Measuring spoons, we are informed by that modern essential, www.askmen.com, are boring. I hadn't noticed, but then I do tend to lag behind the very latest trends. We should apparently discard them in favour of spice-spoons, which are like measuring spoons, but exciting, being long and thin and designed to go inside spice jars. I'm all aquiver at the thought…
AskMen identifies other kitchen gadgets vital to the modern chap. Chief among them is the blowtorch. Naturally - it is the ideal way for the manly man to cook a steak, while also allowing him to play at being a spot welder. Number two on the list is a meat tenderiser, which is just as excellent as the blow torch, pandering as it does to the cave-dweller instincts in most men to hit their meat with a hammer a few times to ensure that it really is dead.
Kitchen gadgets are devices that serve three purposes: Firstly, they make easier some task that is in any case not difficult, or completely unnecessary; second, they fill up your kitchen drawers and cupboards, which would otherwise lie empty and forlorn; third, they save you having to think up a more sensible gift for a girlfriend's birthday. The range of gadgets available is mind-numbing. There's the avocado slicer; the egg-slicer (if your egg is hard-boiled); the egg separator (if your egg is not boiled at all); the lettuce knife (it's made of plastic); the corn-zipper (it strips the corn off the cob, so your teeth don't have to); the mango pitter (self-explanatory); and the toss and chop: "chop and dice food right in the bowl". For years I've wanted to chop and dice food right in the bowl and been frustrated by the lack of the proper tool. But where does the tossing come in?.
Perhaps the most wonderful gadget of them all is the Beanzawave, a tiny microwave that draws power from your computer through the USB cable and allows you to heat small quantities of baked beans without leaving your desk. How clever is that? Right up there in the stratosphere of genius, I think. Kitchen gadgets are evidence of our increasingly complex relationship with food. Intended to make life more simple, they actually turn cooking into a Kafkaesque nightmare. Peeping round the kitchen door at the serried ranks of gadgets, it's no wonder we sigh wearily and pick up the phone to order in.