What’s your favourite small, really useful kitchen gadget?
Who knew you could love a Microplane zester so much…?
I’ll hazard a guess that if you’re on FoodTribe, you like food, and you’ve probably got quite a few kitchen gadgets, both big, and small.
Some will be used every day, some were probably mistakes (does anyone really need a soup maker?!) and some will be ignored forever more in the back of a drawer somewhere, before they eventually get thrown out in the Great Clean of 2030.
One thing I’ve never been able to get right is a zester. If a recipe for a cake or a cocktail says, ‘zest two lemons’, I immediately know the kitchen counter will end up covered in zest, I’ll end up covered in zest, and the cake or cocktail will end up with approximately 1/20th of a teaspoon of zest in it – and most of that 20th will be the bitter pith.
I was recently sent a couple of Microplane’s new zesters. Well, when I say new, the product hasn’t changed for 25 years, but they’ve jazzed up the handles with three limited-edition funky patterns – Liberty, leopard and camouflage – and three neon handles in blue, yellow and pink.
And yes, I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but I am always up for something brightening up my life/kitchen. Yup, I am a sucker for a cute gadget – when it works, of course.
A handle for every mood...
It's really great. The zester is shaped like a file, so you don’t get any wayward zest all over the place/kitchen/you. The blade features 400 micro teeth which basically act like mini super sharp knives: you’ll want to keep your fingers well away from this one, but the shape definitely helps with that! And if you’re clumsy, like me, the anti-scratch end caps protect your worktop and plates, and give you something stable to go on. It also helpfully comes with a protective case so you won’t accidentally grab it out of a drawer.
So far, I’ve tried it out on lemons, parmesan and garlic. All excellently zested, with no tears or shredding (that’s a bit Accidental Partridge isn’t it?!).
Apparently the Microplane zester was invented in 1994, when a Canadian housewife made an orange cake. She was annoyed with her old grater, so borrowed one of her husband’s favourite woodworking tools from his workshop. It worked way better than the grater, and this laid the foundation for Microplane.