Who knew that the Proctor-Silex JuicIt I found on eBay was such a cult item? After I wrote about my hunt for one these vintage juicers, emails and even a snail mail or two kept coming to expound further on the virtues of the Juicit.
“A new Proctor Silex Juicit was one of the first things we purchased 23 years ago when we moved from L.A. to northern San Diego County and our new home set amidst 400 orange trees. I have personally squeezed about two pitchers per week for the past two decades -- and still it performs well. That's about 2,300 pitchers,” writes one reader.
A reader from Pacific Palisades tells me: “Mine was a wedding gift in 1976. It's beat-up looking and a bit corroded, but still works well. This time of year it gets a workout taking care of the profusion of oranges on my backyard tree (two months' worth of fresh-squeezed joy). “
Another in Santa Barbara, writes: “I had a JuicIt back in the '70s, one that I used to make my daily fresh orange juice without ever a hitch. I remember juicing a crate of oranges in one sitting for a brunch party during which I was going to serve Mimosas.
Anyway, over time and with moving, I lost my JuicIt.... And then, about two years ago, I found a JuicIt at a garage sale. I found another one, but without the porcelain reamer. I bought it anyway so I would have a spare in case the first motor ever ran down.... I continue to go to garage sales, hoping to find at least one or two more of these treasures, not to hoard them, but to make sure that I will have at least one more spare, and hopefully to be able to give one to each of my kids when they establish their own households. “
He has a bone to pick with me, though. “You have now told the world what a treasure the JuicIt truly is. What this means is that people will hold on to their JuicIts, not put them up at garage sales, or charge exorbitant prices to get them off of the Internet. Though all that you said is true, perhaps you could retract your column, claim that the JuicIt is old technology, and tout the benefits of electronic-based plastic juicers. At least until I can find just two more.”
Sorry, no can do.
Someone else sent in this testimonial: “I have been using the same model for decades and love it. I started having trouble with it 15 years ago, so I took it apart and put in new grease and all was fine. The motor is very big, and that is why it works so well. I, like you, picked up a spare one on eBay about 9 years ago just in case mine ever stopped working, but so far I haven't needed it.”
I’m stunned at the number of passionate JuicIt devotees out there. Sorry, holding on to mine now that I’ve got it. (And looking for a spare.)
A couple of readers, though, had backup juicers to recommend, namely the Black & Decker Citrus Mate Plus and the Waring Pro.
The most recent letter is from a reader seconding my championing of the JuicIt, but wondering how to solve the problem of juicing pomegranate?
Anybody out there have the perfect juicer for that?
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photos: vintage Proctor-Silex juicer. Credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times.