Equipment: The Veggetti
I am not a big collector of kitchen gadgets, especially of the sort usually advertised on late night TV. This little item went on special at my local supermarket, however, and on a whim I grabbed one to what it was like. The selling point for the device seems to be that you can turn veggies into ‘pasta’, save yourself all sorts of calories, and presumably go on to be super-healthy and live a wonderful life with many lovers etc. Anyway, I pretty much ignored the general hype and the following post is my report on the tests I did to see if the gadget actually performed as it does in the pictures on the packaging…
The Vegetti comes with a little booklet for the new user. The actual instructions take up just one page, while the rest is given over to recipes. Basically, though, the usage is fairly intuitive, even without the pictures on the package.
The device features with two ‘ends’… the one for producing thin ‘ribbons’; and the other thick. The cap that screws over either end can be used as ‘grip’ for holding the ends of your selected veggie during the ‘pasta-making’ process.
Zucchini seems to be what the makers had in mind when designing this tool and, indeed, there really is only a limited number of vegetables that would be appropriate for use with it. I tried using a small one to test the ‘thin’ end of the device and, as you can see, the results are not awe-inspiring. It takes quite a few good turns to get the thing ‘going’ and I had probably used up a quarter of my zucchini before I got anything like a few good strips. Even then, the yield was nothing like impressive.
Here you can see what the Veggetti does to long thin veggies … basically, it works like one of those old pencil sharpeners that students used to carry…. Just not as well.
The ‘thick end’ of the Veggetti works a little better than the thin one, I found. It was consistently easier to get long strands even for the novice. With practice, the yield would likely improve (although probably not a lot).
Here you can see how the cap works. The idea seems to be that it act like a grip for when there is not much veggie left. The problem is, by the time the piece of veggie is short enough to make this actual desirable, the cap is just about flush with the mouth of the device anyway. You can stick your fingers into the mouth, I suppose, but then you run the risk of getting finger shavings in your ‘pasta’. Personally, I can do without that…
I tried a carrot as well as zucchini and I found it a little trickier to hold the much firmer flesh against the blades as I turned it. The result was that the strands kept breaking as they came out of the device. Again, practice would probably make a bit of a difference but, after a while, it seems like the device is not really saving you much in terms of labor.
Overall, I can’t give this a big thumbs up as it is pretty limited in its application… after zucchini and carrot, I can think of parsnips and white radishes as being suitable for use, but not much else. Whatever you use, you are generally going to end up with a lot of wastage, even once your skills improve. I say, better you buy a decent Japanese vegetable knife and practice, practice, practice…