Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Vidalia Chop Wizard Part Two

My next step was to try a carrot. The down side is that one has to slice the carrot first. Normally, I would have just left the carrot in slices. I have to admit, though, that the Vidalia Chop Wizard did a great job of creating equal sized diced carrot bits, which looked quite nice next to the onions. Not bad for a stir fry or a salad.

It came a surprise to realize that a carrot is so much softer than a sweet potato, but it must be because I had no problem dicing the carrot.

So, on the theory that the Chop Wizard does better on softer foods, I tried it on a strawberry. Child's play.

But in this photo of the diced strawberry, I think you can see what I mean when I say it doesn't really dice because it doesn't make a horizontal cut. The pieces are by no means unattractive, and it didn't crush the strawberry, but they wouldn't be called diced. Of course, one could slice the strawberry first and then use the Chop Wizard, which would then produce a diced strawberry.

And then I inserted a mushroom. Talk about fun!
The Chop Wizard diced those Crimini mushrooms like a pro. Open, insert, close. Open, insert, close. In less than a minute, I had gorgeous diced mushrooms. They were perfect.

The Vidalia Chop Wizard keeps it all organized
inside the container, and by standing it on end, it's easy to see how much you've chopped. At that point, I was sold. But then I thought, gee, how often do I want diced mushrooms? Sure, it would be handy for a side dish or an omelet, but is it really that hard to slice a mushroom? Or a strawberry, for that matter?

I didn't try the Chop Wizard on a hard boiled egg, but I can imagine that if you were making huge quantities of egg salad, it would speed up the process enormously. In minutes, it would make lovely uniform pieces. It would save a lot of time, and they would look nice.

So then I thought -- maybe the Chop Wizard can be very practical. Fruit salad? The pieces would all be similar in size, which would look attractive. But I'm not sure I'd bother to haul it out for the average fruit salad. It just doesn't take that long to slice and dice most fruit.

The package says that it's dishwasher safe, a big plus in my opinion. So I gladly placed the container, the top and the two slicing panels in the top rack of my dishwasher, glad that I didn't have to scrub all those little holes in the grid. But when I took it out after the dishwasher ran, I realized that I should have used the little cleaning device first, because bits of food were still stuck inside the little squares of the blade. On top of that, even though I had only used it once as described here, the inside of the white top was already stained and unattractive.

So, here's my opinion on the Vidalia Chop Wizard. If you need large quantities of chopped fruits or vegetables, if you have a large family or you regularly cook great quantities for pot lucks or other social activities -- then the Vidalia Chop Wizard might well save you time. It does cut uniform pieces. It doesn't smush the food. It's a nice, organized, unmessy way to chop a lot fast.

But if you're like me, and your dicing needs are limited to one item a day, it might be equally fast to just dice and slice on a cutting board with a knife.

Three cupcakes. It does the job, but so does a knife.


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