Do you recognize this strange object?

Do you recognize this strange object?

Many people on the internet have been left stumped by this strange object.

Some people made some pretty x-rated guesses…

Do you recognize it?

Credit / Michael Macor / The San Francisco Chronicle / Getty.

If you said it was a lemon reamer, a humble yet indispensable kitchen tool, then you would have guessed correctly!

This object has a history that traces back centuries, and has been used to extract the juice from citrus fruits, especially lemons, offering a convenient solution to a task that has been part of culinary endeavors across cultures.

The origins of the lemon reamer can be linked to the broader history of citrus farming, which dates back thousands of years! Citrus fruits, including lemons, have been grown in a number of various regions, with historical records showing their presence in Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. As these fruits became more important in cooking, there was a greater need for efficient juice extraction tools like this one.

Early versions of citrus juicers probably used more simple methods, like squeezing fruit by hand or even squishing them against hard surfaces. However, as the years went by, kitchen tools became more technical. Soon, the need for a specific tool for juicing lemons became greater, and so someone invented the lemon reamer!

The design of the lemon reamer is straightforward yet effective. It typically has a tapered, pointed end and a handle, and is designed to extract juice by manually twisting and pressing it into the flesh of the citrus fruit. This simple mechanism means that a lot of juice can be extracted without the need for more complicated devices.

While no one seems to know exactly when and where the lemon reamer was invented, it was definitely in use by the 19th century. In fact, between 1880 and 1910, there were over 200 lemon squeezing devices patented, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Early lemon reamers were often made from wood, as was most kitchen tools at the time.

Credit / Getty.

Then, as the 20th century came around, materials like metal and plastic began to replace wood, and kitchen gadgets became more technical.

Now, lemon reamers and juices come in various designs and materials. Some feature a simple handheld design, while others are part of larger kitchen appliance sets. Electric citrus juicers have become popular alternatives, yet the traditional manual lemon reamer is still used as a reliable and straightforward tool.

Do you still use the traditional lemon reamer? Or do you use more technical gadgets? Let us know in the comments!


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