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Tools for Preparing Fruit

A paring knife is the most useful tool for peeling, pitting, stemming, and cleaning fruit. Some other specialty tools can help you prepare fruit more easily, though.

  • Cherry pitter: It looks suspiciously like a painful dental tool, but this device is designed to remove pits from cherries. If you make a dish that includes cherries, a cherry pitter is a real timesaver.

  • Citrus juicer (reamer): The inexpensive citrus juicer should be near your work counter at all times because so many recipes call for lemon juice.

  • Citrus stripper: This tool has a little protrusion that peels away one neat strip of citrus zest. It also works on cucumbers, beets, carrots, and other firm vegetables.

  • Citrus zester: This tool has five little holes at the end for peeling threads of lemon zest (also limes and oranges). It also works on firm vegetables, such as carrots and beets.

  • Mandoline: This tool has nothing to do with ethnic music. The French mandoline is a device that slices, juliennes (cuts thin strips on a bias), and waffle-cuts fruits and vegetables. The food item is placed in a little compartment and held in place by a handle. You run the food over an adjustable blade. Be extremely cautious when running foods over these sharp blades.

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