More Cool Gadgets That Take Up Space You Don’t Have

The best obscure one-use gadgets come from Europe. My friend from Austria gave me a spaetzle maker. How often to YOU make spaetzle?? Probably less often than I, which is a couple times a year — often once around Oktoberfest. The spaetzle maker takes up almost one whole drawer all by itself. But when I make spaetzle, I sure am happy to have it.

The spaetzle maker

The spaetzle maker

I also have a raclette stove, which takes up the better part of a whole cupboard shelf. Raclette is an Alpine French cheese that you melt on tiny skillets, and then mash together with boiled potatoes and cornichons. The last time we used it, George W. Bush was president. But boy, is it cool.

Our friend, Pirco, gifted us for Christmas this year a “girolle”. Girolle is the French word for the chanterelle mushroom. In the gadget world, it refers to a circular cheese contraption that scrapes the top off the cheese into funnel-like shavings that resemble chanterelle mushrooms. Thereby, I assume, goes the name.

Our pal Jon and his kids happened to come over. We impaled the tête de moine (“monk’s head”) cheese that our friend had included with the girolle, and got scraping!

As you can tell from the video above, it was fun for child and adult alike.

Tête de moine is a cheese that has been produced in the Swiss Jura mountains, where by coincidence we happened to be staying six months ago, for about eight centuries. Invented by the monks referenced in the name at Switzerland’s Bellelay Abbey, it was once used as currency in the region, and as payment by tenant farmers to their landlords.

It’s a good cheese.


We ate most of it before we left for our holiday visit with my family in Northern California. I stopped by Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building marketplace in San Francisco to see if they had any more. They had a whole tête de moine. It was $149.00. I abstained.

Since returning home, I have found the cheese for roughly a third of that cost. I guess the friendly folks at Cowgirl just figure you never do know what a tourist will pay for a big Swiss cheese named after a monk’s head.

And so I will envision more girolling in my future. Might taste good with some fresh spaetzle.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 01:19:17

    Happy Holidays!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: