A Straw? Seriously? That's just too clever.
August 14, 2014 9:34 PM   Subscribe

 
1. "Buzzfeed blue"???
2. Those are heck of awful knife skills.
posted by boo_radley at 9:37 PM on August 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


Alton Brown on slicing a mango. As always, hilariously overcomplicated.
posted by bonehead at 9:44 PM on August 14, 2014


Straw-berry.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 PM on August 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


the straw (or more often around here, wooden kebab skewer) is also a good way to pit cherries in this, the heady and perfumed months of peak cherry production.
posted by The Whelk at 9:46 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's fruit.



It's not that complicated.



If at least 2/3 of it makes it into the eating/chewing hole in my face and goes down the proper tube to the digesting parts I am pretty sure I am not doing it wrong.






In conclusion you are NOT EVEN MY REAL MOM, Buzzfeed Blue.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:47 PM on August 14, 2014 [44 favorites]


They missed bananas
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show at 9:56 PM on August 14, 2014


3. That mango cup trick is the real deal, but use a plastic cup.
posted by boo_radley at 9:57 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just fucking eat it, people!
posted by ReeMonster at 10:12 PM on August 14, 2014


The Mrs. and I often debate the relative merits of various methods of cutting fruit. She favors a horizontal slicing method, while I favor a more vertical approach, at least in regards to the indigenous fruits such as the amaranth, a versatile plant, which grows quickly in the humid lowlands of Africa, consumed in places like Togo, Liberia, Guinea, Benin, and Sierra Leone. This plant thrives in hot weather and is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and essential minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, and I believe that these nutrients are best preserved by vertical slicing.

My wife counters that Perinaldo artichokes - a popular thistle vegetable, valued for its tasty center, a native to the Mediterranean region and originally cultivated in ancient Greece and Perinaldo, a small Italian town near the French border, which produces a variety of artichoke lacking spines or a choke and violet in color - should be sliced horizontally.

As you can imagine, dinners at our house are accompanied by heavy debates, often involving knives.

Only recently have she and I reached a state of relative marital bliss in this regard, a compromise, based on our mutual affection for the filder pointed cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable which provides a rich source of beta-carotene, vitamins C and K, fiber, and which serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

We both agree it should be sliced diagonally.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:13 PM on August 14, 2014 [33 favorites]


Watching that woman cut up that watermelon was like a how-to for knife injuries.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:14 PM on August 14, 2014 [27 favorites]


Note to self.. always say I'm unavailable for dinner parties at twoleftfeet's..
posted by ReeMonster at 10:18 PM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


Regarding the kiwi, cut the ends off and eat it with the skin on. I'm not kidding in the least. Before you try it, you'd think it would taste horrible, probably dry and tasteless. Au contraire. It is actually so delicious I can't imagine eating it any other way now. It is tart and tangy and tastes like a treat from heaven. Additionally, it's much less messy and manageable.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:23 PM on August 14, 2014 [18 favorites]


Those are heck of awful knife skills.

For real. The video needs to come with a free trauma kit and a warning.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:23 PM on August 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Why do you want to cut up a mango to eat it?

Roll it around to mush up the insides, cut a small hole at the stem end then suck/squeeze out the tasty bits. Something like this or this but if you're careful and don't tear the skin as they do in those examples it's about as messy as eating a banana.
posted by N-stoff at 10:32 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Regarding the kiwi, cut the ends off and eat it with the skin on.

This works extra-well with gold kiwifruit, and they are the best.
posted by aurynn at 10:35 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Clumsy aggro video makes me cranky.
posted by desuetude at 10:35 PM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


You can pry my watermelon rinds from my... oh, wait, well, lemme finish this first. Then you can take my rinds away. How else would you hold a watermelon for eating? Now if you're using it in something, dice away.
posted by AngelWuff at 10:35 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Holy crap no. Just shove it in your mouth. That's it. JUST SHOVE IT IN YOUR MOUTH. DONE.
posted by Justinian at 10:44 PM on August 14, 2014


Who bothers to carefully cut the leaves off strawberries? Just rip the leaves off with your hands-- the bit of stem left isn't going to kill you.
posted by Pyry at 10:59 PM on August 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


Why do you want to cut up a mango to eat it?

