Stephen Fry's 100 Greatest Gadgets
Stephen's Top 12 Kitchen Gadgets
In Stephen Fry's 100 Greatest Gadgets, the celebrity gadget lover picked 12 Kitchen Gadgets as his favourite. Do you agree with the list? If like me you were shouting at the T.V at some of his choices, here's your chance to pick your top 10 kitchen gadgets of all time. There could be £200 worth of Kitchen Gadgets in it for you. But first, here's Stephen's choices. Enjoy!
1. Apple Peeler (No.9 Overall)
Stephen's top ranking kitchen gadget, the Apple Peeler ranked even higher than the Apple iPad which he placed at No.10
So why did Stephen rank the apple peeler higher than an the apple iPad? Stephen says
"There's something desperately appealing...in such a beautifully simple and yet complex, and yet absurd and laughable device.
This to me strikes at the heart of what every gadget lover adores about their gadgets. I love my Apple Peeler - I am sad".
2. Microwave (No.11 Overall)
Invented by Dr Percy L Spencer after experimenting with radar technology developed during the Second World War. The first microwaves were too big and expensive for domestic use and were housed in refrigerator housing units when they were first introduced in 1947. The first commercial countertop microwaves went on sale in the US in 1965, and by 1976 nearly 60% of American households owned one. What was once considered a luxury item is now a must have kitchen appliance in our fast paced world.
3. Kettle (No.19 Overall)
Invented by Arthur Leslie Large in 1922 to quench the British thirst for tea. Where would we be without the electric kettle? I'd certainly be without a cup of tea in the morning, by the time I get up there's no time to be heating up water on a stove.
4.Teasmaid (No.23 Overall)
Goblin introduced the first mass market teasmaid in 1937 and was in nearly every home in the UK in the 1960's and 70's. Although not strictly a "kitchen" gadget, as it's primary function is to provide us with a warm, hot drink, I've included it in the list.
I used to have a teasmaid back when I was a teenager in the 90's, I know, very rock and roll, but I had an attic room and it was so cold I needed a cup of tea just to get out of bed! I'd fill up the kettle part with cold water before going to bed, and in the morning the water would go through a tube into the teapot part. When the teapot became heavy enough it would activate the alarm and the light would come on, which meant it was time for school.
Like Stephen said on the show, the tea wasn't particularly nice (he said disgusting. My parents had had it for years before I used it, and no matter how much you cleaned it, it always tasted of dust.
5. Corkscrew (No.26 Overall)
"Without a Corkscrew, there can be no wine" Says Stephen
The first corkscrew was patented by Samuel Henshall from Middlesex on August 24, 1795.
Although we use corkscrews today predominantly for wine, wine bottles were not the first bottles to be corked. Before the First World War, and the advent of bottle tops and cans, most bottles were sealed with a cork, including beer, medicine, cosmetics and food, which all required a corkscrew. This might explain why today there are over 50,000 models and more than 5,000 patents for corkscrews.
6. Coffee Maker (No.37 Overall)
The first household coffee makers were the French Press or Cafetiere patented in 1929, and the Stovetop coffee pot invented by Alfonso Bialetti in 1933. However as our love for coffee has grown, manufacturers have been constantly re-inventing the coffee machine to keep up with our increasingly sophisticated tastes. There is now a coffee machine for every taste, ability and budget.
7. Food Processor (No.65 Overall)
Heston Blumenthal reckons that if the food processor had not been invented then most chefs would have given up cooking rather than having to do all that hard work by hand. The first food processors were unveiled in 1971 and have been chopping and pureeing in our kitchens ever since.
8. Tin Opener (No.73 Overall)
The tin can was patented in 1810, however the first can opener was patented in 1858 by Ezra Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut. William Lyman patented the familiar can opener we know today, the kind with the wheel that rolls and cuts around the rim of a can, in 1870, and it's been feeding students ever since.
9.Breville Toasted Sandwich Maker (No.88 Overall)
"Who Gave Grandma Peaches and Ham,
Who made a feast out of left over lamb,
Who treated mum to banana and Jam,
An Australian invention, these came to the UK in the 1970's enabling us to make sandwiches with fillings hotter than the sun - well 114oc actually, but that's pretty hot for a sandwich.
Who'd have thought John snow would have been such a big fan!
10. Soda Stream (No.92 Overall)
Soda Streams were at their peak during the 70's and 80's when I was a kid. However, living in a pub I never needed one myself. I was surprised to find out the soda stream was actually invented way back in 1903 by Guy Gilbey, and it was used by butlers in the houses of British aristocrats.
11. Toaster (No.93 Overall)
The first electric toaster was invented by Crompton and Co in Britain in 1893, and it's been feeding people who can't cook ever since.
12. Garlic Press (No.96 Overall)
Who invented the Garlic Press and when seems to be a bit of a mystery. What's clear is that opinion seems to be divided over whether you need one or not. Purists argue that you should use a knife, whilst others, like Stephen suggest that a press is better as it removed the stem from the centre of the glove which has a bitter taste. I personally don't use one, but that's because all of mine are too fiddly to clean. Find me one's that's as easy to clean as it is to use and I might reconsider.
So, now you've seen Stephen's list, we want to know what's on your list.