I recently received a couple of tomato cutting gadgets to try out. These are the kinds of devices that are popular as gifts for people who have everything. Everything, apparently, except the patience, coordination or stamina to cut grapes and cherry tomatoes unaided.
Both the grape & small tomato slicing guide and the grape & tomato cutter are made by OXO, manufacturers of more than 850 housewares products. Of the two, the Good Grips grape & small tomato slicing guide works better. The box promises “slice one cup of fruit at the same time quickly and safely.” Basically this gadget is a cylinder with removable plastic walls that you fill with grapes or cherry tomatoes, then use a sharp knife to slide down the slot in the middle.
This device raises one main question: Is it really that difficult to slice cherry tomatoes? OXO isn’t joking when they say “small tomatoes.” Only the tiniest cherry tomatoes fit in the cylinder, which raises a second question: Do tiny cherry tomatoes really need to be sliced in half? When you factor in the time sorting through a container of tomatoes looking for ones small enough to put in the cylinder, plus the time you’ll spend washing the device, you’ll realize it would have been faster to just slice cherry tomatoes the old-fashioned way.
If cutting cherry tomatoes in half doesn’t satisfy you, OXO Good Grips grape & tomato cutter promises to quarter them. This device is a smaller cylinder with a plunger. Press down and you have a quartered cherry tomato, grape or pitted olive. Theoretically. Although I tried repeatedly, I only succeeded in smashing my cherry tomatoes, as the sharp edge wasn’t quite sharp enough.
So what do you give the tomato-lover who has everything? Perhaps a new knife would suffice.