FEAR the mandolin

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Joined Jan 26, 2001
Last night, I learned how to use another dangerous piece of cooking equipment. I was told to fear it, because it can shred your hands before you even know it.

I always learned to NOT fear things, like horses (not the same, but who knows? What if sharp kitchen objects can sense your fear too?)

So what do you all think? Fear, or don't fear? Which gives more confidence?

~~Shimmer~~
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
They sell the mandoline with the finger guard for a reason.... ;)
 
1,065
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Joined Dec 8, 1999
Well, maybe respect would be a better word. Then again, some fears are healthy fears! Whatever keeps you from turning body parts into gaufrettes is a good thing.
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I've never had a problem with the big, traditional, french style mandolines, it's the sharp, little Japanese mandolines that have always taken a bit out of me. Those things are SHARP! They will take off a fingertip before you know it and who hasn't had the 5 deep score marks on the palm of your hand? I don't know that I fear these things, but I do have a very healthy respect for them.
 
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Joined Jan 12, 2001
my first restaurant job was while i was still in culinary school. things were unorganized there, hectic, and we were busy all the time. in the heat of service, someone threw a french mandoline at me along with some peeled potatoes soaking in water and yelled "gaufrettes." i started working them as fast as i could. i didn't even realize i'd cut myself until i looked down under the mandoline and saw the potatoes all red and bloody. then i felt the pain on my fingertips. very sharp. ever since, i have actively FEARED the mandoline. i still use them all the time....but slowly, methodically, carefully... i'm very comfortable going top speed with my 12" chef knife while looking at something else and talking to someone...but the mandoline commands my full attention.
 
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Joined Jan 1, 2001
I've never thought the cutting guards on either the stainless or Japanese versions of mandolines were of much use-they always wasted too much of the product being cut and never held the veg in a stabel position. I obtained a few of those nylon knit "cut-safe" gloves and they always kept me from cutting myself on the blades. You can run your fingers right over the blades and not even get a small nick with those gloves on. Since then, I've had a love affair with my mandoline making fancy-cut veggies for any reason.
 
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Joined Jun 4, 1999
Do you have an outlet for those gloves , I live in Australia and havent heard of them...and I rarely touch the mandoline cos of fear from earlier injuries when I was younger.....ps...I dont think it was the injury but the lemon and lime juice that got into the cuts and how difficult and awkward it was to work.
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
i too fear the mandolines wrath - however, unlike a horse, if i fell off, i probably wouldnt climb back on.

P.s. youla, if you cant get a nylon gauntlet, maybe try a steel mesh one from any commercial cookery store.

[ May 11, 2001: Message edited by: Nick.Shu ]
 
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Joined Jun 9, 2001
i learned how to use a mandolin a while ago. dont fear it, respect it. i dont wear a glove nor use anythign else to protect me. when i get down to the end of the product that i am shredding, i stop when i feel uncomfrable. for the left overs, i use them for a stock.
 
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Joined Nov 17, 2000
I have one of those plastic Japanese models--took forever to get up the courage to try it! :D But now I'm at least shredding up cabbage for slaw at a nifty pace. I tried the little plastic finger thing, but everything slipped and that was worse than shredding nude! I confess, I still hanker for a cool stainless steel mandoline, but I'm not sure it would be much better. So far I haven't tried the fancy blades for Chinese looking carrots. :p
 
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Joined Jun 9, 2001
mandolines are great. all you need to remember is to be carefull. stop shredding when you feel uncomfrable and fear that you might shred your finguar. this will work, i promise
 
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
Sandy, I have one of those cheap little plastic mandolines too...been using it for years and I love it, but I do long for one of the cool ones. I want to be able to adjust the thickness of the slice. Currently, I'm watching on ebay for one at a good price. Saw this tip on another thread somewhere.
 
750
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
I've recently found an apparently good price on the matfer mandolin --- is this a good choice?
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
It depends of the price Nancy. If it seem fair, jump on it specially if it is working well.

Lucky you!
 
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Joined Aug 29, 2000
What's the good price? I have one and like it. I've seen them in Williams-Sonoma and in others' catalogs for about $160, and that price has been holding for several years. I bought mine in Paris in 1998 for $75, but I wouldn't think you'd find a Matfer here for under $150 or so, and that would be exceptional.

[ June 16, 2001: Message edited by: Mezzaluna ]
 
9,209
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Joined Aug 29, 2000
What's the good price? I have one and like it. I've seen them in Williams-Sonoma and in others' catalogs for about $160, and that price has been holding for several years. I bought mine in Paris in 1998 for $75, but I wouldn't think you'd find a Matfer here for much less than $150, and that would be exceptional.
 
750
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
That's what I thought - they said $79 retail value and $20 opening bid [on ebay]. Perhaps its not the same type of matfer?
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
A number of years ago I got my first "cheap" Japanese mandolin. I will never go back to the big old metal ones, unless I need to do gaufrettes. These plastic ones hold an edge much better than the old french steel ones, and I find it much easier to cut very thin veggies on these. I personally never use gloves with these things. If you are wearing a glove it is much to easy to get distracted from the job (you don't need to watch what you are doing because you can't get cut). But you do need to watch what you are doing. Blades slip and the next thing you know, your beautiful julienne has become a batonne, or you get a lot of "little buddies"(you know...where the blade doesn't cut all the way through and you have 3-5 pieces still attached). A little fear, or respect is a good thing-it keeps you alert. The only time my mandolin bites me is when I forget this and allow my mind to wander.
 

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