Roll it around to mush up the insides, cut a small hole at the stem end then suck/squeeze out the tasty bits.


A certain percentage of people are allergic to mango skins, with a reaction similar to poison ivy, so if they do this (or the easier peel-it-with-your-teeth approach) they will get a very sad and painful surprise. For them, even the terrible knife approach shown will be smarter.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:00 PM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man I went into this thinking oh how bad could those knife skills be anyways. Cue me cringing for her fingers even on those silly plastic knives.

I wonder what crazy contraption Alton Brown has for seeding cherries.
posted by Carillon at 11:12 PM on August 14, 2014


These "WRONG" portions remind me of the black and white infomercial footage of people failing at basic tasks. But with more pinball sounds.
posted by downtohisturtles at 11:18 PM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Dear god that shot of the mango with the glass. All I see is blood gushing everywhere.
posted by threecheesetrees at 11:44 PM on August 14, 2014 [10 favorites]




JUST SHOVE IT IN YOUR MOUTH

What, even the watermelon? But I don-BOULLFFP!! MMRM RMMM MMRMMRMR!



mmrrf
posted by aubilenon at 11:55 PM on August 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


I love the strawberry trick. Also, whelk, I'm going to try the straw for pitting cherries--someone said he's bringing me a perfect cherry-pitter but has he? No, he has not, and the cherries could not be more luscious right now.
posted by Anitanola at 12:00 AM on August 15, 2014


Can anyone confirm that that pomegranate thing actually works? Screw it. I'm buying one tomorrow anyway.

As for mangos, why don't people eat mango skin? It's delicious and chewy.
posted by cthuljew at 12:04 AM on August 15, 2014


Who bothers to carefully cut the leaves off strawberries?

I do. I also cut the strawberries into halves and quarters and put them in a bowl with cream. And I eat a Kiwi Fruit by cutting the end off and scooping it out with a spoon - its awesome.
posted by marienbad at 12:41 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Who bothers to carefully cut the leaves off strawberries? Just rip the leaves off with your hands-- the bit of stem left isn't going to kill you.

My wife claims that stem is chock full of Vitamin C, so we are a stem-eating household.
posted by zardoz at 1:04 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Cthuljew: I can confirm it works. In fact, one of my favorite videos of Jamie Oliver is when a young chef taught him the trick.
posted by coriolisdave at 1:08 AM on August 15, 2014


After reading here on MetaFilter about people who eat apples whole, core and all, I've been happily eating them that way. A few weeks ago I eyed a bowl of strawberries and thought, heck, I've been eating apple cores for months, what's stopping me from eating these little green leaves? Nothing. So I ate those, and now that's how I eat strawberries. No fussing, no straws, no paring knife, no finger-plucking. Munch munch munch, mmmm.
posted by cgc373 at 1:18 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pick up the strawberry by the leaves, and bite the strawberry off. That way you don't even touch the fruit with your hands. Why would you bother to pop the green strawberry handle off with a straw?
posted by eye of newt at 1:19 AM on August 15, 2014 [19 favorites]


Yeah, so the video was kinda stupid but now I'm stuck watching Americans try Asian snacks. Those videos are pretty fun. Downside is that now I want aloo masala chips.

(Moth flour is made from beans, you idiots.)
posted by brokkr at 1:28 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hull strawberries with the serrated tip of a grapefruit spoon. No waste. Why do this? Because I put them in a box with a bit of sugar and freeze them. So we may have strawberry shortcake for Christmas or New years dinner.
posted by Cranberry at 1:34 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Avocados can be cut in half, seed discarded, and pulp eaten with a spoon. Add lemon or salt or whatever.
posted by Cranberry at 1:36 AM on August 15, 2014


Saw a thing on TV about how the locals of Tochigi prefecture — Japan's biggest producer of strawberries — will take off he leaves, then eat them from the stem to the tip, because that way they get progressively sweeter as you go.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:39 AM on August 15, 2014


I don't see why Alton Brown makes a huge drama about cutting mangoes. My mom and I do it all the time, in half then cross-hatch, all the while cradling the mango half in one hand. If you're worried about cutting yourself, use a butter knife, mango meat is pretty soft.
posted by Alnedra at 1:42 AM on August 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Cranberry: "Avocados can be cut in half, seed discarded, and pulp eaten with a spoon. Add lemon or salt or whatever."
Fill in the hole left by the avocado stone with cottage cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper for a healthy and nutritious lunch.
posted by brokkr at 1:43 AM on August 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


