Nut chopping device?
Every year I make several batches of English Toffee, for which I hand chop about 3# of almonds. Yack!!
I need to find a device which will CHOP the nuts nicely into 1/8" dice. I don't want to grind the nuts, (food processor) which makes a powdery mess. I want nice sharp angles on the chop.
Would something like a mezzaluna work? I'm thinking one of those that has a companion bowl?
Mezzaluna users, what say ye? Or other devices? Almonds are harder than walnuts or pecans, and I'd love to give my chef's knife and my biceps a rest.
I don't know how this will go, without the benefit of a pic, but I am a mezz lover except I don't use it for nuts.
I have a weird little device that I believe was from the 50's. It's several sharp blades on a spring, in a plastic cover, and as you press on the spring/lever, it turns 90degrees. I believe it was used for dicing onions.
It is simply the most fab thing EVER for dicing nuts.
From macadamias to monkey nuts, it is the bomb, and you can do a goodly handful at a time. I'll take a pic tonight if I remember, but if you know what I am talking aboutm go out and get one!
re: purple goddess
These are the modern day versions:
I also have a vintage version that has a steel, star patterned blade and a handled jar with a round cutting board on the bottom. At least it had a handled jar. I lost the jar a while back and have to use it with a peanut butter jar.
One of the biggest downsides to these types of choppers is that the chop has a tendency to be uneven. You can mitigate this by chopping small batches and by trying to aim at the larger pieces (assuming you have a model that can aim). I tried using a colander to sift out the small pieces from the larger ones (returning the larger pieces to the chopper) and that helped a little, but it felt kind of tedious.
This chopper here looks kind of interesting:
From the photo it looks like it might produce an even chop. The reviews here:
seem pretty positive. I'm not sure if the chop is coarse enough for your needs, though.
This doesn't help with almonds, but I've taken to squeezing pecans and walnuts between my fingers. I find this gives me a nice even large chop with almost no dust.
I have one of these "old-fashioned" nut choppers and I don't like it for the reason you've stated. Uneven chopping. You have to shake the jar and position the nuts just so under the blades. It'd be nice if they designed this with a screen beneath the blades to allow the "nut powder" to fall beneath the chopped nuts so you can easily separate the two. I always just fall back on my cutting board and chef's knife.