About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Squeeze Me
Everyone has got one lurking in their kitchen cupboard, yet to judge by television cooking show presenters, you'd think that it hasn't been invented yet.

I'm talking about the humble citrus juicer.

Have you ever noticed that all telly chefs, with the exception of one, never use a citrus juicer? They all indulge in a variety of different ways to squeeze the goodness out of a lemon or whatever, but never use the one simple tool designed specifically for the job. It all started a few years ago when one presenter simply grabbed a cut lemon and squeezed it straight into the other ingredients, pausing only to remove a few pips. From this humble start, all manner of strategies are now employed to squeeze a lemon without a juicer, it's almost as if all the television presenters are playing a game with each other to see who can come up with the next variation on the theme.

Here's a few that I've noticed.

1: The straight out display of strength. Pick up the lemon and squeeze for all you're worth, straight in to the ingredients. This is most often a male presenters preferred option, also has the most variations.
2: The ridged pestle, for diving straight into the fruit that is being held above the ingredients; a few twists and the juice is released. This is the female presenters preferred option. Has the disadvantage, along with the display of strength, of leaving pips behind.
3: Squeezing a cut lemon with one hand so that the juice trickles through the fingers of the other hand, thus filtering out those pesky pips.
4: Squeezing a cut lemon upside down, preventing the pips from going where they want. The thinking chefs method.
5: Wrapping the lemon in muslin to keep the pips in, then giving a good squeeze.
6: Using a tea strainer to filter the juice from the display of strength.

I bet there are a few more tricks I haven't seen, but there is the mandatory rolling and pushing of the lemon to extract more juice and others like a quick zap in the microwave for the same effect.

Now all television cooks listen up. A lemon has a certain amount of juice to give, no more, no amount of rolling will increase that, ditto microwave. If you use the tool designed for the job, you will get all the juice that a lemon has to give. With no pips.

  posted at 7:28 am

At 9:20 am, Blogger Reb said...

At last a voice of reason! I reckon hand squashing lemons and limes is for tossers. And it kills if you have a cit on you hand. And the squezer has to be plastic and a funny colour (like purple) rather than a $400 Alessi w**k job :)

At 9:20 am, Blogger Reb said...

oopps I meant cut on your hand

At 1:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember what I missed while my kitchen was packed up - my beautiful green glass juicer.
Enjoyed the 5 before u die.

At 4:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(How true about the Alessi juicer!)

I juice citrus on a traditional plastic number. After they are juiced, I stack them up like hats and give the whole stack a big squeeze like a concertina. Voila! Much more juice than you thought was there.

(My mother had a 1950s glass juicer - clear glass, though, not green.)

At 4:11 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi reb, it's not the only tool they are trying to get rid of, have you noticed them all squishing garlic with the side of their knives on their chopping boards, instead of a quick push through a garlic press?

Hi tanna, isn't it great when you find a long lost friend.

At 4:22 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi kitchen hand, the Alessi isn't a juicer, just a model, art deco spaceship! Great idea for the extra juice, sounds like you've gone through a few lemons.

At 6:28 am, Blogger Alpineberry Mary said...

I'm guilty of juicing my citrus every which way. In addition to all the ways you listed, I've used the glass citrus juicer, electric juicer, and my newest toy the citrus press.

At 7:58 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi mary, and welcome! We have an electic juicer my kids gave me. Thought we would never use it until the day I needed to squeeze a couple of kilos of cumquats.

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