What tool can I use to slice foods very thinly?
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A mandoline (pronounced man-duh-lin) is a kitchen utensil used for slicing and cutting fruits and vegetables into thin, uniform slices, julienne cuts, or wavy crinkle cuts. Mandolines are often used to create consistent slices for dishes like gratins, salads, and garnishes.
A mandoline typically consists of a flat, rectangular frame with adjustable blades and a handguard to protect your fingers while slicing. You can find many versions, some with fixed blades, some with adjustable, and some that make shreds and julienned vegetables as well as slices. My favorites are the simplest ones. A good source for inexpensive mandolines is Asian markets that have cookware sections. The blades of a mandoline are extremely sharp, and I strongly recommend wearing a cut-resistant glove when using a mandoline, even when using a handguard.