A compact, hand-operated machine with various adjustable blades for thin to thick slicing and for julienne and French-fry cutting. Mandolines have folding legs and come in both wood- or stainless steel-frame models. They're used to cut firm vegetables and fruits (such as potatoes and apples) with uniformity and precision. On most machines, the food is held in a metal carriage on guides so that fingers aren't in danger.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.