>And it still won’t chop parsley

>When I lived in Italy in the early 1980s I had a little electric Moulinex trita prezzemolo (parsley chopper). It gave out in the 1990s, and I replaced it with a Black & Decker food chopper. The Black & Decker died recently (on a batch of pine nuts), and I’ve been dithering about whether to get the current Black & Decker or try the mini Cuisinart or a small Kitchenaid.

After spending a half hour this afternoon making pesto with a mortar and pestle, I decided it was indeed time to get another electric chopper!

Cook’s Illustrated recommends the Kitchenaid or Cuisinart, as do the rankings on Amazon.com. However, the reviews on Amazon made me uneasy.

Cook’s Illustrated rated the choppers primarily on their ability to chop herbs, nuts and cheese. But Cook’s Illustrated didn’t take into account a factor that kept turning up in the Amazon reviews.

While both the Kitchenaid and Cuisinart mini-choppers had plenty of top (4 or 5) ratings, they both had a significant number of “1” ratings as well. People either loved them or hated them. But reading the negative reviews, I discovered that the disgruntled purchasers had no disagreement with the choppers’ ability to chop food. What they were complaining about instead was durability — or lack of it. Apparently a significant percentage of both machines break shortly after purchase. Reviewers described at length both mechanical and electronic failures.

A few of the Cuisinart nay-sayers mentioned that they’d purchased the Kitchenaid instead, so I ordered the Kitchenaid KFC3100OB. It was cheaper than flying back to Italy — though I do plan to get a trita prezzemolo next time I’m there. Because, as Cook’s Illustrated noted, neither the Kitchenaid or the Cuisinart do a very good job chopping parsley.

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