Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Crazy Carrot Machine

A few people have asked me about the carrots in my previous post. The little machine that makes these cute carrot spaghetti strands is the Benriner Cook Help from Japan. I ordered it on Amazon.com a few weeks ago after evaluating a few gadgets that did similar things. This one got the best review.

It's not hard to use however getting it "right" takes a little practice. Picking the right carrots is the first step. Fat carrots work best as the gripper at the top has more to hold on to. Your carrot can't be too tall or it won't fit under the gripper and the corresponding metal spike on the platform. About four inches is a perfect fit.

The machine is also exclusively a right-handed machine as I discovered when I, as a lefty, naturally tried cranking it with my left hand. Nope, didn't work! Finally, I figured out that it must work like scissors and switched to my right hand. That did the trick.

It comes with an assortment of comb shaped blades for different cuts. I have only tried carrots and daikon radish but I've read that it makes great zucchini "angel hair pasta." I look forward to trying that this summer.

This machine is not a time saver--just shredding carrots is much easier but it's a fun way to add carrots to your salads and certainly is much prettier than shredded carrots. Cleanup isn't horrible but you do have to be very careful of the sharp blades..I already nicked myself. The combed blade can be easily unscrewed for easier cleaning.

I won't use this machine when I'm in a rush but it certainly adds a visual appeal to my salads which of course, means I'm more likely to eat them!

Check it out on Amazon.com

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