Culinary Instrumentation 101: The Trusty Food Processor

I don’t know how much blood I have lost from accidentally getting cuts on my fingers with either a chef’s knife or a cheese grater over the past two months. All I know is wherever the site of the bleeding is, it’s too far away from my entrails, unless I perform hara-kiri. Aside from that, it just occurred to me two weeks ago that julienning and mincing meat and vegetables into strips or pieces with a knife seemed a tedious and time-consuming process for a graduate student who should spend more time pursuing erudition rather than olfactory and gustatory indulgence.

As time is more important than money, I decided to invest on a substantially “expensive” instrument – the food processor. Well, it was substantially “expensive” because I bought the Cuisinart brand with a 7-cup capacity. I bought it brand new from an Ebay auction at 66 USD – 20 USD shipping charge included (but this is already considered cheap because the 7-cup Cuisinart food processor costs 100 USD on Amazon or on grocery stores.) I don’t want to sound like a beauty pageant contestant but I have to say this. I personally believe that every graduate student studying ALONE and ABROAD should own one. Here are my Top 5 reasons justifying my worthy investment:

1. Versatility: A food processor is like the entire set of food preparation apparatuses crammed into one machine. It does not only chop and mince. Provided that it comes along with the shredding and slicing discs, it can grate, julienne and slice too. You can also use it for mashing without you complaining about the lumps produced from using a fork. This feature also allows you to prepare soups, sauces, stuffings, dressings and garnishes. (Limitations: It does not dice.)

2. Automation: A food processor is like a spectrometer without the detector. Not that I am lazy in cooking but as a graduate student, time is of the essence. So just plug your food processor and and individually put whatever vegetable you need for cooking. Press the button. Presto!!! You are done in 2-3 minutes as opposed to using a knife which will take you 10-15 minutes to get the job done.

3. Safety and Protection: One cool feature of the food processor is that it is covered. That way it protects your eyes from whatever lachrymose vapors released during chopping. (This is somewhat analogous to a pair of laboratory goggles except you don’t have to put on it because it’s the food processor that wears it.) In addition, to avoid any future possibility of getting cut, you can skip washing the food processor blades with sponge and detergent. Instead, use the dishwasher.

4. Consistency This feature will come into play if you need to prepare scalloped vegetables. What your food processor does is that it slices your vegetables evenly, maintaining the consistency of food texture upon cooking. (Sidebar: Not advisable if you are julienning vegetables for garnish.)

5. Practicality: If you are done with your graduate studies and you plan to go back to your home country that you no longer need it, sell it via Ebay or Amazon. That way, you will be able to partially retrieve your money.

In other words, the food processor is your trusty kitchen sidekick.

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4 thoughts on “Culinary Instrumentation 101: The Trusty Food Processor

  1. Hi Max

    Nice article. How about reviewing a good electric knife? This is indispensable in carving very thin slices of roasts, hams, etc. I can’t find electric knives in the homeland unfortunately.

  2. I have been using a food processor since 1980 and have found it to be helpful especially in making my world famous cheese pimiento. I am now using the Ultimate Chopper and a mini food food processor which I also bought during one of my travels in San Francisco. Good luck in your other discoveries of practical cooking.

  3. For slicing, I still prefer a good chef’s knife. Or a handy mandolin. I actually don’t have a separate food processor here in Germany. I have a stabmixer that has a food processor connection. What I do want in the future are (1) A Thermomix, (2) A Kitchenaid stand mixer.

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