So, here we are in the thick of the winter doldrums: insipid, over-priced, globe-trotting produce lining every grocer’s shelves, and colds spreading like the giggles in a high-school sex ed class. Fortunately for us, there’s citrus, which is, for the most part, at its peak this time of year, and at the ready to inject a little zest into our meals and a little vitamin C into our phlegmatic corpora.
While I enjoy a half grapefruit with breakfast here and there and perhaps a few Meyer lemon chunks added to an occasional pasta dish, I tend to consume my citrus in juice form. To that end, my Artimetal juicer is indispensable.
Working with a simple lever mechanism, I find it physically less taxing to use than hand-squeezed juicers and manual reamers, especially when making juice in any quantity. And because it simply presses the fruit, instead of aggressively reaming it like an electric citrus juicer, which releases bitter flavors from the membranes and rind, the juice from the Artimetal is slightly sweeter and also less pulpy.
Its graduated cone is suitable for juicing just about any citrus fruit (though, admittedly, it’s a little small for very large grapefruits, which can be said of every other juice I’ve ever used) with no need for additional parts.
Made of a few solid, cast aluminum parts, it’s not only a hardy work-horse but it’s easy to clean—I just remove and rinse the cone and its saddle/funnel and wipe down the rest with a damp cloth.
There are certainly other juicers out there that operate on similar principals—some of which might look a little more slick and stylish to certain eyes, and all of which are cheaper—but having inspected some floor models and read some reviews, they seem to tend toward being less stable during use and less robust on the whole.
On top of all this, I just like the way the Artimetal looks. All shiny and utilitarian, it would look as good in a practical, all-business kitchen as it would in a more retro or even modern kitchen space. Mine takes pride of place on a deep windowsill, where its pragmatic form is set-off in silhouette against the shifting Brooklyn collage beyond.
Since my husband picked it up several years ago for about 40 bucks, the price of the Artimetals has risen steeply, and though I’m sure you can pick these up occasionally in antique stores and second hand shops (because the things will never die), the going rate of about $120 for new ones seems only a moderately painful outlay for a lifetime of winter days made a little brighter.