Kitchen gadgets review: 5-in-1 avocado tool – it works, but so does a spoon

As branch-based injuries spike, so do sales of pointless utensils – but I can’t review common sense, so here we are
‘The avocado craze was always ripe for parody, but now things are legit ridic.’

What?
The KitchenCraft 5-in-1 avocado tool (£8.99, amazon.co.uk) is a double-ended multi-tool comprising a cutaway scoop, a serrated blade, and a clamping jaw. Used to access and prepare avocado flesh.

Why?
Can’t perform basic tasks without inadvertently self-harming? Now your avocado!

‘I’m not judgmental, but if you can’t remove an avocado stone without chopping off your hand, there’s something wrong with you. ’
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‘I’m not judgmental, but if you can’t remove an avocado stone without chopping off your hand, there’s something wrong with you.
Well?
The avocado craze was always ripe for parody, but now things are legit ridic. Hipsters have taken to drinking lattes out of the shells. Millionaires use them to belittle the less privileged. (Stop eating avocado on toast if you want to buy a house? As if houses are simply further down on the same menu!) Perhaps most disturbing is the reported spike in “avocado hand.” When I heard about the avocado hand, I pictured an aristocratically styled villainous Mexican wrestler, but it’s a serious problem. People attempting to cut stones from the soft fruits are finding it too easy – it’s literally like sliding a knife through nature’s butter – and stabbing themselves. Even Meryl Streep, famed for her versatility, has injured herself getting to the good stuff. It’s like a Jungle Book lyric. I’m not judgmental, but if you can’t remove an avocado stone without chopping off your hand, there’s something wrong with you. I’m talking to you, Meryl. (And, statistically, a lot of you at home, too, so this is awkward.)

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Kitchen gadgets review: Fondoodler – the perfect device for our times
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I can’t review “common sense and a spoon,” so here is a 5-in-1 avocado tool that lets you “de-stone, scoop, mash, slice, and cut.” “Slice” and “cut” are synonyms, but whatever. The gadget is shaped like a shark, for no reason. The adjustable, toothed clamp closes like jaws, and the blade cover has a dorsal fin. (If you are going go to that kind of effort, why not call it the Great White Lunch Maker?) The blade is sharp. The scoop scoops. Mashing the creamy green works fine. The stone clamp, slid by thumb, is flimsy, however, and easily detaches itself. A spoon is better. Or a knife, used with care. Or your bare hands. I dare say a toe. This is a shark-shaped waste of space and money, but if you have enough of both to spare, open wide. The device mostly works, which is a shame, since it doesn’t need to. If you’re considering buying this monstrosity, avowordwithyourself.

 

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Any downside?
That’s the guac sorted. But how will I sprinkle the salt, or remember which end of the fork to use, or know when I’m hungry? The struggle is unreal.

Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?
Hardly Sophie’s Choice. 2/5

What?
The Amazing Dumpling Cube (£14.12, Ocado.com). A flatbed of multiple-hinged pastry-pod cutters. Folds and seals filled dough squares.

Why?
It’s deliciousness, cubed. You do the math(s).

Well?
Instead of samosas, I get some ‘no sirs.’
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Instead of samosas, I get some ‘no sirs.
“Let’s make dumplings cool” is the strange message engraved on the pastry cutter. You may as well start a campaign to make man boobs cool. Dumplings are the antithesis of cool. But why need comforting things be edgy anyway? We’re already slouching towards the kind of world where overgrown idiots drink vodka out of hot-water bottles, or injure themselves playing extreme pooh sticks. So I’m suspicious of the Dumpling Cube. It looks like a Borg ship, for starters. (For those too cool to ask, the Borg are a zealous race of cyborgs who seek to assimilate all life into a technofascist empire. Which is still better than a trip to the Apple store, because it’s free.) Unfolding the cube and laying it flat, there are four clam-shaped pits, over which I lay a small square of pastry.

I love the chunky snap of the Rubik’s cube construction.
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I love the chunky snap of the Rubik’s cube construction.
Any downside?
The dumplings do look a bit boring. I found crimping the dough with a fork imitated hand pleats; a soulless, log effect-fire of pastry technique.

Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?
A factory floor, staffed by children. (Dude, not cool.) 4/5
Kitchen gadgets review: Raclette cheese set – classy as heck
Raclette grills are one good thing that skiers are on to. These make a glorious meal designed by a ravening stoner, and you don’t need to be a posh jock to enjoy it
All cheese, no skis.
All cheese, no skis. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

The Cookut raclette cheese set comprises round wooden baseboards with a cutaway collar, lidded with non-stick mini-pans. Uses the live flame to liquefy curds.

Why?

Jolyon and Jemima need fondue, too.

Well?

I have never understood winter sports, but am horrifically compelled by those who do. My fascination is something to do with the 100% certainty of serious injury, the hideous bulk of the jackets, plus the moronic language surrounding it all. I once went through a phase of signing out of every conversation – the more mundane and office-based the better – with the words: “I’m gonna hit the powder,” in the manner of a snow-berk. (Had to retire the catchphrase once I started working in the media, where it was widely misunderstood.

Any downside?

One of those items you buy as a gift, discover you can melt cheese on, and keep for yourself. But people love getting random perfumes and Guylian seashells instead, so it’s fine.

Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?

So into it! It’s the greatest! I’m gonna hit the powder! 4/5