This seemed excessively angry for a video about preparing fruit.
posted by axoplasm at 1:43 AM on August 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


For most varieties of mango, if it's actually ripe, all you need to do is score an X through the skin at the top, pull the skin away in petals, and eat around the pit like any other stone fruit. If you're fancy you wrap the mango in a towel and then use the towel to hold the nommed pit end when you're eating the other side.

The thing I think most people cut/eat wrong is the bell pepper. Just slice along a crease from the stem to the tip. Then pull it apart with your fingers pinching the stem from above and below into two halves with the seed and stem mostly on one half. Pull the seeds and stem away from that half, pluck out the white ribs if you like. Hold the halves over the trash and knock on the skin side like a door a few times. All the seeds will fall out. Apart from the first slice, it's all done with your fingers and you don't waste any pepper. You can also just hold a pepper by the stem and eat it like an apple, but I like to top my pepper halves with things like they're toast, so dips and salsas and eggs and things.
posted by Mizu at 2:02 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I bite the non-stem end off the kiwifruit, and put it in the compost bin; then I eat every last bit of the rest of it (except the sticky label), finishing only when the last tiny scraps of green have been scraped from the stem-part.

People who peel kiwifruit are wasting the good bits, and unnecessarily dirtying utensils.

Scooping them out with a spoon? Sounds like a great way to smash up the flesh and bruise it.
posted by nonspecialist at 2:27 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


then I eat every last bit of the rest of it (except the sticky label)

You're doing it wrong. Those stickers are edible.
posted by dogwalker at 2:35 AM on August 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


The other useful tip about pomegranate preparation is that the seeds sink to the bottom of a bowl of water, while the pith floats and can this be rapidly separated.
posted by rongorongo at 2:40 AM on August 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Reminds me of this
posted by fullerine at 3:00 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


that watermelon one is loltastically labor intensive(ignoring that i could barely watch her use the knife like that)

What's wrong with just like, holding the rind and mashing it into your face cartoon style? as far as i'm concerned, the watermelon "wheels" they cut, if cut in half or into quarters are totally fine. Like what?

Also, this kinda just proves my point that pomegranates are the most annoying fruit that's just infuriating to watch someone try and eat no matter what.
posted by emptythought at 3:09 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I recognize those knives! They're Pure Komachi 2 Series (Amazon). Mine have been going strong for several years, with occasional sharpening and care.

Looks like the colors and shapes changed somewhat, though. Brown is new, Orange isn't the bread knife anymore, Light Blue is a new color to me. Very odd to see them cutting a kiwi with the bread knife. Purple was far nicer than this Brown, too.
posted by crysflame at 4:01 AM on August 15, 2014 [2 favorites]




crysflame, martha stewart also riffed on that design(i have these, and they've actually held up quite well for a couple years now backed up by a mercer chefs knife for the actual heavy lifting), and probably others. I remember years ago seeing a kyocera ceramic knife set use colors like that too.

It seems every brand swaps the colors around, so who knows which ones they're using. Someone could probably sleuth it out if they cared enough...
posted by emptythought at 4:03 AM on August 15, 2014


7. Grapefruit.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:13 AM on August 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I moved from Seattle to Monroe WA to live with my dad because in the late seventies the city was a bit rough as were all cities back then and Monroe was country and I was having difficulty in the city. Very early in the morning in the summertime my grumpy dad would drop me off at the intersection of highway 2 and Wood's creek road so I could be picked up by an ancient school bus to go pick strawberries.

Mr. Beiderbost was the owner of the berry farm, he had 12 kids who were first on the bus when it left from home of course and they looked exactly like a bunch of Beiderbost's; lanky and redhead and they were as unconcerned a group as you will ever find. Tom was the one in my eighth grade class.

We would pick strawberries in the early morning before it got too hot and the sun and heat and the moisture would ruin the strawberries. On our knees between rows shoving the box ahead as we ate the best ones [smaller ones] filling a flat we would getting our cards punched to get paid [damn near nothing] at the end of the week.

