. Using our fingers is far easier than using this feature.
  • Mango Pitter. We actually spent our hard-earned money on this one, because we find pitting a mango a chore. But what a disaster this item is. We’ll have to get hands-on lessons from THE NIBBLE’s chef, a knife-skills pro.
  • Mozzarella Slicer and Tomato Slicer. Please avoid these and use a knife! Last summer, we received a combination unit that sliced both mozzarella and tomatoes, a “Caprese salad maker.” Everyone at THE NIBBLE laughed their heads off, and we donated the item to the thrift store without taking it out of the box. (Most of what we receive is donated after we test it.)
    And so on and so on to the point of sheer skepticism. So don’t get seduced by the fantasy in the aisles of Bed, Bath & Beyond. Don’t impulse buy. Go online and read reviews before buying.

    Save your money. Save your drawer space. And spend your money on a good knife and keeping it sharp.

    Which gadgets have you found to be a waste of space, and which can’t you live without?

  • Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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