A few years ago my sister-in-law, Susana, told me about this gadget she bought that made zucchini into beautiful ribbons. Susana and my brother Jonathan were bursting with enthusiasm over this new doodad that allowed them to make zucchini into pasta. My brother, not the type to be so excited about food, gave me a nod and told me to check it out.
I started doing some research. There were 100’s of different widgets out there that claimed to do the same thing — I must have broke out in a hive for each and every one of them. Seriously, they looked like some sort of medieval torture device. But I didn’t let that dissuade me. I suddenly needed to make ribbons and strands of different sizes out of fruits and vegetables. I picked up the phone, called up my sister-in-law, and asked her specifically which one she bought. She must have been able to hear the panic in my voice because as she was trying to find the link to the one she bought online, she was singing the thingamajigs praises almost as if she was giving a testimonial on an infomercial. As I hear Susana typing on her computer searching for the exact one she bought she said, “Lauren the one I have is great, it is light-weight, the instructions are straight-forward, it’s simple to use and so easy to clean.” Then she exclaims, “Found it!” And I reply, “Forward it to me!”
Ahhhh…And there it was the Padermo World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiralizer, (picture rays of sunshine hitting my computer screen.) Although it did look a little bit cumbersome I took Susana’s word for it and with a click of my mouse it was mine.
When it was delivered to my house, I opened the box, and my husband, Dan and I both looked at the spiralizer. Dan looked at me and said, “Really Lauren? Do we really need another kitchen product?” “Need” is a funny word. Since Dan says the same thing to me when I walk towards the shoe department at Bloomingdales, it made me think. Was he putting my reverence of kitchen gear in the same category as shoes? I do have a fondness for both so I didn’t blame him for saying this; I have collected my fair share of portable kitchen appliances (and shoes) over the years. Dan had a point. But this wasn’t the same. I assured him,“Dan, how can you say that? Do you not know what I can make with this –this –this — thing?” Luckily, he looked at me, shook his head and walked out of the kitchen because he like myself, had no idea what I was going to make other than zucchini pasta but I was looking forward to figuring it out.
Two years after buying the “vegetable twist machine”, that is what my kids call it, I am happy to say that even though I didn’t need it, I am thrilled that I have it. My kids and even Dan are too. Our favorite thing to make is “zucchetti” and “zibbons” topped with my Best Bolognese.
We have fun with all sorts of vegetables in the spiralizer. However, there are some criteria regarding what can and cannot be spiralized. For example, it is easiest to spiralize fruits and vegetables that are at least 1.5 inches wide and 2 inches long. And I believe it is virtually impossible to spiralize soft fruits and vegetables such as kiwis, avocados or oranges. And clearly there needs to be something to spiralize so the fruit or vegetable can’t be hollow or have big pits on the inside. And the item being spiralized must be dense. So spiralizing a coconut, florets of broccoli or cauliflower, or leafy greens like spinach is just not happening.
If you don’t want to invest in a spiralizer or you don’t have the storage space for one, yet you are just yearning for “zibbons” you can achieve a similar result with a vegetable peeler. Just cut the ends off of the zucchini with a knife and move a vegetable peeler along the length of the zucchini. Simple and easy minus the extra equipment. That works and totally qualifies as a “zibbon”.
The bottom line is nothing beats the presentation of a food that has been spiralized or “ribbonized”. It brings an element of the unexpected to a meal, it beautifies a meal and freshens up a dish. It adds a layer of nutrition with the potential of subtracting calories from a dish such as when substituting “zucchetti” for pasta. For some, it is just a fun way to introduce kids to eat a vegetable. And, it is for all of these reasons that the spiralizer for me is a “Favorite Find”.