I’m normally the last one to join a ‘trend’. I generally tend to wait to see if it’s ‘all a phase’. I waited YEARS before I got myself an iPhone (and even then I hated it, although we’re friends now). So when spiralisers arrived on the healthy kitchen scene, I turned my nose up. Who needs finely cut courgette ‘spaghetti’? I’ve got a grater and that would, I’m sure, work perfectly well, thank you very much*.
I first saw a spiraliser at Wilderness 2013 in the Abel & Cole food tent. Stuff courgette, they were spiralising everything! Giant mounds of tangled veg spaghetti were practically falling off the table. And their spiraliser, well, it was a beast. It looks complicated for a start and it had a handle to which you attached the veg and then turned it to cut it to pretty, edible ribbons. Their spiraliser looked like the type of machinery that I’d never be able to afford.
For most of the beginning of 2014, I researched spiralisers. I found a nice one on Amazon that sat on the table and had a little handle. I sent the link to my boyfriend in the hope he’d get me one for my birthday in March. I’d even saved it to my Amazon WishList and tweeted about it, just in case someone out there was feeling generous.
On my birthday, my boyfriend got me a spiraliser**. But well, it wasn’t really a spiraliser like I’d seen. This is what it looks like:
As you can see, it doesn’t have a handle. It doesn’t even need a base. It was, in effect, a veggy pencil sharpener. I was mildly disappointed. I had imagined a giant pile of spiralised veg next to me and me turning the handle sedately, looking the very part of healthy domestic goddess. This pencil sharpener looked like too much hard work.
So, I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t use it for a month or so.
I still wanted a REAL spiraliser.
On the verge of clicking the ‘BUY’ button at Amazon for a present to myself (it had all come to a head, I had found a nice recipe for meatballs on zoodles and I was determined to make it), I thought I should at least give my veg sharpener a go. It actually comes with a little disc that’s got plastic spikes in that you stab one end of your veg with. I tried this with a courgette. The disc is actually a little annoying as you have to press and turn at the same time and so you need firm fruit. You also need something that would fit into the pencil sharpener. This automatically rules out things like potatoes (unless you chop them lengthways). At the time, I gave it 5/10 and put it back in the drawer.
Since that occasion, I’ve developed an on/off love affair with my veg sharpener. I no longer use the plastic disc and just turn the veg with my hand. It does leave a weird little plug of veg at the end and there’s some long thing weird cylinder of veg that comes out too, but on the whole, it works well. It works so well in fact, that I’ve upped it’s score to 9/10 and it’s made it to my Top Five Kitchen Essentials (this is something I have in my head that regularly gets updated. One day I’ll turn it into a blog post). It’s even made me eat more veg.
Anyway, if you fancy swimming in a pile of veg noodles, you don’t need anything too fancy. This veg sharpener is actually known as a Gefu Spiral Cutter Spirelli and costs around £20 on Amazon. It’s great if you don’t have much space in your kitchen and want to spiralise long thin veg like cucumber, carrots and courgette.
I highly recommend it. And no, I’m not getting paid to write this; this is in response to an Instagram conversation you can find here.
*It turns out grating courgette does work, although I always catch my knuckles on the grate. It does however, seem to make your courgette a little ‘wet’.
**He had in fact, taken note of my spiraliser links and hints and decided that in order to save space, this one was little enough to do the job and be compact enough to hang out in the same drawer as the grater and other relatively little implements.