Seriously, I keep it in my purse.
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Credit: Sur La Table

We all have favorite kitchen tools. Anyone who loves to spend time in the kitchen will inevitably form an attachment to one gadget or another. I’ve been a fan of the Kuhn Rikon Y-peeler since I worked as a bartender, and my boss introduced me to the magical creation. Sure, my affection for gadgets comes and goes, but the Y-peeler is forever—I mean, this thing can do anything.

First, it’s an absolute necessity for pretty, pithless strips of citrus skin, an absolute necessity for delicious cocktails. It’s also clutch for shaved veggie salads—one of my favorite things to make is a salad of veggie ribbons, topped with curls of Parmesan cheese. Only tool necessary? A Y-peeler.

I could go on and on, but the thing you really need to know is that I keep one of these peelers in my purse, nestled next to my wine key. Seriously, you never know when you might end up cooking or making a drink—and when the zombie apocalypse comes, it’s going to be useful to have a bottle opener, I’m telling you.

Like many who like to cook, I’m a big fan of Christopher Kimball, so when a Y-peeler designed by him made its way to me, I had to try it—but I didn’t think that it could possibly measure up. In fact, I almost felt guilty, cheating on my favorite kitchen tool. The fact that it’s a design for Kuhn Rikon mitigated that feeling, but I still didn’t think that this new gadget could supplant my love for the original.

Boy, I love being wrong. This new peeler has a smaller handle, so small that I thought it would be difficult and unwieldy to use. It proved to be exactly the opposite. The compact shape, combined with the heavier material fits so perfectly in my hand, I didn’t really want to put it down.

In fact, the smaller size and handle shape have, I’ve found, allowed me to shave down further on veggies and fruits, minimizing waste, which is an unexpected, yet pleasant, side effect. The sleek design is not only easy to handle, it’s even easier to clean than the classic peeler. Its compact size—which I (totally, scientifically) estimate to be 35 percent smaller than the original version—actually makes it even easier to fit into a purse or pocket.

Lesson learned: it is possible to improve upon perfection—in this case, anyway. Though the price is higher ($10 vs. the original at $5), it’s worth it. Plus, I’ve still got a whole rainbow of the original peelers stashed away for a rainy day.