Kitchengadgets, Berkel 834 slicer

It’s allready quite a few years that he is part of our kitchen staff: « the Berkel ». This slicer is in fact from Dutch origin. Berkel was a butcher in Rotterdam. His brother Wilhelm van Berkel (born february 5th 1868) invented and patented the automatic slicer. In 1898 he founded « Van Berkel’s Patent » a company that quickly became a huge success, even internationally. First with their meat slicer with movable base, but later on with balances too. In 2001 the company  was sold and is now called Avery Weigh-Tronix and specializes in industrial slicing and weighing equipment. The Berkel brand is still used today.

I was in doubt for a long time if I could justify buying a machine like this. Not only are they quite expensive, even secondhand, but they are also rather bulky. In a small kitchen like ours thats even a bigger problem than the price. Finally in 2005 I stumbled upon an ad on the internet for a good secondhand Berkel Model 834 at the right price. There was only one problem: the machine was in the Netherlands. Thankfully, not all that far from a good friends home, who arranged transport to the Ariege. Since than I have never questioned my sanity, because I use the Berkel so much, there is absolutely no doubt about its usefulness. We do not only slice various cured hams and other sausages on it, but also our bread, cheese, and even onions and tomatoes and so on. Ultra fine slices or thick ones, you name it, we slice it. And maybe I am a little crazy too, but just click on the picture to enlarge it. Isn’t it a beauty of a machine? I don’t need a Ferrari, I am perfectly happy with my sleek slicer.

Click for more: the official Berkel website

to be continued, next episode « the ice-cream maker »