There are two types of people in this world: those who get a hero’s welcome when they walk into a barbecue, and those who don’t. One simple tool can ensure that you’re in the first group: the humble strawberry huller. If you’ve ever made a seasonal fruit dessert, think of the time you waste prepping strawberries — hacking off the top bit to get rid of the stem, then quartering the berry and painstakingly slicing out the bitter white part from the center of each segment.
I’d always hulled strawberries by hand with a knife, like some kind of animal, until I saw this little doodad in a local kitchen store. I noticed it because it was cute, and then I realized it was the answer to all my problems. All you do is press the button on top (it looks like a stem!), revealing little blades that look like those arcade toy-grabbing-claw games, only crazy sharp. Simply stab those into the top of your whole strawberry, surrounding the stem, push them all the way in, and let go of the button. Twist the huller inside the berry and pull it out, revealing a neatly scooped cone of garbage fruit center and your own culinary genius. Rinse, repeat, and you can work through a container of fruit in the time it would take you to slice maybe three strawberries manually, and with less danger to your fingers to boot.
It’s allowed me to take full advantage of strawberry season: I’ve made Smitten Kitchen’s strawberry cake (which I very much recommend), a three-tier strawberry birthday cake with precious pink frosting, strawberry rhubarb rosé sangria, a strawberries-and-cream pie from Bubby’s recipe book, and roasted strawberry ice cream from a Jeni’s Splendid recipe. The genius of the tool is that it doesn’t just work for strawberries, either. Hack the huller by deploying it on the eyes you can find on a pineapple. And it’s not just for summertime use — in the fall and winter, it’s great for removing the yucky bits of peeled potatoes.
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