Essential Kitchen Gadgets Around the Globe

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Turkey: Yogurt-Making Machine

“There is a growing trend toward making mass-produced products at home [instead of buying them],” says Istanbul-based writer, photographer, and food stylist Cenk Sönmezsoy, author of the food and travel blog Cafe Fernando and now at work on his first cookbook. “Yogurt is a very important part of the Turkish cooking culture, so yogurt makers are quite popular nowadays.”

Uganda: Potato Masher

A potato masher is a key kitchen tool in Uganda and other East African countries, according to Jennie Taylor, who works for One Acre Fund, a nonprofit organization that aims to fight hunger by helping local farmers. The tool isn’t used for mashed spuds, though: “East Africans, particularly those in Uganda and Western Kenya, eat a lot of matoke,” a type of green banana that’s soaked, steamed, mashed, and then served with a sauce made with vegetables, ground nuts, and sometimes meat. “I make a spicy matoke that includes tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers, long green chiles, and pili pili [a type of chile], and add ground beef when I’m not cooking for a vegetarian crowd,” she says, adding that the masher is a time-saver that makes the bananas extra smooth.

Megan O. Steintrager is a food writer and editor whose work has appeared in Gourmet Live, Epicurious, Food Network magazine, the Huffington Post’s Kitchen Daily, iVillage, Self, and Brides, among other online and print publications. Her latest piece for Gourmet Live was an interview with Mark Stevenson, the author of An Optimist’s Tour of the Future.

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