Mandolina: what it is and how to use it – Italian Cuisine

Mandolina: what it is and how to use it

Are you looking for a way to slice accurately and safely? There mandoline it is undoubtedly the tool you cannot miss in your kitchen!
Small footprint and maximum yield: today mandolins of various shapes and materials are commercially available, but we suggest you prefer one to single blade, which has the ability to adjust the thickness of the slices. A little practice and you will become a "master of the slices"!

How to choose it
Today it is possible to find the mandolina with blade in steel or ceramic; the latter is certainly more delicate – beware of accidental bumps that risk breaking the blade – but very reliable because it always remains sharp.
The steel mandolin is more resistant and in some cases dishwasher safe; it can have a removable blade, a practical detail that not only allows better cleaning but also sharpens it again if necessary. Regardless of material or size of your mandolin, remember to clean it immediately after use, rinse it well in its entirety and dry carefully. Proper maintenance will make your mandolin longer.

How to use
The first tip to use the mandolin correctly is: don't be afraid! Contrary to what one might believe, decisive gestures make cutting with the mandolin safe. At the beginning, equip yourself with the appropriate accessory to block the sliced ​​food that protects your fingers from accidental cuts and practice a lot. Only in this way, in fact, you will find the right inclination to give to foods and the most correct position for the hand, thus managing to master the cuts and vary them according to your needs in the kitchen. When you have become more experienced, you can also "level up" using the special blades to comb which serve, for example, for the Julienne cut or for embossed potatoes.

Yes food, no food
In theory, almost all foods can be sliced ​​with mandolin, but in practice there are foods that more than others lend themselves to becoming slices thin, washers perfect and even tapes long!
Prefer vegetables and fruits from the not too soft pulp, which would risk breaking during cutting. Yes to zucchini, cucumbers, aubergines, peppers but also apples and pears deprived of the core, perfect to pass in batter for gourmands pancakes desserts. No to tomatoes, unless they are of a variety with particularly compact flesh, and in general with over-ripe fruit.
Also crunchy vegetables like carrots and potatoes they can be sliced ​​with the mandolin, in this case be careful that they do not get stuck, slicing with decisive and fast gestures. A clever tip: before slicing the potatoes, peel them and rinse them well so they release their starch that can make a "glue effect", making it difficult to cut.

With your perfect slices you can really indulge in the kitchen, preparing geometric shapes vegetable tian (Remember the beautiful ratatouille of the eponymous animated film? The secret was just the mandolin!) Or fresh seasonal salads like that of mango and carrots with stracciatella. If you have a dryer, the mandolin will help you prepare the vegetables to be dried. And with precise cuts, you can also prepare everything you need for a perfect fried!

Claudia Minnella
June 2019


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