Cooking, like math, is a game of precision. Sure, there are plenty of Crock Pot dishes that don’t require finesse. But for the more ambitious home cook trying a complex recipe there’s likely going to be some mise en place involved.
This cutting board, from Netherlands-based design group The Usuals, is a cheat sheet for divining the difference between chopped and minced vegetables. The Finer Slicing cutting board, as it’s called, has laser-printed etchings that make for foolproof chopping: radiating circles in the center outline where to slice tomatoes, onions, melons–anything round, really–and grids in the corner instruct on how to dice carrots and the like into perfect centimeter pieces.
There’s also a hidden environmental agenda behind honing those knife skills: a study last fall showed that Americans throw away 40% of the food supply. Much of this has to do with poor understanding of expiration dates, but that doesn’t mean that proper cutting can’t help. It means less of a vegetable could get tossed after a hackneyed dicing job, and after finely peeling that carrot or onion, the leftovers could go into making a stock.