Also known as a mouli-légumes, the food mill purées cooked or very soft foods, usually vegetables and fruit. It conveniently sieves unwanted pips, skin and cores at the same time. Many cooks prefer it to a food processor as it allows more control over texture. Some people even claim that food puréed in a mill has a better flavour.
As you turn the handle, the blade forces the food through the holes, cleverly shunting skin and pips out of the way. A backward turn of the handle ejects any debris that might have clogged the disc.
By changing the discs, you can produce the finest baby food, the fluffiest mashed potatoes, chunky or smooth apple sauce, and vegetable soups with just the right consistency.
Choose a mill in stainless steel or in durable plastic with stainless steel blades. Other metals are likely to rust and react with acidic foods.
Be careful to dismantle your food mill after use and thoroughly wash all the parts. This is particularly important if you've used it for fish or chicken.