9 Kitchen Utensils and Gadgets You Won’t Find in America Slideshow
April 17, 2015
Your kitchen cabinets could hold so much more than you think
9 Kitchen Utensils and Gadgets You Won’t Find in America
Since the world is full of thousands of different foods, it makes complete sense that there are some utensils that are unique to certain cultures. Just as you are unlikely to find an electric stand mixer in Vietnam, where baked cakes are not as common as they are in the United States (and where electricity is fickle), you probably won’t see a jaffle iron in America. Don’t know what that is? Keep reading. Here are nine kitchen utensils you won’t find in America.
Æbleskiver Pan (Denmark)
Æbleskivers are Danish apple pancakes that are somewhere between a pancake and a popover; they are popular enough to warrant their own special pan. Æbleskiver pans are usually cast-iron, and their good heat retention lets the æbleskivers become soft on the outside and airy on the inside, like a doughnut that sits less heavily in your stomach.
This small pot — it could fit in the palm of your hand — is used to make Turkish coffee. Attached to a long handle, the best cezves are made of copper, as copper conducts heat very well. The smallness of the pot lets the finely ground coffee, sugar, and cold water combine at their own pace — you should never stir or try to somehow modify this process, or your coffee will become muddy-tasting.
Escargot Tong (France)
Since escargots are drenched in garlic butter and are thus very slippery, it is almost impossible (and highly gauche) to hold the shell in your hand as you poke your fork into it to find the silky meat. That’s where the escargot tong comes in. Use it to achieve a tight grip on the shell with your non-dominant hand so you can get a good view of where you need to poke before you get in there with your fork.
Jaffle Iron (South Africa)
Grilled cheese lovers and camping enthusiasts, pay attention. A jaffle iron lets you prepare your sandwich over a fire, which gives your bread a fragrant, charred taste that pairs excellently with freshly melted cheese. Just put your prepared but unheated sandwich on one side of the press and fold the other side over it before holding it over a fire. Stop just when you see the cheese rimming the iron start to bubble. In India, jaffle irons have ridges crossing the inside that split the square sandwich into four small triangular pieces.
Masala Dabba (India)
Instead of keeping all your spices in their individual containers, you could just empty those bottles and put your spices in a “masala dabba,” or spice box. These circular, stainless steel boxes are made of two tiers of several smaller circular compartments. There’s so much to love about masala dabba. They are very portable — take them along if you’re cooking at someone else’s house and are worried they won’t have the spices to which you are most partial. They fit easily into drawers. They let you smell the full scent of your spices before you add them to your food, which is one of life’s small pleasures. And they seem rather steely and utilitarian on the outside, but open the lid and you’ll encounter a beautiful, colorful vision.
Potato Chip Grabber (Japan)
Love potato chips but hate how oily they make your fingers? Japan has a solution. Potato chip grabbers are sort of like those back scratchers, but click a button and the fingers grasp items like potato chips or popcorn. Think about how much easier your life would be if you could eat potato chips on the subway without having to worry about unsanitary hands (though you would have to worry about how ridiculous you’d look).
Raclette Grill (Switzerland)
Raclette grills are not just useful: they’re also a great appliance to gather around in a social setting. You’ll feel like you’re having an indoor campfire. A two-tiered grill, the top part is for grilling vegetables and meats, while the bottom is for shallow, individual pans where you melt delicious raclette cheese. Pull the pans out by their handles when you’re ready to dip your meats and vegetables.
Move over, spork. The splayd combines a spoon, fork, and knife. Rather than the rounded bowl you would see on a spork, a splayd has semi-sharp geometric edges that easily cut foods that aren’t too hard, like the crust of a tart. When eating foods with a lot of sauce, you’ll love that you can pack in flavor by scooping up extra sauce with the spoon portion.
Wok Brush (China)
So simple, yet so useful, a wok brush is a broom-like brush made of bamboo that cleans wok (and other) pans in detail, getting into the small crevices that your sponge might miss. It’s like a whisk that you can clean with. It’s so simple and organic, but gets rid of the most stubborn stains.