Italian Kitchen Terms: What is a Mandoline?

What is a Mandoline in Kitchen Terms?

What is a mandoline slicer? A Mandoline is a kitchen tool with a flat surface fitted with a sharp blade used for slicing fruits and vegetables. This tool can uniformly and quickly cut fruits and vegetables into thin biteable slices.

What is a mandoline slicer used for, and how do you take care of this kitchen tool? Read on to find out this and much more.

mandoline slicer

What is a Mandoline Slicer Used for?

What is a mandoline slicer used for? If you are interacting with this kitchen tool for the first time, this is the one question likely to bother you. So let’s find out!

The mandolin knife is effective and safer than regular knives when chopping hard fruits and vegetables. Most cooks use this tool when preparing food that requires uniformly sliced pieces. 

The potato mandolin comes in handy when preparing homemade potato chips and crisps. You may also use the mandoline to prepare a wide range of salad and slaws. Besides fruits and vegetables, you can use this kitchen tool to slice and shred items like cheese. Read our article and find out the 13 Most Popular Italian Cheeses.

How to Use a Mandoline Safely

A mandoline knife can greatly cut down your prep and cooking time. When using this tool, you need to slide your fruit or veg back and forth on the sharp blade. Your uniform, perfectly sliced pieces will emerge below. However, they are also one of the sharpest kitchen tools, so it is essential to know how to use a mandoline safely.

Most mandolins come with a plastic or rubber holder to protect your fingers from sharp blades. Instead of having your fingers right on top of the vegetable while slicing, the vegetable sits under the finger guard.

The safest kitchen slicers will have a non-slip base and fit firmly on the chopping board. Here is a simple procedure on how to use a mandoline. Whichever kitchen mandoline type you pick, you will be safer if you follow these steps.

  • The first thing is to put the mandolin slicer perpendicular to your body with the slant facing away. This position allows you to have better control when sliding your item back and forth.
  • If the item you are slicing does not have a flat surface, use a knife to cut to an even surface. Starting from a flat surface increases stability. This stability means you are less likely to have injuries.
  • Secure the food on the food on the holder or guard that came with the mandoline. 
  • Place the food in the holder over the blade, ensuring the flat surface is directly on the blade. 
  • Apply even pressure on the item as you run it up and down the slicer. Continue until you have wholly sliced your food or have enough pieces.

The Different Types of Mandoline Slicers

Depending on your needs and pocket, there are many kitchen mandolins that you can purchase. Premium quality mandolins are metallic and have complex settings. You can adjust the blades to get paper-thin or slightly thicker pieces. Simple kitchen mandolins have only one setting that slices thinly.

Fancy mandolins come with various interchangeable plates to make Julienne cuts, wavy cuts, waffle cuts, and shreds. Here are the different types of mandoline that you can buy.

Hand-held Mandoline 

Hand-held mandolins will be a great choice if you need something simple that will take the least space in your kitchen. This tool has a slim shape and few accessories. Ensure you pick one with a rubber base to keep it more stable as you cut.

V- Blade Mandoline

If you are looking for a premium quality mandoline to add to your kitchen tools, the v-blade would be perfect. This tool comes with four interchangeable pieces which you can use to slice, make wavy cuts, French fries, and crinkle cuts. Unlike most mandolines, this tool has a v-shaped blade that can slice the food from both sides.

OXO Mandolins

Professional chefs mostly use the OXO premium quality mandoline. It has over 20 settings to cut perfectly unified thick or thin slices. This mandolin can do all that the v mandolin does and much more.

Our Mandoline Care Instructions

As part of good housekeeping, you need to ensure that your kitchen mandoline is always well cleaned and maintained. Failure to clean this kitchen tool well will result in food getting stuck on the blades, resulting in bacterial growth. 

The best way to clean this kitchen tool is using a small amount of soap, warm water, and a scrub pad. Ensure you follow the cleaning procedure for your specific model. Some are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning easier. 

When cleaning this tool using a dishwasher, ensure the blade does not come in contact with other utensils to avoid scratches. Read our article and find out the 15 Italian Kitchen Utensils You Need.

Mandolines that come with many pieces will require dissembling before cleaning. Directly handling the many blades is difficult and risky. You should concentrate fully to avoid cutting yourself. After cleaning the mandoline, leave it to dry or wipe it using a clean, dry towel.

Good storage and maintenance are a part of caring for your kitchen mandoline. Please keep it in a cool, dry place to avoid corrosion and rust. Remember to store your mandoline in a clean place to prevent dirt and bacterial buildup.

kitchen mandoline

That’s a Wrap!

We often find ourselves preparing the same old things in the same old way. A mandoline is an award-winning tool that every kitchen should have. You do not need to sign up for an Italian cooking course to prepare your fruit and vegetable salads like an expert. This tool presents a faster way of preparing spurs, fruit salads, and vegetables!

Mandoline slicers are available in different sizes and materials, so you can buy one that suits you best. The mandoline is a sharp tool. Please keep it away from children and be cautious when using it. Remember to clean the mandoline well and store it in a cool, dry place.