Craig Koketsu is the chef and partner at Quality Eats, Quality Meats, and Quality Italian.
When I was in high school, I used to watch The Frugal Gourmet on TV, and I remember becoming very intrigued by this one particular tool he would use: the Zyliss Susi Garlic Press. He would insert whole garlic cloves, with the peel and everything, crush them, and they would spray out the other end with the most incredible force. So I got one, and I was immediately obsessed. With garlic, to really get that pungent and pure flavor and aroma, you have to break it down really finely.
What I like about it over other garlic presses is the grip — it’s sturdy and flexible, making it easy to smash the maximum amount of garlic with not that much effort. It’s also super simple to clean — all you do is just remove the peel afterward (the latest versions come with a scraper). You can even smash a few cloves at a time, and with this particular press, you are getting the most possible smashed garlic, plus all that aromatic juice — that liquid usually gets lost if you are mincing the cloves with a knife. Finally, there’s nothing superfluous about this design. It’s very utilitarian. It’s made of aluminum, so it’s sturdy and built to last. There are so many gimmicky, single-purpose gadgets out there — this is the only one that will withstand the test of time.
As told to Priya Krishna.
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