When the folks at Salton offered me a frozen dessert maker to test, I almost said no.
And then I waffled.
I've seen the frozen dessert makers where you shove a frozen banana into the maw of the machine and frozen banana "ice cream" comes out the other end. I was vaguely intrigued by them, but not enough to buy one. I like room temperature bananas just fine. And I'm not afraid of regular ice cream.
But when I saw that the Salton machine was not a one-trick pony, I decided to give it a try. You see, it also works as a grater and slicer - there are five grater cones for coarse, fine, and extra-fine grating as well as thick or thin slicing.
I tried the frozen banana dessert a few times and I have to admit that it wasn't bad at all. A banana-peach combo was pretty good. It would be great if you're cutting back on dairy or trying to avoid ice cream. It's a nice cold dessert if you want something light. I think I'm going to buy some strawberries and give them a try if I see some good ones at the store.
But let's talk about this grating. There are times when I need more cheese than I want to grate by hand, but not so much that I want to set up the grater on the food processor. Not that it's a big deal to set up the food processor, but then I have to wash the bowl, the lid, the pusher, the grater thingie...
With this little machine, there's just not that much to wash. And the machine itself is pretty small, so it should store easily, too.
I had a little trouble assembling it the first time - the way the tube fits onto the body of the machine feels like it's off-kilter, but once I figured it out, it wasn't a problem. It's a little noisy when it's running, but that's not a big deal either. This isn't a machine that's going to run for long periods of time - you're going to torment your bananas or shred your cheese, and that's the end of it.
I haven't had this long enough to guess how long it will last, but it seems sturdy enough for what it's meant to do.
Note: In the photo, I've got the mouthpiece of the shredder unit upside-down, but it still worked fine. That piece isn't actually needed, anyway.
Who's it for: Gadget lovers. Or people who want to avoid ice cream but want cold dessert.
Pros: Does what it's supposed to do. Small enough to store easily. Grater!!!
Cons: Not a necessary device in the kitchen.
Wishes: I wish the all the pieces could all store together in one neat package. I'll probably store it in its box to keep it all together.
Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review.