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Nov 20, 2007 03:32 PM

Potato Panic (Ekco peeler)

The momentary displacement of an Ekco Potato Peeler created anguish and panic, as I live by potatoes. In Italy we searched in vain for a peeler able to fit the hand and respond to varied surfaces and shapes. Most have the broad handles and a poorly designed swivel, making what should be a pleasure into punishment. Fearing that the Ekco had been trashed or worse, I looked on the net and was horrified to see how difficult it is to obtain the classic Ekco design, one that ergonomically accommodates the hand as an expert bow fits an Amati. The majority of the current crop are wide-ended, lacking the deft touches of a sharp tip able to scoop out the eyes and any tunnels. They have been designed by non-eaters, ignoramuses, or worse. Luckily eBay listed a few (as a carrot-potato peeler, demeaning the potato into second place). I plan to bring several to Italy, as the situation there is dire. (And the unavailability of decent garlic presses in Italy is another shocker, but at least one can treat that bulb in varied ways.)
The potato has been overlooked in the Klezmer revival as well. A Lithuanian paean was once sung:
"Monday bulbes (potatoes), Tuesday bulbes, Wednesday bulbes, Thursday bulbes, Friday, bulbes, but for Saturday, something different: bulbes latkes."

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  1. Ikea has what you want, I believe. I 'improved' mine by sharpening the rounded edge used for digging out eyes. Handle is better than the Ekco metal one, too. Tried a Kyocera peeler (the one that rotates so you can use it straight on or sideways), and while SUPER sharp, I missed being able to quickly dig out an annoying eye or fold.

    1. Check out Pampered Chef. I have one of their peelers (you go to the party, you gotta buy something) and I like it. It's similar to the Ekco but I think it's a bit sharper.

      1. Get a Goodgrip. Best potato peeler in the world.

        1. I rarely peel potatoes (I prefer them more rustic), and my favorite garlic press happens to be the flat of my Chinese cleaver, but I really enjoyed reading your post!

          2 Replies
          1. re: ricepad

            Thanks very much for the suggestions. Imagine if the Ekco design would fall into obsolescence: a new approach to mashed potatoes would arise gradually, and might not necessarily be an improvement.
            Of garlic, it is one bulb that completely transforms according to the approach. If cooked with the peel, say a dozen + cloves tossed in for a chicken cacciatore (no tomato, just white wine, porcini if on hand, sage, rosemary), it acquires a potato-like flavor. Slicing and crushing brings out other subtleties, especially in a fast sautee with coarse salt and coriander (crushed seed) in olive oil as a ta'aliya (Egyptian) to pour over lentils or lamb with melokhiya. Pressed is wonderful for fish. The versatility of the potato and garlic remain a marvel.

            1. re: allan evans

              Potatoes can be boiled in their jackets for mashed potatoes. The skins can be rub off easily with a tea towel after their are drained but still warm. I then put them through a ricer, and fluff with a very stiff whisk while I add the butter and cream mixture.

              My favorite veggie peeler is either a VERY sharp paring knife or a OXO in-line peeler.

          2. This is the BEST peeler I have ever had. It's not so easy to find in the stores, but here is a link to it. It is comfy to use and stays very sharp for a very long time.


            It has been made since 1922.