The Vegetable Peeler Feature Designed To Remove Potato Eyes

Every kitchen needs a good vegetable peeler. This simple contraption makes it easy to remove those vegetable and fruit peels when you are making your favorite apple tart or a savory ratatouille. (A vegetable peeler is actually considered a type of knife and was invented in 1947 by the Swiss to peel potatoes.) It is simple in design, comprised of a handle, a blade holder, and a blade. Today, there are many different versions of this gadget including the swivel peeler, the beloved Y-peeler (which is a favorite tool of Alton Brown), and the straight peeler (an overlooked kitchen tool Ina Garten replaces yearly).

And for as many different vegetable peelers that are on the market, there are an equal number of uses for this tool. For super thin slices of onion, you can use your peeler to shave them. Your peeler also comes in handy when you want to make long ribbons of carrots, zucchini, and cucumber — or cut a large slice of zest from your citrus. But that's not all your vegetable peeler can do. Some of these gadgets are equipped with an often unnoticed feature that can help you remove those pesky potato eyes.

It's called a potato eyer

Some vegetable peelers have an extra special accessory that helps remove potato eyes. If your peeler has a scoop or nub at the tip or a cutout on the side, your vegetable peeler can remove potato eyes. In fact, it is aptly named a "potato eyer." Wait, what's a potato eye?

Potato eyes are actually sprouts that pop out when your potato is stored in a warm and humid spot. But don't be intimidated if you find your potatoes looking a little alien-like with these nubs popping out all over them. Your potatoes are still safe to eat as long as they aren't soft. And while removing the eyes is more for appearances — they aren't necessarily pretty to look at — you probably don't want to eat them.

Using this little accessory is easy. You simply dig into the potato where the eye is located and scoop it out. Repeat this process each time you encounter a potato eye and your potatoes will be perfect for mashing, frying, scalloping, or however you plan on using them. It's really that simple.