Don’t be a stinker
Garlic slicers, dicers and mincers
Forget a dozen red roses, give me a “stinking rose” any day. Garlic is good for you, versatile and most important, tasty. So the only thing that can make the celebrated bulb better is adding a healthy dose of gadgetry.
A great gadget is small, inexpensive, durable and can be used for multiple tasks. For around $10, the Garliczoom resembles a two-wheeled pod car. The Chef’N creation has two hatches that open into the main compartment. The top is used to load the garlic, and the main hatch collects the chopped bits, which have been sliced by the rotating set of four blades. Stainless steel blades spin when the device is rolled along a surface, thanks to a simple pair of cogs. Initially, there is some resistance, but after a few good pushes the blades shred the garlic faster than you’d expect. The ability to hold more than one garlic clove is traded for a compact design, but the proximity of the blades does ensure uniform pieces of chopped garlic—and if you’re feeling adventurous: herbs, nuts or cheese. Loading and unloading the Garliczoom means dealing with sharp blades, so this gadget isn’t fit for young chefs.
Kid friendly, the Garlic Twist has no sharp blades and is simple to operate—its saving grace and its downfall. The garlic is placed between two circular pieces that twist and force the garlic through blunt plastic teeth. So while the device is safe for kids to use, the plastic teeth do little more than mash the garlic, not chop or mince it. Because you’ll need plenty of twists to break down the garlic, you have little control over the final size of the bits. Running at $15, the Garlic Twist can handle three small cloves, but one thick clove will gum up the works. Exceptionally easy to clean, this would work for the casual cook who doesn’t stress about a mince vs. chop cut.
Norpro’s dumbed down version of the home kitchen’s most underused gadget, the mandolin, brings all of the problems and few of the benefits. A grip holds the garlic in place, sliding it over a series of blades designed to shred or slice. The problem is there’s no support for the device, so it feels like grating cheese on a wobbly, one-legged cheese grater. Often you have to push hard to get the cut, which can result in sending the grip flying right off the end of the device. At only $5, it’s not a complete loss because the grip is large enough to hold small pieces of fruit, ginger and cheese, but if you’re serious about cooking just buy a full-size, quality mandolin.