Kitchen gizmos are usually created and marketed with a sole purpose that's obvious from the name: vegetable peeler, garlic press, potato masher.
But as chefs and food experts know, most tools can be put to use in a multitude of ways that make your cooking easier, faster or more impressive.
Take the vegetable peeler, a kitchen essential for getting to the heart of carrots and potatoes.
Ann Taylor Pittman, food editor of Cooking Light magazine, uses the peeler to shave hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino Romano, and Asiago.
"The beautiful shavings have a bigger flavor impact than grated. Nice for topping salads, pasta, pizza or flatbread," says Pittman.
Kate Merker, associate food editor at Real Simple magazine recommends using a vegetable peeler for removing strips of citrus zest (usually lemons, limes and oranges) to use for twists in cocktails.
And Food Network's Clair Robinson puts peelers to use in baking, using them to shave chocolate. "I have even used it to shave butter ribbons for decoration or to melt frozen butter super quick!"
So when a recipe calls for a citrus zester or a chocolate shaver, you don't need to reach for your wallet and car keys. Grab your reliable vegetable peeler.
Merker even finds uses for her peeler outside the kitchen. Use the peeler to revive the aroma of scented ornamental soaps by shaving just a bit off the underside, she says. This exposes enough of the soap to be fragrant again, but won't ruin the appearance.