Selecting A Vegetable Slicer

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With all of us trying to be more health conscious making sure you have five portions of fruit or vegetables is one target we should all try to achieve. But what’s the difference between a vegetable and a fruit and does it matter. There has been many an argument in a pub quiz to differentiate fruit from vegetables. In fact fruit can be scientifically defined as the ovary of a seed bearing plant.

Vegetable which’s name comes from the Latin vegetabilis (animated) and from vegetare (enliven), which is derived from vegetus (active), which refers to the process of a plant growing. A vegetable is loosely defined as edible part of a plant with a savoury flavour. One of the most common misconceptions is the humble tomato. Which is a fruit however in some countries was taxed as a vegetable.

Using a vegetable slicer is a great way to get more vegetables or even fruit into your diet. They come in many forms but the basic mechanics of a vegetable slicer are a blade mounted at angle and some form of moving the produce evenly onto the blade.

The vegetable slicer comes in three main forms

Mandolin Vegetable Slicer

This is probably the most traditional slicer and normally has a main plate at an angle which then leads onto a blade. The blade can be interchangeable to give different results and adjusted for different thicknesses. These have been developed more recently to include more safety devices to protect the chef’s fingers. Also some include a container to catch the sliced vegetables.

Spiral Vegetable Slicer

The less common spiral vegetable slice works by attaching the produce to a handle that then rotates on a screw mechanism which forces the fruit or vegetables onto a blade. The blades can be changed and angles to produce different thicknesses and results.

Electric food chopper

This works by having a rotating blade and manually pushing the produce into the machines. A great example of an electric food chopper is the Magimix food processor which cannot only just chop food but can also help to produce pastry.

Safety First

Which ever vegetable slicer you choose make sure you follow the manufactures instructions on how to clean and use your product. Many have an open blade and should be treated with the respect they deserve. Storing the alternative blades in secure kitchen canisters placed in a high cupboard away from the reaches of children is essential.

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