Friday, May 16, 2008

French Fry Diary 04: The Veg-O-Matic

If you're a fan of late night TV you know either the name or the face of Ron Popeil. The man goes back a long way as evidenced by this black and white photo. He was the man (along with his inventor father Samuel J. at first) behind Ronco, home of many wonder products like the Pocket Fisherman and the Ginsu knife. Back on our blog topic, Ron is shown in the pic demonstrating the original Veg-O-Matic.

The Veg-O-Matic was one of the first of the Ronco gadgets for kitchens and probably one of the best. Of course my interest lies in the fact that it "makes perfect Julienne fries." It was probably one of the single greatest inventions for those of us who like making our own French fries at home.

There was a second new and improved model that came out in 1975. This is the model that I came upon when cleaning out my parents' house after they had passed. At the time it would have been at least thirty years old, and well used. I was able to try it only a few times before one set of the blades, or more appropriately, wires, broke and it wouldn't cut any more. But I guess thirty years service is enough for a trusty fry cutter, don't you think?

The Veg-O-Matic is wonderful for easy fry-cutting, but personally I like cutting them myself with a knife into the perfect size. But then again, it's a time-saving device, and if you must have fries immediately, the old Veg is great. If anyone still has one of these babies, take care of it and treasure it. After all it "makes perfect Julienne fries."