What Is A Kitchen Mandoline And What Is It For?

The mandoline is one of the most practical kitchen utensils that we can have at home, and it allows us to cut fruits and vegetables in the easiest, fastest, and safest way.

The mandoline is an essential element in professional kitchens and more and more people are using them at home. The reason is simple: it cuts all types of vegetables with a more or less uniform thickness, with little effort, and in a very simple way.

What is a kitchen mandoline and what is it for?

The mandoline is a kitchen tool equipped with a sharp blade designed to cut and slice vegetables, fruits, and vegetables precisely. The cut is usually in sheets, and these are of uniform thickness depending on how we grade them. This allows you to obtain all cuts of the same thickness in an easy and quick way and without the risk of cutting yourself since the mandoline comes equipped with an essential accessory that serves to grip the vegetables so that we do not have to hold them by hand.

Although the first thing we may think about is cutting the potatoes, the mandoline is useful for much more, and depending on the model we have we can have varied cuts that will greatly improve the presentation of any of our dishes. The mandoline can be used to make simple slices, elongated sheets, julienne cuts, wavy slices, grid cuts, and even fine or coarse grating.

Types of mandoline

According to the shape of the mandoline as well as its functionality, we can divide them into two different groups: the domestic mandoline and the professional mandoline.

Domestic mandoline

The domestic mandoline is a simple mandoline, smaller in size than those used in professional kitchens but at the same time offers great results. It is a tool that is easy to use and that, for a very affordable price, will allow us to cut vegetables and greens in the quickest and most precise way. Generally, these mandolines are made of plastic and incorporate stainless steel blades in addition to protective accessories that serve two functions: prevent cuts to your hands and help slide food through the blades.

Professional mandoline

Unlike the domestic mandoline, the professional mandoline is characterized by being a larger, more compact, and more complete instrument. Thanks to the different interchangeable blades it comes with, it will allow us to make a wide variety of cuts. One of the big differences is that the professional mandoline comes with more support points than the domestic mandoline, which offers greater stability when cutting food. Even in many of the models available on the market, these support points are coated with silicone, a perfect non-slip material that provides greater safety. For the professional mandoline, other types of more durable and resistant materials such as stainless steel are used.

As for protective accessories, all professional mandolines include them, so the grip on the food is complete, so the cut will be much safer, faster, and more precise.

Origin of the kitchen mandoline

The origin of the kitchen mandoline dates back to the late 18th century when Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin had the idea that the same method used by the guillotine for executions of the time could be used to cut vegetables. The story goes that he took his name from her beloved Mandy and that he created that peculiar utensil to prevent her from cutting herself while cooking. After the doctor’s death, the mandoline was recovered from among his personal belongings by one of his nephews, and little by little, it was introduced into French kitchens. Over the years, the rudimentary wooden mandoline began to be perfected until it became the useful kitchen instrument it is today.

How to use a mandoline

Although its use is simple, we must not forget that at the end of the day it is a cutting tool, and if we do not take the proper precautions, we can end up cutting ourselves.

The first thing we must keep in mind when cutting with the mandoline is that it must be placed on a smooth, dry, and stable surface so that we prevent it from sliding. On the other hand, it is vital that it comes equipped with an accessory that grabs the vegetables so that we do not have to put our hands near the blades.

To cut with the mandoline, the movement must be firm and fast, without exerting too much force or pressure. Simply slide the food over the blade to make the cut.

What foods can be cut with a kitchen mandoline?

With the kitchen mandoline, you can cut an endless number of foods, but specifically it is ideal for cutting vegetables, greens, and tubers such as carrots, potatoes, zucchini, eggplants, leeks, peppers, cucumbers… Likewise, the mandoline is Ideal for cutting fruits such as apple, peach, pear and banana. Depending on the model we have, we can even cut meats such as sausages, or cured cheeses.

How to clean the mandoline

To ensure that you keep the mandoline in the best condition, cleaning is a fundamental point . In addition to being able to wash it in the dishwasher, to clean the mandoline manually it is best to use warm water and soap. Removable parts, if any, will have to be removed as carefully as possible to avoid cuts, since the blades are quite sharp. Then it will be enough to clean it in the direction of the blade to avoid cutting ourselves. Finally, we either let it dry in the wringer or carefully wipe it with a clean cotton cloth.

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