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History of the Mandoline Slicer

At the very beginning, the slicer was not yet called the mandoline. But it without any doubt has very old origins. Effectively the first illustrated culinary book was published in 1570 by Bartolomeo Scappi who was pope Pius VI's cook. One of his book's illustrations shows a small board with a central cutting blade and with other small perpendicular blades to cut vegetables into thin sticks. We are not able to give an exact date but, given the details of the drawings, such a slicer had probably existed for a long time. The musical instrument, the Mandoline, was created in Italy near Naples. Its ancestor, called the "Mandorre" was an instrument with stiff strings. This name was probably used for the cooking instrument before the Second World War. However, it was well-known from 1949.

Then, a man from "Haute-Savoie" born in Morzine, made the first metal version. In this way, a wooden vegetable slicer invented by Mr. Marcel Forelle, from Toulouse in the south of France, in 1930 was modernized. The cooking instrument was given the name of the musical one because cooks "play" their mandoline in the same way as musicians. It is often said that at the beginning, the mandoline didn't have a folding stand. The cook simply held it pressed against his chest to slice the vegetables directly above the dish. It is interesting to notice that in professional cooking, other equipment takes the name of musical instruments such as the piano and the guitar.

We would be interested in any information about the mandoline over the centuries.

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