A kitchen utensil that used to be very popular with home cooks, but which in this machine age is seldom seen. It consists of a plastic or stainless steel bowl with a perforated disk at the bottom and blades that are turned by means of a hand crank, forcing foods through the holes in the disk. Ideally, the food mill has interchangable disks with different sized holes to give different textures of processed food.

In usage, the food mill is akin to a food processor or blender in that it purees soft foods, but unlike them it doesn't aerate the food it's mushing up, thus yielding pureed food with a denser, more cohesive texture. It's also akin to a sieve in that it separates out waste such as peels, seeds, and fibre; your food processor can't do that! Food mills are invaluable for those who make homemade baby food, and it's reputed to make the best applesauce ever with the greatest of ease. Just think of it: the food mill allows the chef to cook the food in question - peels, cores and all - and then reduce it to a thick, creamy pulp without peeling, cutting, or coring. Neat, huh?

Sometimes the electric grinder attachment for a food processor such as a Cuisinart is also called a food mill, but as it doesn't have the sieving properties of a real (read: mechanical) food mill, it's better referred to as a grinder.

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