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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Kitchen Trash

The Best Ridiculous Kitchen Tools

The Hutzler Banana Slicer

Some kitchen equipment must have been created just so it could get the most hilarious review on Amazon. (I’m thinking, of course, of the Hutzler Banana Slicer, and the 2011 review, titled “No More Winning For You, Mr. Banana!” Currently, almost 48,000 people have found this review helpful. It’s followed by the “Saved My Marriage” comment, which compares the banana slicer to the wheel, penicillin and the iPhone.)

If only I could write reviews like that. Or find kitchen equipment that enables those kinds of reviews. Luckily for me, my excellent colleague at Food & Wine, food editor Daniel Gritzer, is the Simon Cowell of the kitchen equipment world. He took on the task of finding the 10 Best Ridiculous Kitchen Tools. Take it away, Daniel.

Hutzler Banana Slicer
Let’s start with the king of ridiculous devices, the banana slicer that launched a zillion online comments. I thought this was a gag gift at first (as a gag gift, it’s pretty great!), but it turns out there are companies that actually sell this plastic, yellow, banana-shaped slicer. The best thing about it is surely the now-legendary review on Amazon that starts this way: “For decades I have been trying to come up with an ideal way to slice a banana. ‘Use a knife!’ they say. Well...my parole officer won’t allow me to be around knives. ‘Shoot it with a gun!’ Background check...HELLO! I had to resort to carefully attempt to slice those bananas with my bare hands...” amazon.com

Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker
If you feel the need to waste away in Margaritaville as literally as possible, you can spend $230 (a bargain from the $425 list price) on this frozen-drink device that claims to shave ice rather than just crushing it. Alternatively, you can buy a good blender and make all the frozen drinks you ever want, plus about a million other things. amazon.com

Norpro Lemon Lime Slicer
Let’s be clear—this is a lemon/lime wedge cutter. If you’re past the point of being able to cut a lime wedge for your Corona, you probably shouldn’t be fooling around with a sharp-bladed piece of kitchen equipment either. amazon.com

Paderno Egg Separator
Here’s a tip: The best egg separator ever is located at the end of your forearm with five fingers attached. amazon.com

MSC Joie Simply Slice Strawberry Slicer
This little, bladed device is shaped like a strawberry so you know what fruit it’s designed to slice. Because it’s also a fruit slicer, it’s drawing plenty of comparisons to the Hutzler Banana tool. One customer noted that they’ll gladly stand in line for the iSlice mini with Bluetooth. amazon.com

West Bend Automatic Egg Cooker
Covered by a clear plastic dome, this egg cooker boasts the ability to hard- or soft-boil eggs just by pushing a button. I’m fairly certain that any civilization that considers boiling an egg to be too difficult an undertaking is doomed. amazon.com

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker
This machine makes breakfast sandwiches “in the comfort of your own home.” Something that can also be accomplished using a skillet. But more importantly, how do you divide up that one breakfast sandwich? Because it makes only one at a time. amazon.com

Rollie EggMaster Vertical Grill
According to the product description of this electric, egg-cylinder-producing machine, “Eggs might seem like an atypical kabob, but they’re delicious right off the wooden skewer.” Which tells you everything you need to know. amazon.com

Amco Serrated Salad Chopper
You know how a sharp knife never really cuts lettuce properly, making this device totally essential? Yeah, me neither. amazon.com

Amco Peach Pitter/Slicer
Of all the fruit slicers out there, I think I object to this one the most: It leaves so much fruit behind on the pit. Anyone using this should probably stick to mealy, out-of-season peaches. amazon.com

Related: Beautiful Kitchen Tools
Great Kitchen Knives
Gifts for Artisanal Types
Home Design Gifts
Favorite Style Finds

Kitchen Trash

Why Salad is for Lovers and Toast is for Artists

Bacon Car

The Internet is a black hole for strange, weird and wonderful things—especially when it comes to food. Rather than dive in yourself, let F&W do it for you. Here, five of the most absurd food items we saw this week.

