Sue Smith checks out the coolest and craziest kitchen implements out there

ACCORDING to food goddess Nigella Lawson, the two most popular donations to charity shops are Dan Brown books and spiralizers.

Having once declared a spiralizer would never be found in any kitchen of hers, she has now done a bit of a U-turn.

Her new series At My Table saw her confess, slightly shamefacededly, to now owning such a kitchen gadget. Obviously in her case it was no ordinary spiralizer but a £100 attachment for her rose-gold Kitchen Maid which, at £750, sent social media into a frenzy within minutes of the new show airing on BBC 2 last week.

My own, more modest, sprializer has been gathering dust at the back of the cupboard for some time. After a flurry of courgetti (which I convinced myself tasted just as good as pasta and then gave myself a good talking to) and endless twirls of carrots on every salad, I rather ran out of ideas as to what to do with it. So, when the queen of cooking, Nigella, started scraping a potato with the promise of quick and tasty Shoestring Fries, the frisson of excitement in my house only stopped short of hanging out the flags.

Out came the neglected gadget, off came the cobwebs and I was inspired. Hanging on her every word, I copied her to the letter, cutting the end of the potato to create a flat bottom (not usually an attractive sight, but necessary for this exercise). There was no problem creating the lovely twirls. They spiralized out just as they should.

Nigella dropped hers into a pan of hot oil and out they came a few minutes later, lovely, pale golden and appetising.

“Just a sprinkle of salt and we’re good to go,” she said, disappearing into the dark with her plate and a coquettish smile. Well, how hard can that be? I followed suit only to find my swirls stuck together in one flat mush at the bottom of the pan.

Not to be defeated, I sprialized another potato and tried heating the oil in a frying pan instead. The results were slightly better, although they still stuck together and despite watching them like a hawk they went from white to dark brown in a matter of seconds. They tasted a bit like a packet of French Fries but really were they worth all the effort?

The spiralizer is back in the cupboard. I know I can’t blame it for my lack of success – could it be that a £100 attachment on a £750 machine churns out a better class of shoestring fries? Possibly, but I can think of better things to spend that sort of money on. Sprializers for mere mortals start at £13.99