Not too long ago the folks at Crisp sent me a selection of their tools.
I was fascinated by the Crisp herb mincer. This is one of those tools where a great number of people will say, "I can do the same thing with a knife." Yes, you can do the same thing with a knife, but maybe you don't want to.
Not everyone's got the knife skills of a chef, and not everyone wants to end up with fingertips scented with herbs and spices.
And not everyone wants their kids handling a sharp knife. While the business end of the herb mincer is plenty sharp, kids could be shown how to keep their hands on top of the mincer while cutting which would be at least a little safer than having them with a knife in one hand while guiding the herbs with the other hand.
Besides mincing herbs, this also has two notches for stripping leaves off of stemmed herbs like rosemary or thyme.
It worked just fine for herbs, as expected. But then I started wondering what else I could chop. I tried some sundried tomatoes straight from a jar, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. And it was fast. Probably faster than using a knife, considering that I would have stopped to clean the knife blade a few times.
While I haven't tried it yet, the spacing of the blades would make it handy for cutting thin ribbons of pasta. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work.
For cleaning, the herb mincer comes apart, and you can just put the parts in the dishwasher.
For storage, there's a cover that goes over the blades. It took a few times of taking it apart and re-assembling before I figured out exactly where to grab and pinch to make it easier.
I wouldn't call this an essential gadget, but I found that it was a lot more useful than I expected it to be. I have to be completely honest and say that it was fun to use, zooming back and forth across the herbs and watching the multiple blades mulch them into small pieces.
Unlike similar gadgets that do their cutting in an enclosed space, this does all the cutting on the cutting board, so you're not limited to tiny amounts of product to be chopped, which makes a lot more sense to me.
I'm sure a lot of people will totally love it.
Who's it for: Anyone can use it, but I suspect it will be more attractive for people who don't have great knife skills.
Pros: Easy to clean, works well.
Cons: If you're a knife ninja, you probably don't need this.
Wishes: It was a little fiddly to take apart and put back together. Now that I've figured it out, it's not that bad, but I have to wonder if it couldn't be made a little easier. Maybe not.
Source: I received this (and several other Crisp products) from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.