What was fun though, besides seeing your schoolmates and girls [YMMV] in the summer was how utterly the goofy Mr. Beiderbost did not give a shit when we had berry fights on the bus on the way home. He would hunker forward as he drove the ancient bus and ocassionally turn back and smile as we all destroyed thousands of dollars worth of his crops having a berry fight every day.

I think Mr. Beiderbost was growing being happy and Strawberries and kids were a means.
posted by vapidave at 4:14 AM on August 15, 2014 [11 favorites]


You can also just hold a pepper by the stem and eat it like an apple

Allez cuisine!
posted by zamboni at 4:41 AM on August 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


This is how to cut a watermelon.

This has made me realize that what's holding my fruit-butchery back is the lack of a cut-proof glove.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:50 AM on August 15, 2014


Pssh. It's mangos what should be sliced (& then turned inside out) with the cross-hatch method; for a watermelon, no knife needed.
posted by Westringia F. at 5:15 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


God I really hate being told I am doing stuff wrong, especially when I am NOT.

1) This is already how I cut kiwi.

2) I don't eat pomegranates which might be doing it wrong I guess but shut up it's really my business and not yours.

3) Mango I'll maybe grant you but telling me I'm doing it wrong is still a dick move.

4) Part of the nice thing about how I generally peel oranges is that I don't need a utensil or a cutting surface to do it. Yes, this might release the squishy inside bits from the pith more cleanly, but it also requires being at home with a knife and a countertop.

5) I eat strawberries by holding on to the salad part and then eating the berry part. Is this wrong? I don't require an implement for this.

6) But I LIKE having the watermelon rind! That technique seems reasonable if your goal is cubed watermelon, but my goal is generally watermelon slices. I can eat them without a fork or sticky hands and it feels pleasant and summery.

Seriously, the trend of telling people they're doing things wrong drives me crazy, and in this case it's worse because what most of these boil down to is "us more implements!". What's great about many fruits is that they're pretty simple to eat even while you're hanging out; it doesn't have to be some big production. Oranges can just be peeled. Strawberries can just be eaten without making some big almighty straw-related production out of it. What if you don't have a straw? That woman's cutting strawberries at work, is she expected to bring a straw with her?* Instead of just cutting the damn pomegranate you're now using a bowl and an extra spoon and a knife (although this one might be better, I don't know, so I'm willing to be corrected here). It's just so IRRITATING!

People often have perfectly good reasons for the way they choose to do things (ask me about my shower routine sometime -- I've thought about it very carefully) and telling them they're doing it wrong without knowing why they make their choices, be it about cutting fruit or dressing or having children or WHATEVER, is just such a hostile, dickish thing to do. WTF.

*As a matter of fact I DO often have a straw with me because I love drinking from straws but that's not the point
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:16 AM on August 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


But the banana. Seriously, I have bitten the bottom end to open them forever now. Then you are left with a cartoon-perfect banana peel, with the stem at the center of the splayed peel. I have long been tempted to set one gently on the floor to see if someone really does slip on it comically.

Oh also you get to eat the banana. This is important.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:30 AM on August 15, 2014


You used to be able to hull strawberries with just a gentle pull on the stalk; all the hard white bit would just slide out. Whether the varieties or the ripening has changed, I don't know, but I find it sort of weird that during my life grapes have become conveniently seedless and taste better than ever while strawberries now require preparation and taste of water.
posted by Segundus at 5:32 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I sort of eat kiwi like that anyway, but I do it marienbad style.

Grapefruits should be eaten by removing the rind and separating the segments into two portions. In the centre, the skin of one segment will be separated slightly, revealing the juice vesicles inside. Peel the skin back to the outermost edge. Doing this separates the section of vesicles from the skin on the other side and exposes the tiny little seeds, which you should pick out. Then, poke your tongue underneath the section of vesicles and prise it off. It, and any juice, goes straight into your mouth, instead of being squeezed all over you. Once you've removed all of the pulp, gently peel the bottom layer of membrane off, and the cycle can start all over again.
posted by Solomon at 5:35 AM on August 15, 2014


I learned to pit cherries without a specialty tool, via Martha Stewart. Use a paper clip!
posted by inigo2 at 5:43 AM on August 15, 2014


Seriously, the trend of telling people they're doing things wrong drives me crazy, and in this case it's worse because what most of these boil down to is "us more implements!".

