Although it was a stocking stuffer, my Microplane was one of the standout gifts of last Christmas.
A Microplane is exactly that. It uses the principles of a woodworking plane, only miniaturized and specialized for kitchen duty.
All the TV chefs seem to insist upon them. Therefore, I had to have one too. Hey, I’m completely in touch with my impulsiveness, especially when it comes to food gadgets (I’ll tell you about the impetus to buy an iPhone in a later post). Perhaps I’d been sucked in by endorsement hungry superstar chefs. But there had to be more to this than empty hype. And there was!
When I finally figured out how to remove the plastic guard, it beamed at me, rows of razor sharp teeth set off by a cheerful green colour scheme. I was head over heels in love. Yet, even as I marveled at its ergonomic shape, and no slip handle, I wondered at the plastic housing retaining the plane.
Any misgivings over construction were quickly overcome on first use. Wisps of zest emerged effortlessly as I first plied it against the skin of a lime. I caught myself guffawing like a gleeful but mad scientist.
The tool’s perfectly calibrated blades whizzed through the flesh of oranges and lemons with the same zeal, mounding fuzzy piles of the essential oil bearing outer layer while magically leaving the bitter white pith untouched. It made the box grater I’d been using for zesting seem…well primitive. (Although we still use stone tools in the kitchen…my granite mortar and pestle is a fave).
My Microplane proved indispensable. It became the darling of the kitchen…queen of all cuisine enhancing gadgets. Our first year together was bliss, whazzing up amazing glazes for Mexican treats, gorgeous garnishes for creative cocktails. Each use ended with a warm bath of soapy water. When fully dried, and with the plastic guard again protecting the priceless cutting surface, I’d tuck it snug as a bug in the utensil drawer. Each time I opened the drawer, I got a little tingle of joy at seeing it there.
So you can imagine how utterly betrayed I felt when, in the early stages of creating a citrus glaze for a turkey that required the zest of no less than 12, count em, 12 limes and 12 oranges, it happened. The break up. It was our first anniversary (almost to the day). There was a sudden weakening of resolve, a questioning moment, the abrupt unresponsiveness. Then SNAP. My Microplane broke in two.
No WAY! You little fucker. One year, six uses and twenty effing dollars later and it’s all over!?
Turns out my Microplane didn’t prove so indispensable after all. Its shattered remains were placed ceremoniously in the garbage can on a pyre of citrus peel.
But this isn’t a negative review of the Microplane Ultimate Citrus Tool. Yes, the break up left me bitter, but I’ve known the joy a Microplane can bring. I will most certainly seek another relationship. Not a cheap and tawdry affair with a cheap plastic piece of crap. I’m ready for a lifelong commitment, a professional grade all metal construction zester which retails, inexplicably, for only a couple of dollars more.
Microplane products are available at:
The Happy Cooker
464 Stradbrook Avenue
Winnipeg, MB. R3L 0J9
da Niels Gourmet Kitchenware
485 Berry St
Winnipeg, MB. R3J 1N6