The product: Slap Chop
The price: One and one "free" for $19.95 plus $7.95 each for shipping and handling, bringing the total to $35.85.
The claims: Chop up vegetables, nuts, & fruits, quickly and easily
The Buy-o-meter rating: 1 out of 5
That headset-wearing guy Vince who is slapping and chopping with great excitement must know some secret trick or have had some kind of special advantage with the food he was using. Maybe it was pre-cut. Who knows? But outside that studio, WalletPop put Slap Chop to the test -- both in a regular kitchen and the kitchen of someone who chops for a living.
The result: not so good. Slap Chop couldn't cut through the outside of a tomato. It left a tomato cut-apart inside while still held together by a cut, but not cut-through skin. Other items on the chopping block, such as an onion -- unlike Vince's experience -- had to be prepped so much for slapping, it was hardly worth the bother of adding another tool to the mix. Slap Chop did work well for chopping nuts in its little cup attachment -- but that was no great advantage over simply putting the nuts in a plastic bag and hitting them a few times with a kitchen hammer or the bottom of a pan, for that matter.
To really put Slap Chop to the ultimate chopping challenge, we brought the contraption to the kitchen of Emma Acevedo, who makes salsa fresh every day at Sol of Mexico, a tortilla shop she owns in Worcester, Mass. The 40-year-old business owner has been making salsa since she was a young girl in Mexico.
Emma put Slap Chop up against her traditional tool, an inexpensive chef's knife (about $15), and a food processor (about $100).
The food processor had one clear advantage over the knife and Slap Chop in the making of salsa -- which involves chopping tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro -- speed. Acevedo said when she makes a batch of salsa using 50-60 tomatoes, it can take her 45 minutes to cut and then chop them with her knife. With the food processor, it takes just a few minutes. But the resulting product did not meet her standards. And, she said, customers complained about it.
The reason: The tomatoes became too watery and the cilantro browned after going through the food processor. Watery salsa doesn't taste as good and, Acevedo said, it spoils more quickly.
Using the knife -- an eight-inch chef's knife that is regularly sharpened (she uses an inexpensive manual sharpening tool) -- takes some practice. But Acevedo said in short order anyone can get the hang of chopping and achieve an acceptable speed working with far fewer tomatoes than she does.
Between the knife, the food processor and Slap Chop, Acevedo said it was no contest. The winner: the $15 knife. Second place, the more expensive, but faster food processor, with a lower quality end product. And in last, Slap Chop, which she found annoying and ineffective and could not justify the $19.95 list price or the nearly $36 actual price tag if you including shipping costs.
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Cassandra Shie, AOL
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