02 May2005

Are these melon scrapers (shredders?) uniquely scraper1 Filipino kitchen tools? Perhaps not. Several readers who live in the West have emailed to ask where they can order this melon scraper and complaining that no one seems to carry it “abroad.” First of all, what is it? The melon scraper is a simple tool designed to scrape the curved insides of a small melon, cantaloupe, honey dew or similar fruit. Thin pieces of stainless steel or tin are twisted and anchored in a handle so that they cut through the soft melon and create long strips of melon for desserts or drinks. They are particularly useful for making cantaloupe strips that are used in a refreshing cantaloupe juice during the hot summer months.

A box or plane shredder or mandoline do not achieve the same type of melon strips and are far messier and or dangerous to use with soft slippery melon slices. While I have always had a scraper2melon scraper in our kitchens from childhood until midlife, I never assumed it was a native invention. After some miniscule research, it seems that some other Asian countries have a similar tool so I am not sure if they got it from us or if we got it from them. Melon drinks are common in Thailand, Indonesia and other neighbors. In the photo above, there are two scrapers… the sturdier looking one with metal “blades” anchored in wood is from Thailand while the flimsier looking all steel version is from a local Manila market. The Thai scraper cost PHP70 and is available from Cook’s Exchange stores in Mega Mall and Rockwell Mall. The local scrapers in the market range from PHP40 and up. If you live in the U.S., I would check out a local Asian food and cooking equipment store as they may carry a similar tool. Perhaps a mail order Thai goods store may have it as well. Your final option…ask a relative in Manila to buy one for you and send it the next time someone goes to the U.S.

To use, slice a melon in half or fourths scraper3and apply the tool in a firm but fluid manner along the curvature of the fruit. Make your melon strips as long or short as you like. If you want a really refreshing dessert that is just a notch above a slice of melon… take a quarter melon, scrape it into strips, flavor with some lemon and sugar (if desired), a touch of melon liquer (optional), and chill well. Serve with some mint. It is really refreshing and light.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Laura says:

    Here in Italy is very easy to find them, in all supermarket.

    May 2, 2005 | 7:46 pm

     
  2. bugsybee says:

    It’s also used for our native achara.

    May 2, 2005 | 8:58 pm

     
  3. stel says:

    what a timely post, market man! i’ve been looking for one in all the Asian grocery stores i happen by and have had no luck yet… time to call a relative i think…

    May 2, 2005 | 10:20 pm

     
  4. MJM says:

    Will a lemon zester do?

    May 3, 2005 | 6:15 pm

     
  5. Rina Hubilla says:

    there is another asian implement that juliennes fruits
    and vegetables (think thai green papaya salad, crispy
    catfish with green mangoes) it looks like a knife with
    a double edged blade but the second blade isn’t straight
    – its ridged but sharp so the moment you slide a piece of
    fruit or veggie across julienne strips just fall straight into your platter – no sweat. no slicing. dont know what
    it’s called – should be more of them in thailand, but got
    mine in a KL dept store.

    May 3, 2005 | 7:39 pm

     
  6. Maricel says:

    Rina, that sounds like a neat gadget to have.

    Marketman, have you come across anything like that here in Manila?

    I will try to look for it in Quiapo (at Sin Kian or Stan Marketing), if I find the time. Will let you know if I get hold of one.

    May 4, 2005 | 7:00 am

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Hi Marciel, no I haven’t seen the cool gadget Rina describes. Please let us all know if you find one on your Quiapo forays. I am intrigued. MJM I think a lemon zester’s holes are too small to get the right consistency of melon strips. Thanks guys for all this great input!

    May 4, 2005 | 8:08 am

     
  8. MJM says:

    I will try to check out the gadget Rina was talking about sin since I’m here in KL. Maybe I’ll ask around in the Thai restaurants here.
    Otherwise, I’ll have to wait for someone from Manila to bring it in for me.

    May 4, 2005 | 1:18 pm

     
  9. Rina Hubilla says:

    hi MJM, wish i could remember the name of the dept store
    I got it in, its in that hub of stores in the Bukit Bintang area – kitchen supplies. its was around 10 to 12 ringgit if I recall right. looks like an upright potato peeler. hope you find it!

    May 5, 2005 | 11:12 am

     
  10. MJM says:

    Hi, Rina!
    Hmmmm… there’s a lot of stores in Bukit Bintang. Nevertheless, I will be on the lookout for it and will keep in mind your description and cost. Thanks for the tip!
    Many thanks!

    May 6, 2005 | 6:15 pm

     
  11. rina hubilla says:

    MJM, hope you’re still in KL! I looked at the packaging on
    the gadget closely and there was a tiny sticker with the name of the dept store. Parkson Grand in Bukit Bintang.

    May 13, 2005 | 2:16 pm

     
  12. Lisa Bangloy says:

    Took me forever on the internet to find this scraper! Thank goodness I came upon this site. I’m in Hawaii and can’t find this tool anywhere. Any chance there’s a website where i can place an order? I had one (scraper on one end and a little spoon on the other)but it got accidentally thrown away during a party. HELP! Anyone have any ideas on where to order? Aloha from Hawaii!!!

    Jul 6, 2005 | 8:44 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Lisa, best way is to have a relative or friend of yours in Manila handcarry one or two to the U.S. and have them mail it to you from the mainland… I looked all over NY for this tool when I was there last month but couldn’t find it. Not even Sur La Table had it and they have most kitchen gadgets!

    Jul 6, 2005 | 11:38 am

     
  14. Rina says:

    good news to those who are looking for the peeler I described earlier, OXO Good Grips came out with a julienne peeler that does the same thing. google it!

    Sep 21, 2005 | 2:47 pm

     
  15. Marketman says:

    Thanks for all those great food/foob equipment/food source tips…Rina!

    Sep 21, 2005 | 4:40 pm

     
  16. lina leah says:

    I am looking for PLASTIC MELON SCRAPER/SHREDDER TOOL.
    I will appreciate if you can let me know where to buy them here in the US.

    Mar 13, 2007 | 12:03 am

     
  17. Marketman says:

    Lina, I am not sure if there even is a plastic melon scraper…the metal one seems to be available in Thailand, the Philippines and possibly Malaysia and Indonesia…but I haven’t come across it in the States…

    Mar 13, 2007 | 6:02 am

     
  18. dhayL says:

    For those of you who’s desparately looking for a melon scraper, I was browsing online, and I chanced upon this website – http://www.pilipinomart.com. Although I’m not sure if they’re based in the sates or not, they HAVE IT for $2.29!!

    May 10, 2007 | 7:09 am

     
  19. Helen says:

    You can buy the scraper that Rina’s describing in Thailand. They sell that even in the Kitchen section of the big department stores.

    Aug 16, 2009 | 6:08 pm

     
 

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