So, you're saying people telling you that you're doing it wrong are doing it wrong?
posted by eriko at 6:23 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Woah. I used to like grapefruit--until just now when Solomon told me they have vesicles.
posted by mondo dentro at 6:23 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, you're saying people telling you that you're doing it wrong are doing it wrong?

I'm saying the phrase "you're doing it wrong" is hostile and unnecessary; there's a big difference between saying that and saying "here are some suggestions you may not have considered that could make your life easier" or "alternate ways to try this" or whatever. Offering a suggestion in a helpful and neutral way because you think it might improve someone's life versus using judgmental language like "wrong" change the way people feel about and react to what you're saying. I feel judged a lot in general and having someone straight out tell me I'm doing something wrong doesn't really help that. Context matters and framing matters (just look at that politeness thread) and there's enough people being all judgey that I don't really think we need more of it, so I guess what I'm saying is not "you telling me I'm doing it wrong is doing it wrong", I'm saying "perhaps there's a more respectful way to frame these suggestions".
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:43 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Watermelon slicing? They have a gadget for that.

Now, I'm not a watermelon-eater myself, but I always thought that the rind on a watermelon slice was a feature rather than a bug. It gives you something to hold onto while you're eating that A. keeps your grubby mitts off the bit you're eating and B. keeps the sticky juice off your hands.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:43 AM on August 15, 2014


the straw (or more often around here, wooden kebab skewer) is also a good way to pit cherries in this, the heady and perfumed months of peak cherry production.

We always used a hairpin.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:44 AM on August 15, 2014


You can also just hold a pepper by the stem and eat it like an apple

Allez cuisine!


Holy CRAP, that's what he's saying!
posted by brand-gnu at 6:49 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm saying the phrase "you're doing it wrong" is hostile and unnecessary; there's a big difference between saying that and saying "here are some suggestions you may not have considered that could make your life easier" or "alternate ways to try this" or whatever.

I have a similar problem with people who say, "[GERUND] smart." I got into an argument with someone once when talking about packing for a trip. He smugly said, "I don't call it 'packing light;' it's just 'packing smart.'" No amount of explaining to him why some people might want or need to pack more than others, or how different people may be looking for different things out of a trip, or anything of the sort had any effect on them. His stock response was to just repeat his initial statement, and incredulously ask what my problem was. I said, "I don't like being called stupid because I have different travel needs than yours, like carrying medical supplies that will keep me alive during the trip." He acted completely baffled.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:53 AM on August 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I started the video but then immediately had to leave the room. Hearing the butt-rock soundtrack from across the house made me think I left the menu screen running on an old PlayStation 2 swamp racing game.
posted by sourwookie at 7:00 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Underpants Monster: next time just reply, "you mean smartly."
posted by Navelgazer at 7:00 AM on August 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't see why Alton Brown makes a huge drama about cutting mangoes.

Not understanding why Alton Brown makes a huge drama out of something is not understanding Atlon Brown, Super Fussbudget.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on August 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm confused why, in the watermelon slicer video, they take away the pure watermelon core and don't show it again. Why isn't it on the box? Why isn't it the point of the tool? It's pure watermelon.
posted by Naib at 7:08 AM on August 15, 2014




As someone who used to cut up fruit for a living (I spent a good portion of my twenties in a catering job in which my first task every morning was to knock up a dozen fancy fruit platters) it took me a while to realise that some of the fruit-cutting techniques in that video were supposed to be the right way, because they pretty much all looked wrong to me.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:28 AM on August 15, 2014


The best way to eat fruit is any way that gets you the fruit part. But the best way to present a video is without the god awful music and the stupid bells and whistles.
posted by 724A at 7:29 AM on August 15, 2014


Jesus, I think the straw trick for strawberries (my god, the secret was in the name THE WHOLE TIME) just changed my life forever, for the better.
posted by mathowie at 7:33 AM on August 15, 2014


I inculcate our Sunday School children into the lifelong discipline of the Protestant work-ethic via an instructive sermonette that features unmanageable fruits.

