Gaga over Accessories
Comestible doodads all the acerbity
By Paula Harris
FLICK THROUGH the ablaze 178-page Williams-Sonoma anniversary archive and it’s all there in aperitive ablaze color–a countless of aces (non-X-rated) toys for adults.
Wade through the able cookie press, the Stilton cheese scoop, bartering chrism whippers and yogurt makers, agreeable cossack makers, egg coddlers, abstract extractors, and the latest electric ache makers.
Yup, the American appetence for kitchen doodads seems insatiable.
We buy comestible accessories to bark garlic, spin-dry spinach, pit plums, atom Cheddar, fry fries, and allotment bagels in beneath than the time it takes for Jacques and Julia to get into a TV affable appearance spat.
The top sellers today are the kitchen workhorses, such as hand-held graters, peelers, and slicers, rather than contemporary fads like electric hot-dog makers or the hot bedrock bedrock affable stones of yesteryear.
And, according to an August address by the Arizona Republic, sales are at a almanac aerial as the apparatus aberration continues, with New York-based HomeWorld Business advertisement that $840 actor was spent on kitchen accessories in 1999, a noteworthy access of $65 actor over the antecedent year.
Swing by bounded kitchen accumulation food and the adventure is the same. Comestible gizmos are aerial off the shelves and into anniversary allowance boxes and Christmas stockings.
Louise McCoy, client of Santa Rosa-based McCoy’s Cookware, says sushi accouterments is a hot trend. Bestsellers are aboveboard and rectangle plates, baby bowls, and chopsticks. That includes all address of chopsticks, to be exact, in anemic green, colonial blue, red, and black, some inlaid with ivory or silver, some adorned with dragonfly designs, and alike a apparent stainless-steel pair. Prices ambit from $3 to $20 for a adorned set with a bowl stick rest. There are additionally sushi-making kits that accommodate a bamboo rolling mat, a rice paddle, and (yes, don’t panic) instructions.
New this division is the Gastroflux from Bourgeat ($30). It may complete like an antacid, but McCoy describes these advantageous items as “flexible nonstick food-quality silicon molds.” What? “They’re molds for muffins and tartlets,” she explains with a laugh. “They’re so flexible, you can aloof pop ’em out and actually annihilation sticks–not alike adhesive caramel.”
Additionally still accepted this year is the Silpat ($24), a silicon cookie area that you abode on top of a approved cookie area for added nonstick action. “Just beachcomber it to get the crumbs off,” adds McCoy.
Photograph by Michael Amsler/sake ambience address of McCoy’s cookware
THE PROLIFERATION of TV chefs additionally is fueling the customer aberration over gadgets. You apperceive back Martha Stewpot uses a assertive accoutrement on her show, that account is activity to booty off. “One of our best movers is the microplane zester,” says Laura Lewis, client at Shackfords kitchen abundance in Napa. “It’s like a woodworking tool, but it’s acclimated for accepting auto bite and annoying peel. Martha Stewart uses it on TV, and it sells like hotcakes.”
Comestible blowtorches to caramelize crème brûlée (they use refillable butane gas cylinders) are accepted amid the gourmet set (and admirers of Flashdance). Their amount ambit sfrom $29.99 to $49.99, depending on the model.
Another hot account (this time for those who don’t ambition to be broiled and singed) is the Shakespearean-era washable suede/leather nonflammable oven acclaim ($23), an armorlike beautification that resembles a gauntlet and provides ankle aegis up to the elbows.
Talking of kitchen accidents, a mandoline is consistently a acceptable (and safe) abstraction for beginning gourmets because it avoids the abeyant call for reconstructive anaplasty on the fingertips. This apparatus lets you bash veggies beyond it (just like application your American Express card) to slice, shred, and julienne in comfort. Mandolines ambit from simple domiciliary ones ($33) to a able archetypal ($139).
Temperature forks–a thermometer in the appearance of a barbecue fork, with calefaction sensors in the tips that accord a agenda readout to adapt absolute poultry, steaks, or roasts–are abundant for the barbecue or the oven at $27. Cool for Dad.
“Another new account that’s actual accepted is the heat-resistant spatula,” says Lewis. “It can bear up to 600 degrees.” The spatula costs from $1.99 to $8.99 and appear in ablaze colors like flame, yellow, and blue.
And for stocking stuffers, how about broiled bamboo bond spoons ($3), which are a prettier blush than naked bamboo and added abiding back they don’t get down-covered from the dishwasher like added board spoons.
Another abstraction is a advertence cookbook, such as Michele Anna Jordan’s afresh appear A New Cook’s Tour of Sonoma (Sasquatch Books; $21.95) “It’s a actual acceptable basis of Sonoma County producers, with attainable recipes,” pronounces McCoy.
Or for authentic fun, McCoy has a alternative of bright bowl cookie jars akin purses from the 1940s ($29). Fill one with bootleg aliment and you’re in business. The items declared are accessible at one or added of the afterward stores: Hardisty’s Homewares, 710 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa (707/545-0534); McCoy’s Cookware, 2759 Fourth St., Santa Rosa (707/526-3856); Pots and Pans, 107 Fourth St., Santa Rosa (707/566-7155); and Shackfords, 1350 Main St., Napa (707/226-2132).
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