I've been needing to do my product review for my new mandolin but I've been waiting to try it out with a number of foods. I was really hoping I'd figure it out better too. I was allowed to select a product from probably a million items to test and review on my blog. What a sweet deal! I've been thinking about looking at food slices like this for some time. Here is the mandolin I selected from the CSN stores:
ok- looks good. the blades are in a box and there are several of them. There is a large cover that you hold onto so your hands are not close to the blade.
The first thing we tried was zucchini and yellow squash, which we grilled. There is a dial on the sides to allow for varying thickness of slices. Getting the food item in the holder and getting it to slice was a tricky at first, then I read the directions. It still is a little tricky.
The slicing was fast and smooth, when I was doing it right.
I can cut vegetable and certainly don't mind getting out the cutting board and a knife. The thing that really interested me with the mandolin was cutting potatoes. I hate cutting potatoes. Hubby would eat potatoes at every meal if I made them. I hate cutting potatoes, so we rarely have them. There is even a french fry blade. Perfect, hubby and the kids love oven fries. This was very hard to do. I called in hubby to use some muscle with it. It took one of us to hold onto the base and the other to pull the top down with some really force to cut the potato.
Just a few slices produced a lot of little fries. After that, we gave up and I pulled out the old knife and cutting board. The kids did really get a kick out of the more french fry shape oven fry. I also tried some apples thinly sliced which they thought was a really fun snack.
The clean up is ok. There are several pieces and they are all dishwasher safe. I usually just wash things in the sink so it was too many pieces for me, compared to a knife. I think I'll use the mandolin if I have lots and lots of vegetables to cut or something needs to be extra thin. Otherwise, it won't be worth dragging out another kitchen tool when the knife is right there. This is the first mandolin food slicer I have ever used, so I suppose as far as food slicers go, this is a fine one. I did like how my hand was not too close to the blade. That's important for someone clumsy. I wouldn't know anyone like that though.
Overall, I would say this is a nice mandolin as far as they go. I however don't find a mandolin in general practical for my everyday meal prep. It is now in the bottom cabinet, the one with small appliances and kitchen gadgets that don't get pulled out much. They console each other in there, I'm sure.