This is not your classic French mandolin, it’s from Pampered Chef, a company created by a housewife from Chicago in 1980.  They produce a  full-range of quality kitchen equipment, gadgets that work, and so many more things every homemaker will find some use for.

The company calls this mandolin the Ultimate Slice & Grate.  It retails for about $45.00.  I got mine at about half that price, it was on sale about three years ago.  I had an enterprising officemate who also sold cosmetics and health-related products and she introduced me to this manufacturer.  I have no regrets at all buying this, along with some other Pampered Chef gizmos like their citrus peeler, scrapers and pie crust shields.

Spouse asked me  a long time ago why I needed to cut my veggies so thin for pancit, guisado veggies and several other Filipino dishes.  I never really thought about it until then but what he said was true. I guess  back in the Philippines, you didn’t mind all the slicing because there were always extra hands to do it.  But in the US, you have no one to rely on but yourself..or your Spouse.

I actually found myself dreading making pancit because of all the prep work needed for the veggies. And Spouse loves pancit…

Thank goodness my officemate showed me Pampered Chef’s catalog.  As we were poring over the catalog at work, our network manager told me how useful this was.  He even brought his own personal slicer the next day for our backyard barbecue to show me how well it worked.  It certainly got me interested.

But what convinced me to actually invest in it was seeing how easily and thinly you could slice tomatoes and onions.  As he was showing off his gadget, my head was spinning with visions of thinly sliced carrots, green beans and even cabbage for pancit and vegetable lumpia!

It comes with a regular grater for cheese and vegetable shredding.  Then there’s a plate with  v-shaped blades for slicing softer vegetables – perfect for tomatoes!  Another blade will do julienne cuts, fat ones and not dainty ones, but it’s perfect for fries.  The last blade is for slicing root vegetables and you can adjust the thickness of your cuts easily depending on how much pressure you put as you slice.  There’s also a gizmo that holds your vegetable in place so you don’t cut your fingers off during slicing. With the sharpness of the blades, you can certainly do that.  The blade plates have their own slots in the main body so you won’t lose them in some forgotten kitchen drawer, never to be seen ever again…

The neat thing is the construction of the main body, which is made of hard plastic. It has a handle you can hold onto when grating and on the other end are two rubber “feet” that keeps it in place while you’re doing your thing.

There are also grooves underneath, just below the handles so you can set it on the edges of your bowl, grating and slicing directly into the bowl.  It’s those little things that really count.  You can tell this gadget was designed by a person who actually cooks and does his own prepping because it works so well.