- Tessa Cunningham tested the best retro gadgets of the seventies for FEMAIL
- She uncovered that Swan vintage teasmade isn’t worth investing in
- Tessa found SodaStream sparkling water-maker to be a sleek gadget
Do you pale at the memory of stodgy curries and cheese and pineapple sticks? Well, brace yourself, because Seventies food is back in a big way.
From baked Alaska popping up as a dessert at trendy restaurants to the return of chicken Kievs, retro food is now the height of cool.
To help you throw the perfect retro dinner party, shops are starting to re-stock classic Seventies gadgets. Here, Tessa Cunningham looks at which are worth dusting off and which take nostalgia a bit too far . . .
SodaStream sparkling water-maker, £58.88, amazon.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? A syphon which carbonates drinks by adding carbon dioxide.
TEST OF TIME: This sleek, new-look SodaStream comes with 50 mixes, including cranberry and mango. You can also add bubbles to tap water or white wine for Prosecco-style plonk.
VERDICT: It’s super cheap fizz, but avoid overly sugary mixes. 4/5
Tessa believes this egg slicer from Lake Land is a great investment if you have space for it
Hard-boiled egg slicer (below), £4.29, lakeland.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? A plastic case with stainless steel blades to cut neat slices of egg.
TEST OF TIME: Pop your peeled, boiled egg in the base, clamp down the lid and you’ve got beautiful, even slices of egg. Great if — like me — you love old-fashioned egg and tomato sarnies.
VERDICT: If you’ve got space for it, it’s a great investment. 3.5/5
Crock-Pot 3.5 l slow cooker, £39.98, crockpot.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? A lidded stoneware bowl set over a heating element in a stainless steel case. It cooks food at a low temperature so you can safely leave it on all day.
TEST OF TIME: When the Crock-Pot arrived from America in 1972, my mum swore she’d never slave over a hot stove again. She plugged it in at breakfast and, hey presto, stew for supper. You can also set it to fast-cook if you’re in a hurry.
VERDICT: Perfect for trendy dishes, such as tagines or a vegetable curry. 4/5
She says this well-made meat mincer is ideal for keeping calories down
Manual meat mincer and sausage-making machine (below), £25.99, lakeland.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? A gadget you fix to your kitchen worktop and feed meat through to grind into mince.
TEST OF TIME: This simple version of a Seventies kitchen staple is lightweight, a doddle to assemble and clean. It also comes with a suction cup to securely lock on to any surface. It has two stainless steel blades — fine and coarse — and a sausage-making nozzle.
VERDICT: A well-made piece of kit to keep calories down. 4/5
Tessa found this gadget pointless and says ‘it’s not that hard to put the kettle on yourself’
Swan vintage teasmade, £50, currys.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? A device that wakes you up with a fresh cuppa. All you do is fill the tank with water, pop a teabag in the pot and set the alarm. In the morning, it heats the water and forces it into the pot for a delicious brew.
TEST OF TIME: The whistling of my parents’ teasmade makes me wary as I programme this for 7am. But I’m woken by a gentle beeping and my tea is delicious. On the downside, the light of the clock kept me up.
VERDICT: It’s not that hard to put the kettle on yourself . . . 1/5
She questioned if this melon baller would really be useful when organizing a party
KitchenCraft double-headed melon baller, £3.59, lakeland.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? Similar to an ice cream scoop, but for fruit.
TEST OF TIME: Not only for melon, with this you will also be able to make papaya and nectarine balls — perfect for fruit salads.
VERDICT: Are you really going to spend precious time making melon balls for a party? 1/5
Tessa enjoyed this fondue set as it’s an easy and quirky way of making dessert with friends
KitchenCraft MasterClass cast iron enamelled fondue set, £38.80, amazon.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? An enamel-coated bowl over a dual fuel burner in which you melt cheese or chocolate.
You then use small forks to dip in chunks of bread (if cheese), or marshmallows and strawberries (if chocolate).
TEST OF TIME: The pretty, new-look fondue kits are perfect for a quick and simple dinner party dessert. This comes with six colour-coded forks so you don’t pinch someone else’s by mistake.
VERDICT: It’s fun, easy and makes a quirky dessert with friends. 4/5