What is this kitchen tool?
January 23, 2022 12:42 AM   Subscribe

What is this kitchen tool that was passed on to me from my deceased grandparents’ kitchen?!

It’s metal, has a strong spring, and the handles are the opposite of ergonomic. I’ve used it to crack crab legs and to smoosh gnocchi, but it was clearly not designed for either.

My grandmother grew up on a dairy farm during the Great Depression and knew how to make EVERYTHING, my grandfather was a pretty skilled baker, and they traveled a lot, if any of that is a clue.
posted by centrifugal to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
Looks like a tool for crimping pasty/pasta. Would be handier than using a fork, although I imagine you wouldn't want it for a very wet dough.
posted by shesaysgo at 12:51 AM on January 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to add, the strong spring pushes it OPEN. Thanks all!
posted by centrifugal at 1:16 AM on January 23, 2022

I wonder if it is for crimping hand pies and filled dumplings? The thing that makes me doubt that is how it’s double sided.
posted by Mizu at 1:40 AM on January 23, 2022

It looks like it would easily cut boiled eggs in a chef salad.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 2:26 AM on January 23, 2022

Best answer: It looks like a lemon/lime squeezer. It would have had a little tray at some point, that may have got lost along the way.
posted by freya_lamb at 3:28 AM on January 23, 2022 [15 favorites]

It looks to powerful for pastry. Maybe a fabric crimper of some sort?
posted by james33 at 5:22 AM on January 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

I’m probably wrong based on the other answers, but my immediate response was that it was a jar-opener (spring grip for torque, ridges to grab onto any indents in the lid).
posted by Mchelly at 5:37 AM on January 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes, that's a lemon juicer, as freya_lamb linked to. My grandmother has one with the little strainer tray part to keep seeds out of the juice.
posted by ananci at 5:58 AM on January 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Another pic of a lemon squeezer. It's missing the tray as freya_lamb has mentioned.
posted by loveandhappiness at 8:05 AM on January 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Definitely not a jar-opener: you don't want to be working against the force of a spring when squeezing the handles to grip a lid, plus you want those ridges to be pointier so that they have more bite. Also, the jaws would be curving inward instead of straight.

It's either, as already shown, a lemon-squeezer, a lemon-squeezer put to use as a pastry-crimper after the sieve got lost, or a pranker, a mysterious device with no logical use-case that your ancestors hid in a kitchen utensils drawer, a cupboard or the toolchest, to keep their offspring occupied trying to figure out what it would have been used for.
posted by Stoneshop at 8:39 AM on January 23, 2022 [5 favorites]

My vote is for "lemon-squeezer put to use as a pastry-crimper after the sieve got lost" personally.
posted by potrzebie at 9:50 AM on January 23, 2022

Response by poster: Ah, yes, definitely a lemon squeezer missing the tray! But I also give Stoneshop credit for the idea of seeding my kitchen with mysterious objects to prank my descendants from beyond the grave.
posted by centrifugal at 11:23 AM on January 23, 2022

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