Product Type: Alessi juicers
Newest Review: ... product, I paid £40 for mine which just shows that it is not exactly a cheap product for what is a manual juicer which just happens to l... more
Easy peasy lemon squeezy?
Alessi Juicy Salif Juicer
Member Name: Matheson80
Alessi Juicy Salif Juicer
Advantages: A design classic
Disadvantages: Looks better than it preforms.
Many moons ago I studied design at art school, and at the time Philippe Starck was a bit of a design celebrity, I even wrote an essay on him! During a study (ahem...) trip to New York in 2001, I was looking to buy a couple of rather unique souvenirs by which to remember my trip. Whilst visiting the MOMA (Museum Of Modern Art), I happened upon the Juicy Salif in its shop. Now, the Juicy Salif has nothing to do with New York, but it's such a unique shaped design, that every time I see it, it reminds me of my great time in NY. At the time I believe it cost me approx. $80, which at the time with a reasonable exchange rate worked out at about £50. This is still approx. the price they go for these days, but you can find them online for £40 or so if you are lucky.
I guess before I discuss how it actually works, I have to talk about the look of this object. Is it a three legged space spider? Is it a rather disturbingly shaped sex toy? Who knows what Monsieur Starck's inspiration was? I have to agree that its design is not exactly standard for a lemon squeezer, but that is why I love it! It may be over twenty years old now, but its sci-fi curves and polished aluminium finish won't look out of place in even the most ultra-modern kitchen. There were also black, and gold versions created, but they are pretty had to come by these days.
So how does it actually work? Well, have you ever heard of the term 'Form follows function'? Basically, this famous design mentality suggests that in every item, its function, and how well it preforms said function should always come before the look of the object. I.e. make it work well before you go making it look pretty. It's safe to say that Philippe Starck does not adhere to this philosophy, as the aesthetics of this lemon squeezer were defiantly put before its function.
To use the squeezer, you have to place it over a cup or tumbler, preferably on as tall and as wide as the space under its legs will allow, and squeeze the lemon over the top of the ridged, teardrop shaped part. The juice then drips down into the cup. Or at least that's the plan...in practice it's not as simple as that. The lemon juice has a habit of going everywhere...down the legs, and down the side of the cup. The other problem is that the seeds will often fall into the cup, as there is no strainer to catch them. Its not always messy, its just a bit pot luck if the lemon juice goes where its ment.
My problem in this review is - how do I rate a design classic, that looks fantastic, is still in demand twenty plus years after is creation, but functions rather poorly? I love this object, for me it's as much a piece of sculpture, a conversation starter ("WTF is that three legged thing in your kitchen!?") and a reminder of a great holiday, sorry I mean study trip to New York. Sometimes an object can transcend its original purpose to become something more. (Hmm, that sounds like some arty rubbish I used to write years ago at uni...) It's certainly not cheap either, especially considering sticking a fork into half a lemon and wiggling it about does pretty much the same job.
Sod it. I'm going to give it 5 starts because it looks ace! (Sorry to all the level-headed people out there)
Summary: A small piece of sculpture for your kitchen that happens to squeeze lemons.
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