Video: The Stem, A Citrus Spritzer That Stabs Directly Into Fruit

Stem Citrus Spritzer

Paul Adams

The Stem is a teeny little bit of plastic from Quirky.com, a sort of invention incubator and store, that looks like the top half of a spritzer bottle. Instead of having an actual bottle or vessel on the bottom, filled with the liquid to be spritzed, the Stem ends abruptly with a serrated edge. To use it, you take a whole citrus fruit and stab it with the Stem. Bam: Instant spritzer.

The Stem was invented by Timothy Houle, and is the 187th project to be approved by the Quirky community, and then manufactured and sold by Quirky. It sounds a little cheesy, but, to our surprise, it actually works great. The spritzer action is solid, and it delivers full, rich sprays of delicious lemon, lime, tangerine, yuzu, etrog, ugli, or whatever other citrus into which you've stuck the Stem. (Pomelo might be tricky, with its thick pith.)

It's one of the few single-purpose kitchen gadgets I'd actually use regularly, since most things I cook have some kind of citrus in them. And it's a better way to deliver that delicious acidic flavor than the usual "cut in half and squeeze over food" method--no more worrying about seeds, no more uneven, unreliable squirts, no more sticky hands. Stab, spritz, done. The little green serrated part comes out for cleaning, though we'd recommend you do that immediately, since it'll be covered with citrus juice and becomes very sticky very quickly (ours is currently cemented to the Stem). And, to be fair, we don't think it'll work with any fruit besides citrus--the ratio of juice-to-solid in a citrus makes it about the only spritzable produce. Sorry to anyone who wanted eggplant spray or whatever.

Also, it costs five bucks, so you can (and most people might) buy it just out of idle curiosity and not have to regret it later. And you probably won't! Citrus sprays for everyone!