Slow Food Gadgeteer Part 3: THE TRUFFLE SHAVER | Civil Eats

Slow Food Gadgeteer Part 3: THE TRUFFLE SHAVER

It’s become something of a cliché: Don’t bring home a kitchen tool that does only one thing. A spoon for shagging olives which — alas!– cannot hold liquids because it has a hole in its bowl; a sharp-bladed wheel suitable only for slicing pizza; a pot that makes only fondue. Clear out these special-interest items, they say, so you’ll have more room for your one all-purpose knife.

Not so fast, says the Slow Food Gadgeteer.

What can be more cunning than a tool whose sole raison d’etre is a single dish? Or one that is willing to hang out until the right mood, occasion and ingredients converge? It’s like having a friend you can count on for specific guilty pleasures, like squandering an afternoon at a movie featuring Meryl Streep — singing.

Unlike other people, whom I don’t have to name, I do not begrudge drawer space to a truffle shaver. Not that mine has ever been used for its intended purpose, or that I expect to get my hands on a truffle any time soon.

Indeed, I bought my shaver in Paris when I was having language issues and mistook it for a tiny mandoline. It’s elegantly thin, with a sharp toothy blade that can be adjusted for different thicknesses by turning a jewel-like knob. I use it to shave onions.

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One problem is protecting your fingertips. But I’ve solved that by donning my mesh butcher’s glove. If you don’t already own one of these gloves, you might consider buying one. You can stash it in the utensil drawer; they take up practically zero room.

Deborah Baldwin is a New York writer who does some of her best thinking in the kitchen.

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