Pros: easy and convenient to use, bizarre-looking kitchen conversation piece
Cons: some of the holes are so large that small items fall through
Three cheers for silicone! No, not because of those – instead, because of all the great and fun silicone products that have started showing up in our kitchens in the past few years. It’s not all funky hotpads and cunning little trivets, though; sometimes we find a product that we’d never even thought about. One of those products turned out to be the foodpod from HIC (Harold Imports Company).
There’s no way to put it nicely: this is a weird-looking doodad. It looks sort of like a collapsed balloon with a bunch of holes torn in it and a thick plastic stem; sort of pumpkin-shaped. The “basket” portion is six inches in diameter and about three inches high; made of thick translucent silicon film. The matching “stem” is six inches long and ends in a thick hook-like affair.
The top opens about 2½ to 3 inches, with a little bit of stretch. The closure is pretty simple: the stem ends at a hard plastic disk with prongs that match holes around the opening. The entire surface is dotted with oval holes, up to about an inch along the long axis. The basket’s about the size of a three-quart saucepan, but can be squeezed into something smaller if need be.
The foodpod is intended as a boiling bag for blanching or boiling foods such as greens, eggs or potatoes. Because of the relatively large holes, it’s not suitable for small vegetables. We’ve used it for boiling eggs and potatoes; and for blanching beans and sugar peas, though small pieces tend to leak out a little. The hook in the end of the stem clips over the rim of large pots and also makes it easy to grab from a smaller pot. The many holes allow good water circulation, and the long handle makes it easy to swirl in the hot water and then to lift the basket and drain off the water.
The foodpod doesn’t pick up any color or flavor from the foods boiled in it, and is (said to be) dishwasher-safe. It should be, given that it does most of its work in boiling water… It’s proven to be a useful tool, though not necessarily an essential one.
It’s easy to use: just fill it with whatever, and dunk it in hot or boiling water. When time’s up, just lift it out – for most foods the water drains off almost immediately. I’d like it better if the holes weren’t so large, but can overlook a few floaters ‘cause it keeps me from burning my fingertips.