The salad spinner: a kitchen must-have
From wicker to plastic!
Our ancestors, who were great eaters of greens, understood very early on that it was necessary to both wash and drain a salad before eating it! This led to them inventing the salad basket, made of wicker or woven rushes. Then, around 1830, the first wire baskets were designed. Looped, braided and made into a star shape without any welding, they quickly dethroned their vegetable ancestors. Simply give the basket a swing and shake it until not a drop of water is left. At the end of the 19th century came the tin wringer with a string, which worked like a spinning top: pulling on the string or turning the crank made it possible to extract the water from the salad.
The salad spinner as we know it today dates back to the 1970s. Two French designers, Jean Mantelet and Gilberte Fouineteau, registered their patents in 1971 and 1973 respectively. The plastic "salad dryer" of Jean Mantelet, founder of Moulinex, consists of a manual centrifugal device for preparing vegetables and salads. A turn of the crank and the wet salad leaves rotate at high speed in the basket, whose wall is perforated: the strong acceleration forces the water to migrate outwards, then expels it through the basket, before gravity causes it to collect at the bottom of the outer bowl. All this in less than a minute! The French inventor's centrifugal appliance dries and drains salads and vegetables, but more conveniently, it has a lid, a removable basket and a mobile centrifugal rotation system.
Thus, the modern-day salad spinner was born. In 1974, the Mouli Manufacturing Company introduced the first hand-cranked salad spinner to the US market. Despite a few sceptics, who considered it to be yet another "gastronomic" gadget, the brand-new spinner was a hit, so much so that kitchenware shops quickly found themselves out of stock.
Simple to use and easy to clean, what more could you need?
Made mainly of polypropylene, the "modern mechanism" salad spinner is lightweight, easy to operate and maintain, and durable. Its ergonomic design makes it extremely easy to use and facilitates the daily life of professionals and amateurs alike.
The outer bowl, which is usually translucent, allows the leaves to be seen and enables users to check whether sufficient spinning force has been applied. The lid and bowl are generally available in similar, preferably bright, colours.
The salad spinner invented by Jean Mantelet has been a mainstay in our kitchens for 50 years now. Whether comprising a pull cord, a string, a pump, fitted with an immediate braking mechanism, or an electric motor, despite a few small improvements here and there its concept remains the same. The item that was once considered a gadget is now an everyday object happily fulfilling its mission: to make our lives easier.