Bearing a large sack, I gather the children at the foot of the chancel. "Who loves fruit?" I ask. Indeed, nearly all children love fruit. I retrieve from my pouch a ripe peach and begin to eat it in front of them. "Fruit is so delicious," I marvel, "a delicate dance of humanity's power over selection and breeding and God's delight to provide us with native sustenance the world over." Then, I proffer some hidden fruit to the children - "Would you like some fruit?"
They clamor for free food, the precious gluttons.
From within my fruit pouch I then produce a multitude of coconuts, pomegranates, melons and nopalis. "Dig in!" I say.
The children are invariably crest-fallen.
"Life is an even mixture of blessing and hard work. We mustn't expect the Lord to open all of life's coconuts. Rather, we will apply our gifts to the task set nearest to hand." We then pray for the courage to work with diligence for the balance of our life in the garden of God's delight.
The children are dismissed to the kitchen where they are instructed in opening challenging fruits, with which they prepare a fruit salad to be immediately distributed to local orphans.*

this is a bit of an adaptation. however i am famous for sending children home with coconuts.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:35 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Holy crap no. Just shove it in your mouth. That's it. JUST SHOVE IT IN YOUR MOUTH. DONE.

Oooooohhhhh, in my MOUTH. Thanks, this really helps me out.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:41 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


So weird what some people find complicated.
posted by penduluum at 7:44 AM on August 15, 2014


Offering a suggestion in a helpful and neutral way because you think it might improve someone's life versus using judgmental language like "wrong" change the way people feel about and react to what you're saying. I feel judged a lot in general and having someone straight out tell me I'm doing something wrong doesn't really help that.

<Offers a non-judgmental hug to Mrs. Pterodactyl>
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:45 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


every morning … knock up a dozen fancy fruit platters

Why limit yourself to grapefruit? Someone give Greg Nog a shout—there's a panoply of fruit to be fucked!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:58 AM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, I used to associate the word "panoply" with that Decemberists song, but NO MORE.
posted by maryr at 8:04 AM on August 15, 2014


Having prepped gallons of strawberries for jam and such over the years, my technique is to pinch the stem between my thumb and a paring knife blade, scraping the hull off. It's very similar to the action of the classic tweezer-style huller, but doesn't need a special unitasker.

The straw technique looks great for perfect looking strawberries for a plate, but when processing a few quarts for jam or whatnot, I'll stick with the paring knife.

BTW, the best slicer ime for perfect strawberry slices is an egg slicer.
posted by bonehead at 8:17 AM on August 15, 2014


While I appreciate the points they're making, ~90% of these videos are using techniques that are suited more to a professional kitchen processing at volume, and not people at home peeling a single mango or whatever. So if it gets the fruit into your mouth-hole, whatever you're doing is fine. The relentless pursuit of speed at home just makes no sense. Half of enjoying food is taking time to enjoy the preparation, I think (YMMV), not just rushing through it as fast as humanly possible to get to the end result.

All that being said, obviously I use skills I've learned in pro kitchens at home. But that's not something everyone needs to do, especially when it comes to eating fresh fruit.

Except the pomegranate + bowl of water. It's simply the least fussy way to get at delicious, delicious pomegranate. And that method of cutting watermelon actually saved my life when catering a couple weeks ago, and is probably also the best way to dice watermelon for e.g. fruit salad while preserving the rind for pickling. If that's your bag.

Oh my God those knife skills oh god I'm getting heebie jeebies and flashbacks to idiot culinary students staging in real kitchens. Protip: as soon as you cut something and gain a flat surface, that flat surface goes on the damn cutting board. I was cringing the whole time I was watching that talentless hack hack talentlessly at fruit .

Also, all of those methods leave a lot of waste and ragged ugly fruit (not uglifruit); look at the wastage of the kiwi, mango, and watermelon.

I'm also not saying that people shouldn't learn proper knife and other kitchen skills (preferably in high school; 'home ec' should be mandatory for everyone in the universe for at least one year), more like horses for courses (ahem).

In conclusion, fruit is a land of contrasts. Yummy, yummy contrasts.

