Well, I guess I should be honest. After seeing a large french press in action for the first time, it made my mind wonder about all the potential possible applications that are out there. Now, I know it might surprise you but despite being called French press, there is quite a fervent debate as to which nationality should take credit for its invention, the French or Italians? Which is a bit like fervor between the Belgians and the French about who fried the first French fry. But at least for the French press there are reports of a more definitive timeline.
The first design of what was to become the French press was done by a Frenchman in 1852. The initial design was incomplete, however, as it was without a seal inside the carafe. So then there was where an Italian, Milanese designer Attilio Calimani, came in and patented the first official iterations of the French press in 1929. The device went through several changes in the subsequent years until a man from Switzerland, FalieroBondanini designed the coffee plunger in 1958 we know or at least French do know – glass vessel, round handle, steel lid. This timeless design of heat-resistant Pyrex glass beaker – carafe -, black durable bakelite plastic, chrome frame and handle, popularity hasn‘t shrunk from the first launch it has actually risen. Probably because it is easy to dismantle and thus clean and to replace any parts of the setup. Even as more companies began manufacturing these presses around the world, using many different materials and trying several color schemes; the simple design has remained consistent right throughout. But that doesn’t mean there has not been some innovations that have been made using the French press. In the years since its inception, people have been experimenting with the French press. Finding other ways to use the contraption apart from brewing coffee. Some of these are truly ingenious and deserve a closer look, which we will be doing with the following checklist.
Yes, you read that right. You could take a French press, fill it with water and then add your favorite grain, whether it be quinoa, wild rice, farro, or barley, etc. Swirl it multiple times, push down the plunger and then strain out the water. This should leave clean grains ready for whatever the next preparation process is.
Place whatever berries you choose in the French Press, slowly press the plunger down to extract the juice, then strain into a large glass. The French press is also good at straining out the excess pulp out of fruit and making freshly squeezed juice.
To make the perfect soup with a French press, special effort has to be given to make sure that the press is filled with the right ingredients such as crushed ginger, peppers and mushrooms, then pour over it with a hot broth. The trick is to let it simmer for the right amount of minutes and then serve. For an extra kick, secret ingredients like beer, carrot juice and evaporated milk could be added depending on the recipe.
One of the simpler functions, sees the owner of a French Press filling the carafe section halfway with cream and then pumps the lever up and down for a few minutes until peaks are formed.
Have a glass with ice ready. Put fruit at the bottom of the French press and mash. Then pour the liquor on top, allow the mixture to sit for at least ten minutes, then press and strain to separate the liquid from the solids. Pour into the glass over ice.
Another really simple, but satisfying, process involves simply pouring warm milk into the carafe section and pump until the milk begins to get frothy.
Dried vegetables contain concentrated flavor and so need to be rehydrated when it is time to be used for meals. Fill the carafe with dried vegetables, then cover with hot water for 20 minutes to an hour. Slowly push down the plunger, pour off the water and soft vegetables should be there ready to be eaten.
Use the French press to create the oils of your choice. Add the ingredients, herbs and spices, needed to the carafe then add oil. Occasionally press down on the strainer while the mixture is steeping to inject the flavored oil with maximum flavor. When the oil has reached the desired strength, press the strainer down to keep the oil clear, and pour it out into your container of choice.
Hops, with regards to beer, are its source of bitterness, aroma, and flavor. So adding more to your beer of choice would be fantastic for the taste buds. Add some hops to the carafe and pour your beer over them. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes then push the plunger down and pour your beer into a chilled glass. Bon Appetit.