Stainless steel utensil composed of two adjustable stainless steel blades set in a frame; used for finely slicing fruit and vegetables. Originally the utensil was composed of a wooden frame and single blade; a form of culinary plane which chefs held to their chest slicing vegetables in a fashion similar to strumming a mandolin. The first reference to the utensil features in the famous cookery book "Opera dell'arte del cuocco"" by Bartolomeo Scapi

Very basic mandolins (also known as mandoline) can be found at large retail establishments costing about 15 euros. Specialty stores and online retailers sell more complex mandolins that can cost about 100 euros or more. There are several different types of mandolin: single-function ones that generally slice or cut sticks. Multifunction mandolins (several blades, such as the Japanese mandolin) now offer more options. There are also mandolins labeled \"semi-professional\": These are more similar to those used in restaurants and can cut cubes, diamonds, etc.

The Japanese mandolin is the same utensil. It consists of a plastic frame, and different blades that let you slice much more finely and cut matchsticks.

A mandolin is a great help for making dishes that include vegetables with different cuts, such as julienne, small dice or brunoise, matchstick potatoes, and chips.