Thermomix comes to Yucatán after decades of cult-like status abroad

A look into the production of the Thermomix TM5 by the company Vorwerk in the factory in Wuppertal, Germany, 05 May 2015. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa | usage worldwide (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images)
After enjoying a cult-like following in Europe for decades, the Thermomix is now for sale in Yucatán. Photo: Getty Images

The Thermomix, a do-it-all kitchen appliance that for years has been hugely popular abroad, is now for sale in Yucatán.

Unless you’re from Europe or Australia, the Thermomix may be new to you. But in those countries, the German-made machine has a cult-like following.

Although it appears streamlined, it does a lot. It combines the functions of a high-speed blender, slow-cooker, mixer, food processor, digital scale, sous-vide machine, steamer and smart phone. It “won’t frost and light the candles on your birthday cake, but it’ll come damn close,” writes online magazine Quartz.

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“To call the Thermomix an international phenomenon would be an understatement,” Quarts concludes. The machine is “a gift from that Jetsons-like future that never came to pass.”

Made by the German company Vorwerk, the contraption is a large, high-powered blender with a heating element in the bottom and a laundry list of capabilities, including the ability to almost automatically cook its way through nearly 600 (and counting) step-by-step recipes available for download to the touchscreen interface. It can chop an onion and then sauté it, cook a soup and then puree it, knead bread dough, whip cream, blend smoothies, make risotto, and, according to its devoted fans, generally make cooking faster and easier.

Each machine comes with The Basic Cook Book and an accompanying “recipe chip,” which attaches to the side of the machine. With the chip, the Thermomix prompts you to add ingredients and tees up the right time, temperature and mixer settings for each step.

Since its launch in 2014, the TM5 — its fifth-generation model — has sold 3 million units around the world, without appearing on store shelves.

Instead, the machine is offered by direct-selling representatives like Mérida-based Marilia Villareal, who is among the 45,500-strong worldwide sales force. One TM5 is sold every 26 seconds.

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Although it’s been around for decades, the Thermomix is unfamiliar to most Americans and Canadians because it was introduced to that market just last year.

“The Thermomix TM5 is a luxury kitchen gadget worth pining for,” writes C-NET, in its first review of the product.

The critic marveled at the fact that cooks don’t need to use measuring cups and mise en place bowls because a built-in scale watches your ingredient portioning.

“I also appreciated how once I hit start on a step, the machine locks the lid closed, psychologically freeing me to clean or prep the next step,” the Wired writer says.

Although its roots go as far back as the 1960s, today its latest model has evolved for the digital era. For the TM5—which was designed specifically with the U.S./Canadian market in mind—Thermomix not only got international certifications for all its plastic, steel, and electronics, it created a web platform that’s supported in 13 countries.

This allows users to generate shopping lists and download recipes directly to their machines, which will walk them through the steps of preparing them.

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“… The Thermomix is a well-honed, time-tested machine,” writes another reviewer, in Wired. “Every part except the motor can go straight into the dishwasher, a feature that should be written into the 10 Commandments of Kitchen Goods.”

The local representative for Thermomix, Marilia is a devoted cooking enthusiast.

“My story will finally always be linked to a table, a drink and the kitchen and until the last day of my life, I have to share my great passion for cooking,” she says.

The Thermomix is an investment in your kitchen, with a price tag of 26,900 pesos. Still unsure it’s worth the price? In Mérida, home cooks can book a demonstration here.

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