Wednesday, 23 March 2016

A cheap and simple way to destroy your dinner

Easter and eggs - inextricably linked? You may want to think again...

From the rather cute and very funny Rhik Samadder's "Inspect a gadget" column in the Guardian:
In my time reviewing kitchen gadgets, I’ve learned it would not be good to be reborn as a chicken, because the sickest, most disturbing contraptions always, always have something to do with eggs. Pressure cubers, poaching baggies, vertically extruding grills: they are a twisted universe unto themselves.

So, in a vaguely Easter-themed special, I have decided to test every one of these damned gadgets I can get my hands on. Strap in – I’m looking for the worst, the most unspeakable...

...There’s EZCracker, which sounds more like a racist slur than a kitchen aid. It’s a handheld cradle suspended over razorblades – when activated, the device’s arms push the shell down, on to the blades, and apart. Like a lethal reverse Wonderbra. (I achieved successful shell splittage 20% of the time. The separator attachment fell off and landed in the bowl 100% of the time.)

Then there’s Bogey Man, a clear winner. Imagine a Toby Jug, if Toby were suffering from the plague. When you break a raw egg into his head and tip it up, albumen seeps from his nostrils like snot. It’s goddamn disgusting. Egg-wrong rating: 3/5.

You ain’t seen nothing yet. Lékué might sound like a high-end moisturiser but, in fact, it’s the brand behind Ovo, a square-egg cooker – and, at £5.40, it’s a cheap and simple way to destroy your dinner. Pour an egg, plus other ingredients, into a cube-shaped silicone mould, microwave, then “de-mould” for – ha! – a good, square meal. Be still, my beating digestive tract. I put in carrot, baked beans and thyme, because they’re all I have. After a minute, there’s an explosion. Ovo’s top has blown off, leaving a sorry cube of protein-wrong, flecked with petrified remains of semi-cooked carrot and burnt herb. It stinks, too. Egg-wrong rating: 4/5...

...The Eggstractor, though. It’s a concertina tube atop a tripod, which claims to peel eggs instantly. The idea is that when one pushes down on it, pressure inside the egg’s air cell causes it to jettison its shell, like Nina Simone shrugging off a fur, and slip through a hole in the tripod base, naked and ready. It’s surprisingly violent, like performing CPR. When I finally succeed, the egg slams into the counter, the yolk shooting across the room. It’s like punching someone in the face so hard their eyeball explodes. “The Magic of the patented Eggstractor is Pure Science!” reads the box. Luckily I speak a little bozo, so let me translate: “It’s bullshit!” Egg-wrong rating: 3/5...

...I unwrap Beep Egg, a floating egg-timer from Germany. “It’s very high-t’egg,” the packet jokes weakly, before getting bossy and prohibitive. “Do not try to open Beep Egg! Do not discard Beep Egg in an open fire! Do not swallow Beep Egg!” It plays ringtones corresponding to how cooked your eggs are: Killing Me Softly for softboiled (inspired), It’s a Heartache for hardboiled (bit tenuous) and Chick Chick Chicken for medium (essentially meaningless). What about Hard Knock Life and Stuck in the Middle with You? Wit might not be its forte, but the timer is superbly engineered. Egg-wrong rating: 1/5

The instructions on the DoraQ egg spinner sound like a troubling drunk. “You can make eggs body dumped in the middle of a different rotation.” Sorry? “Housewives simply been thrown into intact eggs inside the eggs shaker.” The words have clearly been put through rudimentary translation software; while I’m gripped by the Gertrude Stein-esque prose this has generated, it’s getting me nowhere.

I turn to the Okashina Tamago Mawashite Purin Egg Flan Maker. The instructions are slightly clearer, being entirely in Japanese, and I find a video online in which a chorus of singing eggs show me what to do. Like DoraQ, the aim is to spin an egg, scrambling its insides and turning it golden. When gently cooked in the shell, it will turn to purin, a crème caramel dessert popular in Japan. Yeah, right. It’s basically a Kinder toy. I place an egg into a plastic chamber and pump a crank back and forth, spinning it dizzy. It’s like subjecting a tiny astronaut to centrifugal training. Following the video, I boil a pan of water. “Stop the fire and enter the egg plastic-wrapped,” the singing eggs tell me. Is this a plea for safe sex? Why plastic-wrapped? (Why any of this, I suppose.) I comply. After 30 seconds – as instructed – I take it out and leave it to cool. I have a bad feeling... spoon poised, I crack the egg. A neon puddle seeps out, covering the counter and dripping on to my shoes. It’s horrendous, an Exxon Valdez of smooth, liquid sick, a split colostomy bag. On the plus side, it’s a shade of yellow I’ve never seen before. A masterpiece of egg-wrong: 5/5.

...It has been a shattering experience that has left me shell-shocked. I never want to see one again. My flat stinks to high heaven. I’ve learned to watch my back next time I’m on a farm, for the things we do to eggs are an insult to hens that will echo through the ages. The horror. The horror.
Genius. It brightened my day...

Read Rhik's previous monstrous experience with processed eggs.


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