Slicing a banana is so darned hard. If there were only a special tool to help with it.
We’ve been experiencing some heating difficulties of late, Chez Nous.
Living, as we do, in a creaky old building. Having, as we do, twelve-foot ceilings in the living room. Experiencing, as we have been, some truly bitter cold, we’ve been seeing a fair amount of our HVAC service company. (Not to mention revving our electric bill up by blasting all the emergency baseboard heaters.Talk about meter frenzy! Can’t wait to see the January invoice!)
Anyway, when Dylan – our HVAC guy – was by last week, he asked if we’d seen the banana slicer reviews on Amazon.
We had not, but I pranced right over to Amazon to see what there was to say about banana slicers, an item that I was not even aware existed.
Behold the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer, available for a mere $4.29.
Even by the want- and need-creation standards of modern capitalism, a banana slicer certainly stands out as a WTF.
Come on. Cherry pitter, I can see. Pineapple corer, but definitely. Maybe even a special strawberry huller (although, having hulled thousands of strawberries while waitressing at Durgin-Park, I can guarantee that a plain old teaspoon works just fine). But a banana slicer?
Sorry, but I don’t really buy the benefits statements for the Hutzler 571:
- Faster, safer than using a knife
- Great for cereal
- Plastic, dishwasher safe
- Slice your banana with one quick motion
- Kids love slicing their own bananas
The argument can perhaps be made that the Hutzler is faster than using a knife, even with the second or two it would take you to position the banana on the slicer. But safer than using a knife? Given that a banana can be sliced with something as dull as a butter-spreader, who’s using a dangerous knife for purposes of cereal prep? In truth, I’ve been known to just break a banana up with my very own fingers!
And is it the Hutzler that’s great for cereal, or the banana itself? (Honestly, marketers…)
Sure, the Hutzler is dishwasher safe, but so’s your average silver-drawer knife. And I’ll just bet that slicing that banana with one quick motion ends up leaving some residue banana on the blades (or strings or whatever they’re called) that’s harder to clean off than any gunk you might get on your knife.
Kids may well love slicing their own bananas, but do they really need a purpose-built slicer to do so? How about introducing your three year old to the culinary arts while teaching self-sufficiency and the multiple uses of the kitchen knife, by letting him slice the banana with a knife that’s the sharps equivalent of those plastic kindergarten scissors.
You might suppose that the Hutzler is a one-off, a novelty act, the only banana slicer out there. But you would be dead wrong:
There is, after all, William Sonoma’s upscale version, available for $9.95, and no doubt making it on to many a bridal registry list.
Families will go bananas over this clever kitchen tool. Designed to make the kid-friendly fruit more fun than ever, our innovative banana slicer quickly creates thin, uniform slices. Just squeeze the handle!
- A fun, easy-to-use tool that makes lightning-fast work of slicing bananas.
- Just squeeze the handle to create 5 thin, uniform slices at a time.
- Stainless–steel blades guarantee precision slicing.
- Innovative design ensures safety, protecting fingers from the blades.
Ah, the promise of making “lightning-fast work” out of the oh, so time consuming and arduous task of slicing a banana. Of course, anal compulsives may well be drawn to the concept of “thin, uniform slices,” and the guarantee of “precision slicing.” Personally, I’m not all that concerned with having uniform banana slices. (My admission about occasionally breaking a banana up into pieces by hand may have given my concerns about precision away.)
There’s also the Garden Fresh (that thing over there that doesn’t even look like a banana, but has helpful pics of teeny-tiny bananas on its ends), the Amco (“Serrated edge for starting soft bananas at stem”), the Fox Run (which gives us the quite useful hint about peeling the banana first: “Just place over peeled banana and press down”).
Why, there’s even a YouTube comparison of the Hutzler vs. the Garden Fresh.
Of course, if you really want to go high-end, there’s the dual purpose Kamenstein banana hanger cum slicer, but for $18.25. But at that price, you’ve really got to want to hang as well as slice your bananas.
With all these banana slicers on the market, I was perhaps to quick to ask the WTF question. While I know I’m not much in the kitchen, something tells me that if I want to remain a consumer in good standing, I need to start rethinking my strategy of using my mother’s old stamped aluminum fruit bowl to keep my bananas in, and using a kitchen knife (let alone my fingers) as slicers.
I really do need to embrace innovation, seize on a disruptive technology.
(Wonder what I can get for that vintage aluminum fruit bowl on eBay?)