An all-in-one can-cook-anything maid of German descent?
I was invited by Sandra, whom I met at a website building workshop a few weeks ago. We talked for a bit then she asked, “Do you like eating?”
Of course, I do. I just don’t like cooking.
“Ok,” she said. “Would you like to come to my place?”
It sounded like a date but it wasn’t.
A week or so later, the meetup occurred. It wasn’t at her place but at an industrial area near MacPherson MRT. As usual, google maps led me around an entire block when I could’ve walked a few meters via a canal walkway.
I checked the name of the place and found the The Future of Cooking. Sandra met me and that’s when I got to know more about this little machine she was very excited about.
Thermomix is billed as the most advanced kitchen appliance around. It boasts of uniting “12 appliances in one compact disk.” Two if you buy it in Singapore. One disk contains western cuisine while another disk contains Asian dishes. Cooking books accompany these disks.
I was ushered into a small studio along with another lady as Joan demonstrated. To be frank, I was a bit skeptical about the device. It was by no means small and for a tiny apartment like ours, bulky items would be near the bottom of the list of things to buy.
“We will first have lemon juice, then ice cream, pumpkin soup, and mantou,” Joan said.
I looked at the kitchen top. The space was small. I pulled out my camera.
Joan showed us a small container of sliced lemons, added about a table-spoon of sugar, replaced the lid, and asked one of the ladies to turn the knob. A deafening roar later, Joan poured out fresh lemon juice without the nasty skin.
Talk about freshly squeezed.
Next, she took out another container, this time from the freezer. Inside were chopped bananas and another fruit. A few more twists of the knob, and out came churned ice cream! It didn’t even take 10 minutes.
“It’s the blades,” Joan explained.
The blades were made of Solingen blades. Solingen blades, I found, were named after the city in North Rhine – Westphalia in Germany renowned for the manufacture of fine swords , scissors, razor, and knives by “famous firms such as Dreiturm, DOVO, Wüsthof, Zwilling J. A. Henckels, Böker, Clauberg, Eickhorn, and numerous other manufacturers.” (wikipedia)
Aside from the blades, the Thermomix had an integrated heating system and a “sophisticated safety” device to prevent kids from accidentally burning or hurting themselves.
We watched as the device weighed, milled, kneaded, cooked, and steamed. The longest we had to wait was for the Pumpkin soup to be cooked. But that was it. The machine peeled, diced, and sauteed the garlic. The aroma of frying garlic filled the air without the hiss and mess usually associated with it. Joan poured the cubed pumpkin, tapped in the chicken stock (also made by Thermomix), poured water, turned on the knob and we waited for about 18 minutes. While that cooked, she placed the steamer above for the mantou to be steamed.
Musical sounds later and the food was ready.
There were no added preservatives. No added pots and pans required. The food that came out were perfectly cooked and definitely healthy.
Thermomix is manufactured by the German group Vorwerk.
“Thermomix” comes from the combination of “thermo” (heating) and “mix” (mixing). The current Thermomix has a heating element, a motor for fast or slow blending and stirring, and a scale. The functions can be accessed simultaneously to provide 12 functions: steaming, emulsifying, blending, precise heating, mixing, milling, whipping, kneading, chopping, weighing, grinding and stirring. The latest model of the Thermomix, the TM5, also has a touchscreen with a guided mode which allows the user to follow recipes step by step, making complicated dishes easy to achieve. – wikipedia
What about energy consumption? With such a powerful appliance, I was mentally calculating the added cost to the energy bill.
“It doesn’t use up a lot of energy,” Sandra assured me. Since it reduces stove and oven use, note reduce, not replace, and it uses minimal energy in food preparation, all these translate to lower energy bill.
Not totally convince, I took the time to look up Thermomix online and this is what the main Vorwerk website says.
Thermomix ® is an instant energy saver as one piece of equipment is all that’s needed to cook a complete meal for the entire family. By cooking in stages with Thermomix ®, you can cook a delicious and healthy meal with fish, vegetables and side dishes in just 30 minutes. That saves time and energy
And while the Thermomix ® is powerful, the precise control over the motor speeds it gives users, combined with the easy-to-follow Guided Cooking options, means you’ll never need to turn the power up or run it for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Even better, Thermomix’s ® unique Guided Cooking feature even sets the power and timing for you at every stage, so only the exact amount of energy is used that’s needed for perfect results.
The device is perfect for those who are finicky about food or those who love cooking but hate the mess or those who hate to cook but love to eat. Pretty much for people who want the benefit and none of the work.
“Your very own German maid!” Joan said.
I had to laugh…but it did make sense.
For more information and a cooking demonstration, contact Sandra Tan at email@example.com