Gadget Or Gimmick: Crisp Garlic Press

Garlic, so deliciously fragrant in so many recipes, is decidedly less so on our fingers. Not to mention, as with any chopping task, it can be tedious. Which is why I've long been a devotee of a traditional garlic press for my mincing needs. But, even as it saves times and my fingers, it still has draw-backs. Some of the garlic clove is always left behind, meaning you can either mince it by hand (performing the task you were avoiding), or throw it away. It can be hard to get it really clean by hand as well, and takes a little more maneuvering to crush more than a couple cloves.
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So when I got a sample of Crisp's garlic press, I was interested to see if a radical redesign on the traditional garlic press would work. Rather than crushing the cloves in a chamber, you rock the device's honeycombed bottom over the garlic, pushing it through. The cover then doubles as a scraper, theoretically allowing you to wipe and dispense the freshly-crushed garlic.
In reality? Not so much.
I'll start with the good first: the design did allow me to press several cloves in a row with no removal, and causes less waste by eventually pushing through all of the first clove. In other words, if you needed to six cloves for garlic bread, only the last bit of the sixth clove would be left behind. I was able to press through the garlic without an uncomfortable amount of force, though larger cloves that were wider than the press were a little awkward.
Now, onto the bad. The press, while functional, didn't exactly mince garlic. The pieces were much larger, closer to a rough chop. Depending on your recipe, that might be fine, but it could also leave you with big chunks of garlic that you have to bite down on. The scraper was also awkward to maneuver, and sent garlic flying rather than corralling it. Getting it off the press required using my fingers, which, of course, lead to the garlic-fingers-smell we so desperately want to avoid. Even with the drawbacks of a traditional press, on balance, it's still a much better way to get crushed garlic neatly and quickly into one place.
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
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