Let’s begin with a brief history of garlic prep: A few million years back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, people were crushing their garlic with big rocks. More recently (about five thousand years ago) people used sharpened implements made from copper and bronze, which were far better for garlic chopping, mincing, slicing, etc. (My gastronomy teacher would not be proud of this treatise on garlic history, but I’m trying not to be too long winded because I have lots of pretty pictures for this product test, which are far more entertaining than facts and footnotes, kapeesh?) Today, there are hundreds of garlic processing tools. Here’s a look at two found at kitchensink: The Garlic Zoom and The Garlic Twist.
With its little wheels and squat rounded shape, the Garlic Zoom by Chef’n looks like a darling little R2D2 for the kitchen. This is how they roll:
You open the top, pop in a peeled clove of garlic, close it up and zoom it back and forth across the counter.
Then you dump out the garlic.
Well, most of the garlic. Eventually, I took it apart and used the skinny side of a Switch-It spatula to get the garlic out of the nooks and cranny’s.
Moving on to the Garlic Twist, which reminds me of a gear or bolt, or some sort of hardware part. You place 1 or 2 cloves of garlic on each side, depending on their size.
Then put the top on, grip it tightly in both hands and twist it back and forth, finally slowing to gather the garlic up into little triangle piles.
Although the finished product was similar from both gadgets, there were some differences.
Zoom Pros: It’s darling, easy to use and fun.
Zoom Cons: The blades inside are sharp. Kids should be assisted. You can only get one clove of garlic in at a time and the chopped garlic was a little hard to get out.
Twist Pros: You can process two to four cloves of garlic at a time and it was very easy to get out.
Twist Cons: If you have problems with your hands and/or wrists, the twist would be difficult to use.
But wait, there’s more. The Garlic Twist also claims to process other things like nuts, olives, ginger, etc. I’ve got walnuts and Kalamata’s handy, so let’s give them a whirl:
They came out pretty pulverized, which (depending on your recipe) may or may not be the best consistency. Next, in all fairness, we must let the Garlic Zoom have a go with nuts and olives.
The olive/walnut results from both the Zoom and the Twist were decent enough, and I came to the same conclusion as with the garlic, and that is: you can’t fit as much in the Zoom and it’s harder to get out. Nonetheless, it did reveal a bit of versatility with these gadgets. They’re like tiny food processors that don’t need electricity. Why not throw in some bread for crumbs? And boy howdy, if I wasn’t so lazy I’d run the grocery store to get fresh ginger to twist and zoom.
Bottom line is that both these garlic gadgets work to chop/mince garlic as well as a few other small foodstuffs. But I can see by the look on your face that you’re wondering why wouldn’t we just use the tool our Copper and Bronze Age ancestors forged in fires so long ago? Do we really need these gadgets when a knife works perfectly fine?
Once again, it comes down to personal cooking style and what constitutes as fun or handiness in the kitchen or in other words to each his own.
Now that that’s settled, come on in to kitchensink and see the latest and greatest in garlicky gadgetry as well as other fun and functional tools for cooking.
See you soon,
Head Scullery Maid
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kitchensink | 100 E Pennsylvania | Roslyn, Washington
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