Also, regarding coconuts: you do not know brown-trousers utter abject please-let-me-wake-up-from-this-awful-nightmare terror until you've sent a large shard of coconut winging past a highly unstable and temperamental chef's face so close he could feel the breeze. I swear time slowed down.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:28 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I find that the egg slicer is often too flimsy for something as firm as a strawberry.
posted by Night_owl at 8:29 AM on August 15, 2014


Egg slicers are one of the few useful unitaskers though. Slicing eggs perfectly sucks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:31 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I love mango slicing instructional videos. Using cups, turning inside out, leaving fingerholds of skin... Of course I have my own method, which I feel is superior, but the truth is that it's just an awkward fruit to dice. You do it a lot and you develop a technique that works for you, or you do it rarely and you use whichever technique you last saw on youtube.
posted by Nothing at 8:34 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pre-Taped Call In Show: They missed bananas
I saw the "how to peel a banana like a monkey" video a couple of years ago via an AskMefi thread. And actually spent a little while looking for any evidence that this IS how monkeys eat bananas. Does anybody know?
posted by rongorongo at 8:50 AM on August 15, 2014


This is probably common knowledge to the rest of the world but a few years ago I discovered the single tool that revolutionized my activity in the kitchen: scissors.

Is there anything they cannot do?

In addition to that list, you can also use them to cut the green bits off strawberries.
posted by chavenet at 8:57 AM on August 15, 2014


That monkey way to open bananas leaves you vulnerable to that gross bit at the end. The right way is to put a little nick in the banana with a knife and then peel it. I am the only person I know who does it this way, but all other ways are madness.
posted by Yowser at 9:22 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can anyone confirm that that pomegranate thing actually works?

The easy thing with pomegranates it to slice off the top and bottom (pretty thinly), then cut just through the skin (again, shallow cuts) from top to bottom in a series of segments around the outside (roughly akin to the segments of an orange--maybe 6-8 cuts total). Then submerge the whole thing into a bowl of water. It breaks easily into segments and you can bend each segment back to gently free the seeds. As someone said above, the pith floats and the seeds sink, so it's very efficient. Do note, though, that the seeds will occasionally pull some of the pith down with them, so you'll need to sift through a little to release stray bits of pith from those seeds. But it really is a pretty quick job and gives you a very high yield of whole, unbruised seeds--and no shots of bright red pomegranate juice all over your white shirt.
posted by yoink at 9:43 AM on August 15, 2014


Faster and easier than submerging: Hold the pomegranate in your non-dominant hand, over water with fingers spread, cut side down. Spank the back with a wooden spoon or the flat of a knife. Pomegranate ready in about two minutes.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:51 AM on August 15, 2014


Yesterday I saw a man running a fruit cart use a potato peeler on a mango, and I was enlightened.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:55 AM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hold the pomegranate in your non-dominant hand, over water with fingers spread, cut side down. Spank the back with a wooden spoon or the flat of a knife.

And all the seeds really come out? They're often wedged in there pretty tight.
posted by yoink at 10:10 AM on August 15, 2014


Trying to eat a pomegranate efficiently is sort of a fruitless endeavor, I've found.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:50 AM on August 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


As for mangos, why don't people eat mango skin? It's delicious and chewy.

It makes my mouth burn in an unpleasant way which suggests that I should not do this thing ever again.
posted by elizardbits at 10:52 AM on August 15, 2014


Dip Flash: "A certain percentage of people are allergic to mango skins, with a reaction similar to poison ivy,"

Are you telling me that not everyone has to endure burning lips and tongue to eat the heavenly delicious mango flesh? I'm gonna cry.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:58 AM on August 15, 2014


Yoink: yeah. Spank hard enough and the skin will split a bit, letting the ones in the interior come out. At most you may lose a few % of seeds. You also end up with less pith in the water, making it even easier to remove.

Gordafarin: AFAIK it's usually only the peel that contains the irritant. I think probably if you peeled the skin with a potato peeler, wash the peeler, and then peel off the outer layer of flesh (which probably came into contact with the irritant as you peeled off the skin), you may be able to avoid that problem. IANAD though so maybe not.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:01 PM on August 15, 2014


Are you telling me that not everyone has to endure burning lips and tongue to eat the heavenly delicious mango flesh? I'm gonna cry.

