Once again I’m back to review yet another item I received for free, courtesy of CSN Stores, and this time it’s a swanky new mandolin! I must admit that I was a bit hesitant to purchase the kitchen tool. I figured that perhaps my gift certificate would be better used on an item for my dining room, but then I remembered that I don’t even have a dining room; so mandolin it was!
Of course, my other primary concern with getting a mandolin was that I felt the odds of me slicing off my finger were great. I wouldn’t call myself the most nimble or dextrous person out there. However, this mandolin brand came with a reassuring slogan: “Quite possibly the safest mandolin IN THE WORLD.” Well, you can’t deny that!
My first mandolin experience after the jump…
The box arrives on a gloomy morning. I anxiously paw at it, eager to see my new mandolin.
The mandolin comes with a nifty box full of blades. I’m scared.
There’s also an elaborate contraption that is supposed to keep my fingers safe; however, it seems reminiscent of a Medieval torture device. I have concerns.
Somehow, the safety device manages to become even scarier when I play with it. Fear not though: those malevolent looking spears are meant to be used on food, not a human torso.
And there it is.
My first mandolin experiment will involve cucumbers. The plan is to slice these bad boys into thin little rounds. (Or Lil Rounds, as it were)
I slice one cucumber in half so that it can fit in the safety device.
With the cucumber half in its holding pen, the next step involves me placing the scary spearing object over it and securing it in place.
Well, I spear the cucumber with no problems. The issue is that the telescoping top part doesn’t quite telescope enough. Hard to describe. Just know this: it doesn’t work for tall veggies.
I throw caution to the wind and run the cucumber over the blade with my bare hands. It’s frightening, but I survive. Oddly enough, the cucumber slices become increasingly oblong the more I slice.
The first pile of cucumber rounds turns out more or less how I want it. I decide to increase the thickness for the second batch, just to see how it goes.
One problem I find when running veggies over the blade is that they often get stuck at the “lip” between the blade and the mandolin (as evidenced here on the right of the cucumber). This prevents the food from slicing smoothly — unless I tilt the item up slightly, thus resulting in oblong shapes.
Additionally, the choppy (no pun intended) motion causes some inconsistencies in the end product. Not sure if this is a mandolin shortcoming or a me shortcoming.
Next, I decide to test the julienne blades. Time to make French fries.
I do a few slices with just my palm, but it feels scary. I truly feel like one slip, and I will have a major injury on my hands (quite literally). I trim down the potato so it fits in the safety device and get to work.
At first the potato yields only thin slivers of julienned goodness, despite the mandolin being set for thick slices.
However, with a bit more downward force, I’m able to get the slices I want. The process is slightly smoother than with the cucumber, but I think that’s because the safety guard lets me slice up and down with less trepidation.
Sadly, I then MURDER these fries on my baking sheet, but that’s okay. At least I know I can julienne successfully now.
Ultimately, I’d say this wasn’t a kink-free experience; however, for my needs, the mandolin seems to be fine. I’m looking forward to integrating it into my kitchen repertoire sooner rather than later.