Annals of everyday objects: the garlic press

In a continuing series about (mostly useful) everyday objects, back to the kitchen, where today I needed some fresh garlic for an Indian dish of brown rice, dal, and vegetable bits with curry spices (a Penzey’s “balti mix”), so I resorted to the household’s (aluminum) garlic press.

From Wikipedia:

(#1) Two different styles of garlic press, at the top and bottom left

A garlic press (also known as a garlic crusher in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom), is a kitchen utensil [usually made of aluminum or stainless steel] to crush garlic cloves efficiently by forcing them through a grid of small holes, usually with some type of piston. Many garlic presses also have a device with a matching grid of blunt pins to clean out the holes.

Garlic presses present a convenient alternative to mincing garlic with a knife, especially because a clove of garlic can be passed through a sturdy press without even removing its peel. The peel remains in the press while the garlic is extruded out. Some sources also claim that pressing with the peel on makes cleaning the press easier.

Garlic crushed by a press is generally believed to have a different flavor from minced garlic, more of garlic’s strong flavor compounds are liberated. A few sources prefer the flavor of pressed garlic. … On the other hand, some chefs say garlic crushed in a press has an inferior flavor compared to other forms of garlic.

(Many garlic presses are multi-functional: mine, for examples, also works as a nutcracker and a cherry pitter.)

Some previous postings on this blog about kitchen utensils and gadgets (not all of them notably useful):

(#2) Brian Crane’s Pickles strip on men, women, and kitchen gadgets

on 12/9/09, “spork”

on 6/2/11, “Portmanteaus: forkchops”

on 8/31/13, “Colander song”

on 8/16/15, “Morning: mandolin, mandoline”, on the mandoline

on 6/18/16, “The avocado slicer”, on an unnecessary kitchen gadget

on 6/11/17, “Mixing it up”, on melamine bowls

on 10/29/17, “March of the rainbow mixers”, about KitchenAid stand mixers and hand mixers; rotary egg beater

on 5/1/18, “The cheese grater”

on 5/19/18, “Rolling pin”

on 5/20/18, “The egg patrol: plastic to porcelain”, about egg cookers of several sorts

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