Nope, you basically lost the mango lottery. Supposedly it's related to poison ivy, but for whatever reason I have terrible poison ivy reactions and yet can peel mangos with my teeth all day long. Like FFFM says, it's just the skin, though, so as long as you peel it (maybe wearing gloves if you are super sensitive) you should be fine.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:34 PM on August 15, 2014


Carillon: "Man I went into this thinking oh how bad could those knife skills be anyways. Cue me cringing for her fingers even on those silly plastic knives.

I wonder what crazy contraption Alton Brown has for seeding cherries.
"

Last time I made a cherry clafouti I used a large paper clip. I'm sure there is a single tasker to do the job.
posted by Splunge at 12:40 PM on August 15, 2014


How to prepare a kiwi.
posted by Kiwi at 1:09 PM on August 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I had a co-worker who was allergic to mango skin. She did the cut in half, crosshatch, and pop method one day. Came in the next morning with every bit of her face between her nose and chin a livid, painful red.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:20 PM on August 15, 2014


Crazy Russian Hacker has the pomegranate technique covered.

"You should use a bowl. This guy has no bowl because he's still single."
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:32 PM on August 15, 2014


2. Those are heck of awful knife skills.

And those are heck of awful knives, which follows.
posted by me3dia at 1:54 PM on August 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


-A certain percentage of people are allergic to mango skins, with a reaction similar to poison ivy

--Are you telling me that not everyone has to endure burning lips and tongue to eat the heavenly delicious mango flesh? I'm gonna cry.


Hey, does the skin on your hands get red and start to peel like they're sunburned when you peel winter squash, or just handle the squash skin too much? 'Cause that happens to me but nobody else in my family or cirlce of friends.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:37 PM on August 15, 2014


…it's just 'packing smart.'

I always forget to pack smart on trips.

And it's too expensive to buy at the hotel so I just manage to do without till I get back.
posted by mazola at 3:23 PM on August 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


> Why do you want to cut up a mango to eat it?

Because I like the texture of unmushed mango.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:27 PM on August 15, 2014


I saw the "how to peel a banana like a monkey" video a couple of years ago via an AskMefi thread. And actually spent a little while looking for any evidence that this IS how monkeys eat bananas. Does anybody know?
posted by rongorongo at 11:50 AM on August 15 [+] [!]


I REFUSE TO EAT A BANANA LIKE A MONKEY. MAINLY BECAUSE I'M NOT A GODDAMN MONKEY, I HAVE THESE OPPOSABLE THUMBS AND FINE MOTOR SKILLS FOR A REASON1?!?!
posted by Fizz at 5:20 PM on August 15, 2014


This is probably common knowledge to the rest of the world but a few years ago I discovered the single tool that revolutionized my activity in the kitchen: scissors.

Scissors cut hot cheesy things better than anything else. Pizzas, Quesadillas, etc. Pizza cutters fucking suck unless you're slicing on an actual proper surface(like a metal pizza pan), and it's new, sharp, and an actual large commercial one not the shitty home ones. Quesadillas? There's just no other good way to slice those things, end of story.

The only thing that sucks about scissors is that they can be really annoying to wash. They're awesome for so much kitchen stuff.

A certain percentage of people are allergic to mango skins, with a reaction similar to poison ivy, so if they do this (or the easier peel-it-with-your-teeth approach) they will get a very sad and painful surprise.

Whaaaaaat. Ugh sometimes i hate my crazy mom. She convinced me when i was a kid that they were like, fully poisonous, and that i'd end up in the ER if i ate even a tiny little bit of them.

I had seriously believed that until this thread.
posted by emptythought at 6:26 PM on August 15, 2014


Nifty scissors tip, by the way: sharpen them (or at least hone) by cutting aluminum foil!
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:37 PM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The only thing that sucks about scissors is that they can be really annoying to wash. They're awesome for so much kitchen stuff.

That is the exact difference between scissors and kitchen shears! Kitchen shears come apart easily so you can just wash them normal and only put them back together when they're dry!
posted by aubilenon at 9:12 PM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've also noticed that some people eat around the pit when eating plums. That's silly and awkward. Just bite down HARD.
posted by dgaicun at 4:13 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Quesadillas? There's just no other good way to slice those things, end of story.

They're called knives. Sharp ones.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:39 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


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