Mandolines are for slicing, not plucking


October 12, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: I have heard of a tool called a mandoline that chefs use. For me, it brings to mind the musical instrument. Can you give me some information about it?

A: The mandoline is a compact hand-operated slicing device made of stainless steel or wooden frame with carbon steel blades and folding legs. The blades may be adjusted to cut items into various shapes and precise uniform cuts such as waffled slices or perfect matchsticks. This tool in the professional style is quite expensive (up to $200) because of the stainless steel and nature of the fittings, but less expensive variations in plastic can be found.

Q: I have heard that all the chickens that we purchase in the supermarket are female. Is this true?

A: Mitzi Perdue, author of the "Perdue Chicken Cookbook," says this is not true. Cornish game hens are female; roasters are males of the same family. Broilers are male or female.

TIP: Nonfat plain yogurt contains more calcium than low-fat plain yogurt. What a bonus: less fat, more calcium.

We'd like to hear from you. Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6180 after you hear the greeting. Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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