Lemon squeezer (Redirected from Juicy Salif)

A pressed glass lemon squeezer

A lemon squeezer is a small kitchen utensil designed to extract juice from lemons or other citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, or lime. It is designed to separate and crush the pulp of the fruit in a way that is easy to operate. Lemon squeezers can be made from any solid, acid-resistant material, such as plastic, glass, metal (usually aluminium) or ceramic.


1860 L.P. Chichester lemon squeezer patent

The oldest known lemon squeezers were found in Kütahya, Turkey and date to the first quarter of the 18th century.[1] These ceramic presses are in the traditional style of Turkish pottery of the 18th century and have a superficial resemblance to today's press equipment with cones, though they are designed differently. These examples were individually made, and specially designed for making the then popular citrus drink sorbet. Lemons are not native to northern Turkey, though during the 17th and 18th centuries they were imported in bulk to Constantinople.[1]

At the end of the 19th century a large number of different models of lemon squeezers were patented in the United States. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office lists over 200 patents for lemon squeezers, the majority of which were registered between 1880 and 1910. The oldest of these patents was issued to Lewis S. Chichester on July 3, 1860 for a cast iron squeezer. The stated purpose of the invention was "to obtain a simple, economical and durable implement whereby lemons may be squeezed for domestic purposes with much less power and with far greater facility than by the ordinary squeezers in general use."[2]

A comparable wooden lemon squeezer has been passed down to students of Trinity College since 1857. It was originally used to make punch, but William W. Niles, who later became the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, established the tradition of handing down the lemon squeezer to the most popular rising class during Class Day. Soon afterward, rivalry built between classes and the lemon squeezer was stolen, replaced, and re-stolen multiple times, so that there are multiple allegedly original utensils circulating. The latest version of the lemon squeezer makes its only appearance during Convocation when the college president squeezes a fresh lemon to make a toast to the incoming class.[3][4]

The patents filed around the turn of the 19th/20th century show a variety of different functional principles. They range from small models to be used at the table (with which individual lemon wedges can be squeezed out over a glass or dish) to mechanically complex equipment which is firmly attached to the kitchen table or counter with screw clamps. It is noteworthy that nearly all of these patents merely put pressure on the lemon or lemon half, without the fruit being rotated. The patents vary mainly in their different mechanisms how they create this pressure. Usually, leverage or screw presses were used. It is no longer possible to reconstruct how many of those patents were actually produced for the market.

As a decorative object

Juicy Salif
Koziol "Ahoi"

Not all squeezers are actually meant to squeeze. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the Juicy Salif, designed by Philippe Starck in 1990. It is considered an icon of industrial design that has been displayed in New York's Museum of Modern Art. It is manufactured by Italian kitchenware company Alessi. Its diameter is 14 cm, height 29 cm, and it is made from cast and polished aluminium. As the founder of the company Alberto Alessi recalls "I received a napkin from Starck, on it among some incomprehensible marks (tomato sauce, in all likelihood) there were some sketches. Sketches of squid. They started on the left, and as they worked their way over to the right, they took on the unmistakable shape of what was to become the juicy salif. While eating a dish of squid and squeezing a lemon over it, Starck drew on the napkin his famous lemon squeezer." [5][6]

For the tenth anniversary of its launch, 10,000 were individually numbered and gold plated. There has also been a grey/black (Anthracite) coloured version of which 47,000 un-numbered examples were produced between 1991 and 2004.[7] Both now are collectors items, though an urban legend perpetuates that the anthracite version is rarer than the gold plated version.

The gold plated version was described as an ornament because the citric acid in a lemon discolors and erodes the gold plating. Starck even said his squeezer was, "not meant to squeeze lemons" but "to start conversations".[8] For this reason, Starck's Juicy Salif was featured on the front cover of Donald Norman's book Emotional Design.

If the "Juicy Salif" has become an icon of post-modernism following the debate it engendered, other designers have also developed highly innovative citrus squeezer. They respond to new usage scenarios by considering the ergonomics of their product as important as aesthetics. In 1999, the German producer Koziol [de] launched "Ahoi", a lemon juicer inspired by paper boats and designed by the Italian architect Paolo Pedrizzetti. In 2009, Joseph Joseph introduced the "Catcher", a pestle squeezer that filters out seeds, designed by Graeme Davies. In 2011, the Dutch company Royal VKB introduced the "Citrange", a playful double sided hand juicer which can be placed straight onto the glass, designed by the Belgian designer Quentin de Coster.[9] In 2012, the Spanish brand Lékué launched its "Citrus Spray", a juicer that works like a spray from the creators Rojeski Disseny and Joan Alberto Arza.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b John Carswell: "The Lemon-Squeezer; an Unique Form of Turkish Pottery" in IVème congrès international d’art turc, p. 29–45. Éditions de l’Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence 1971, ISBN 2-85399-015-X
  2. ^ US Patent No. 28967 at Google Patents
  3. ^ "Trinity Traditions". Trinity College. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Traditions Trinity College". Trinity College. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  5. ^ Hive: Juicy Salif
  6. ^ "'Juicy Salif' lemon squeezer by Philippe Starck for Alessi, 1990". Powerhouse Museum. 2000. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  7. ^ Alessi Company Archive
  8. ^ Norman, Donald Arthur (2005). Emotional Design. Basic Books. p. 114. ISBN 0-465-05136-7.
  9. ^ Citrange Archived 2016-08-11 at the Wayback Machine, Royal VKB
  10. ^ Lékué "Citrus Spray"

External links

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