Megaburgerpizza: Move over, ramen burger. There’s a new hybrid food in town and it’s a college kid’s dream. The Megaburgerpizza is exactly what it sounds like: an enormous sandwich made up of burger patties sandwiched between two 11-inch cheese pizzas, dressed with ketchup, onions, pickles and mustard, weighing in at nearly 3 lbs. Japan’s Pizza Little Party chain will be selling the gut-busting dish through November 22.

Salad Dating App: Long walks on the beach and piña coladas are overrated. What you really need to know when you’re looking for a mate is if they share your taste in salad toppings. At least, that’s what Just Salad, a salad restaurant franchise, is counting on with their new SaladMatch app, which matches you and your salad eating habits with others of the same ilk.

Bacon Car: We keep thinking that bacon has jumped the shark once and for all. But then some one else finds a new and more ridiculous way to repurpose the crispy, meaty, obsessed-over breakfast meat. Ford recently announced the availability of giant vinyl bacon strips to decorate the new 2014 Ford Fiesta. Those who want the full bacon treatment should be willing to shell out some serious cash. It costs $3,347 plus installation fees for ten strips.

Toast Art: The perfect activity for insomniacs: Creating intricate anime portraits on toast using cocoa, green tea powder and clear plastic sheets for stenciling. Start your toast art at 3 a.m. and by the time you’re done, it’s breakfast!

Pizza Button: We can all agree that room service is one of the best things about staying in a hotel. But one hotel has figured out something better: pizza service. Every room at the Country Inn & Suites in Niagara Falls, NY includes a phone equipped with a pizza button, which connects guests to a local pizza parlor. If only all phones came with such a button.

Related: Over-the-Top Burgers
Incredible Bacon Recipes
Beautiful Art-Inspired Desserts

Kitchen Trash

Hot Dog or Legs? Plus: How to Train a Baby to Shake a Martini

Ice Cream Toilet

The Internet is a black hole for strange, weird and wonderful things—especially when it comes to food. Rather than dive in yourself, let F&W do it for you. Here, five of the most absurd food items we saw this week.

Ice Cream Toilet Dish: Taiwan may have a chain of toilet-themed restaurants, but Japan is home to the toilet ice cream dish. It’s called Ku-Sofuto, which is a play on the Japanese words for soft serve ice cream (sofuto) and s&*@ (kuso). Just in case that wasn’t unappetizing enough, you can get it with little paper bugs sticking out of it.

Martini Glass Rattle: As long as babies are going to shake things, why not put them to work shaking mommy's martini? It’s that kind of Mad Men-inspired thinking that led to the Martini Time Baby Rattle. It’s a mini martini glass with a plastic pimento-stuffed olive that rattles around when baby shakes his glass, demanding your attention—presumably to request more olives because who orders a martini with one olive?

Hot Dog Legs: In just a week, this Tumblr has taken the Internet by storm by posing the question: Is this a picture of legs or hot dogs? If you look through enough of the images, everything blurs. There are no hot dogs. There are no legs. There are only hot dog legs.

Spaghetti Burger: Philadelphia’s answer to New York’s ramen burger is the spaghetti burger. Available at the burger joint PYT, the creation consists of a mozzarella-stuffed meatball patty topped with tomato sauce and sandwiched between two crispy disks of garlic butter-soaked, very al dente spaghetti.

Belgian Frites Vending Machine: The Belgians love their frites (we won’t call them french fries out of respect). Here’s proof: A new vending machine in Brussels takes just 90 seconds to turn out beef fat-fried frites with ketchup or mayo (both plain and harissa-flavored). Fingers crossed for our very own AFM (Automated Fry Machine) in Times Square.

Related: Fantastic Martini Recipes
America's Best Hot Dogs
Incredible Fries

Kitchen Trash

This Week on the Web: Cat Doughnuts, Sad Cakes and More

Cat Doughnut

The Internet is a black hole for strange, weird and wonderful things—especially when it comes to food. Rather than dive in yourself, let F&W do it for you. Here, five of the most absurd food items we saw this week.

Cat doughnuts: This week two internet favorites melded into one glorious, sugary treat. Currently only available in Japan, the weirdest thing about them is that they were based on a Japanese cartoon about walking, talking O-shaped cats. 

