Ashley Christensen always has a strawberry corer nearby, hanging next to the stove. But she’s never actually used one to hull strawberries. Instead, Christensen says, “We call it the ‘tomato shark.”
According to Christensen — the force behind North Carolina institutions like Poole’s and Death & Taxes and recipient of the 2019 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef — a serrated scoop strawberry/tomato corer is an overlooked but extremely helpful tool for dealing with produce. With its spiky metal corer, the tool can be used to remove unwanted spots on veggies quickly and cleanly.
“They are great for tomatoes — I use them to take the core of the tomato out,” says Christensen. “If you’ve got a potato that’s got a bad spot on it, it allows you to take stuff off really cleanly without wasting. If you’re dicing bell peppers or jalapenos, when you cut those in half, I use those to go in and get the little pith area of the peppers. It helps you really maximize the pepper that’s left. It’s really good for pulling those seeds out of a jalapeños as well.”
They’re compact and easy to clean (Christensen says she runs hers through the dishwasher, but you can also just clean the metal part as you would any other knife), and Christensen says the metal teeth keep their sharpness for a long time. But because they’re so inexpensive, it’s no big deal to replace one that gets dull or rusty.
Christensen can’t remember exactly when she started using a strawberry corer — “I feel like it was in a restaurant somewhere where we were canning tomatoes or peeling a ton of tomatoes.” But the petite tool now has a permanent place in her kit and her kitchens.
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