1. Food

Product Spotlight: Lekue Cooking Products

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Lékué is a Spanish kitchenware manufacturer known for creatively designed and colorful products. Most Lékué products are made of Platinum Silicone, which is more elastic, smoother, longer-lasting and stronger than many other silicone types. Platinum silicone is also used in baby bottle nipples and medical tubing, and Lékué holds a worldwide patent for Platinum Silicone. The company uses the silicone to its best advantage in a number of cooking tools and gadgets. Here are a few of the most innovative.

The Steam Case (compare prices) is a device designed to steam food in the microwave oven for a healthy, low-fat meal – steaming in this way helps preserve vitamins and minerals while keeping food moist. The Steam Case has a 1-quart capacity, enough to make 3 to 4 servings. It has a removable steam tray so that foods can either be steamed above water or, with the tray removed, they can steam in their own juices or in a cooking liquid. It can be used in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave oven or conventional oven.

The Cooking Mesh (compare prices), meanwhile, is a silicone bag that can be used for blanching or cooking foods in water and other liquids. The bag can hold fruits, vegetables, shellfish, bones or herbs. A drawstring holds the contents together and acts as a handle to pull them from the water. It can be used for boiling pasta, simmering bones in stock, bundling herbs to flavor a broth or stock, blanching fruits or tomatoes, or cooking mussels and other shellfish.

The Lemon Press (compare prices) is an hourglass-shaped piece of silicone that's closed on one end, with a covered spout. A halved lemon or other piece of citrus is placed inside the squeezer, the spout is opened, and the lemon is juiced with a squeeze of the hand. The seeds remain inside, and the juice is easily directed in a stream right into a cup or measuring spoon. The lemon can be stored in the refrigerator within the Lemon Squeezer until it's needed again.

Lékué's baking molds allow home bakers to make a wide variety of beautiful and professional quality treats. A macaron kit includes a silicone sheet marked with indentations to make uniformly sized macarons, as well as a squeeze bottle for dispensing the batter. The company offers silicone mold bakers for making all the traditional French pastries, like madeleines, savarins, financieres, mini tarts, and florentine cookies. There are also cake and pastry decorating pens that come with a selection of nozzles to achieve certain effects.

And finally, Lékué has a line of silicone food storage solutions, which range from lunch containers perfectly shaped to hold a sliced-bread sandwich or a baguette, to lids that attach to containers by suction and can fit a variety of shapes and materials.

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