The Peeler. An innovation in food preparation technology that has improved our ability to remove skin of vegetables and fruits. The vegetable peeler is most popularly seen scraping the dirt stained skin off potatoes hence it is often simply referred to as ‘the potato peeler’. Interestingly, the peeler is often used to peel the skin off carrots and even fruits such as apples and pears.
A peeler is an essential to any kitchen draw. Although technically a speciality item it can often been found in the top draw aka. The cutlery draw due to its small size and regular use. Speciality items include mashers, spatulas and whisks and are generally kept second drawer.
My favourite and definitely the most used potato peeler is the straight peeler. The straight peeler doesn’t mess around. Its simple design consists of a blade parallel to the handle. The blade may pivot or be fixed. Either way if I was to bet my cats life on a potato peeler I would go all in on the straight peeler.
The Y Peeler gets its clever name from its Y-like shape. Its more modern design closely resembles a razor we would shave our face or legs with. Don’t try this. With the blade perpendicular to the handle one peels their potato just like they would shave their face. The design allows for care and precision but it will never compare to the classic straight peeler for me.
There are other types of peeler such as the industrial peeler but they make me sick. Putting the traditional handheld potato peeler out of work. They often use steam jets to abuse the vegetable. But that’s enough of that.. I’m getting emotional.
1885 was a big year for the potato peeler as it featured in Vincent van Gogh’s oil on canvas painting titled “The Potato Peeler“. The restricted palette of dark tones, coarse facture and blocky drawing really does the straight peeler justice. Since falling for the straight peeler my life ambition is to visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to see this painting up close and immerse myself in my smell of the oil paints.