Wine rings: We have to admit, these ring-mounted wine glasses from Rémy Martin and designer Merve Kahraman are pretty stylish and delightfully practical. Think about the proposal possibilities—the celebratory glass of sparkling is already attached to the ring!

Canada’s cronut burger: The cronut craze continues and has now made its way to our neighbors in the north who have taken it to the next level by adding meat and, of course, maple. Starting today, the Canada National Exhibition in Toronto will be selling maple bacon jam cronut burgers for $10. Say it with us: Oh, Canada.

Muffin top cupcake molds: These silicone molds are shaped like a pair of pants. When filled with batter and baked, a truly meta and possibly prophetic treat is made: a muffin top that looks like a person’s muffin top.

Depressed cakes: Next week the Depressed Cake Shop pop-up in Los Angeles will offer the saddest looking pastries in the world: gray, blue and black doughnuts, sugar cookies and cupcakes decorated with black sprinkles and sad phrases like, “Am I good enough?” If you think this sounds like an experimental new therapy, you're not too far off. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about mental health issues and proceeds go to a branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Related: America's Best Doughnuts
Gifts for Wine Lovers
Before Cronuts: 50 years of Pastry Hybrids

Kitchen Trash

Over-the-Top State Fair Food

The Florida State Fair's Famous Cheeseburger with Fried Ice Cream.

Krispy Kremes are the iconic, yeasty, sweet doughnuts beloved around the country. Sloppy Joes are the retro, no-frills ketchupy ground beef sandwiches that are invariably served on hamburger buns.

It was only a matter of time before someone decided to combine the two. Sadly, you’ve missed your chance to sample the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe Sandwich, at least in the way that its creator—Chicken Charlie’s concession stand at the San Diego County Fair—intended it. The fair concluded on July 4. But you can dig into any number of other inspired dishes at other great state fairs around the country. MORE >

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Kitchen Trash

Wacky Global Fast Foods

Courtesy of Pizza Hut International

Imagine eating doughnuts (like these Vanilla-Raised Doughnuts) with shredded pork or dried seaweed! / © David Malosh

For some people, an international trip is a chance to go truly local—to try the fried grasshoppers in Oaxaca, Mexico, or the maggot cheese in Sardinia, Italy. For others, the Burger King across from the hotel is a selling point. Here’s the best of both worlds: Some re-envisioned American fast-food staples, which don’t include any sorts of bugs. 5 crazy fast food items. »

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Kitchen Trash

Weird, Wacky Vending Machine Cuisine

The UK-based chain Let's Pizza's has created what it claims to be the world’s first pizza vending machine.

Courtesy of Let's Pizza

In Singapore, you can press a few buttons and receive mashed potatoes slathered in gravy quicker than the time it takes to utter the words "instant mashed potatoes slathered in gravy." Here, more international vending machine triumphs.>>

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Kitchen Trash

Wacky Holiday Food Gifts

Kitchen Trash

'Jersey Shore' Star Restores the Shore, Gets Spinoff Food Show

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Bucatini Carbonara

Anna Williams

Tonight at 11 pm ET, Vinny Guadagnino and his castmates from MTV’s Jersey Shore are hosting Restore the Shore, a one hour special to encourage viewers to make donations that will help rebuild Seaside Heights, NJ, which was badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
 
Guadagino will soon host his own talk show with a food angle, according to an announcement by MTV. On The Show With Vinny, he will interview celebrities at his family’s Staten Island house and serve them homemade Italian food, likely made by his mother Paula Guadagnino, who cooks enormous Italian meals for her family every day.

Related: Superb Italian Recipes
How to Eat and Drink Like the Cast of MTV's Jersey Shore
5 Reasons Why This is the Last Season of MTV's Jersey Shore

 

 

Kitchen Trash

Pippa Middleton's Kooky Halloween Party Tips

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Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers

© David Malosh

“It is a bit startling to achieve global recognition before the age of 30 on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom,” admits Pippa Middleton in her new book Celebrate: A Year of British Festivities for Families and Friends, which will be released next week. Also a bit surprising: the socialite's kooky Halloween party tips.>>

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