A kitchen utensil that is also called a potato ricer, and which is a kind of potato masher. It looks sort of like a giant garlic press, with a container (sometimes called a hopper) with many small holes in it. Into the hopper fits a plunger. The whole contraption has two handles, one with the plunger on it and the other with the hopper on it. You put cooked food such as potatoes, carrots, or turnips into the hopper, position the plunger on top of the food, and squeeze the handles together; out extrudes your food, mashed. I suppose if you squint your eyes the extruded food vaguely resembles rice. Culinary experts particularly recommend ricers for making mashed potatoes, and for good reason: armed with this, mine are the best they've ever been, smooth and creamy and soft.

I got turned on to the ricer some years ago on the recommendation of Joy of Cooking and Cook's Illustrated, my culinary gurus (at least in terms of the printed word). I went to a good cookware store, and was amazed at the variety of types of ricers available, especially considering I'd only recently even learned of their existence. The most common types, though, have round or V-shaped hoppers and are made of stainless steel or cast aluminum. Some have removable disks with different sized holes for finer or coarser mashing.

A word of warning: ricers work best with peeled vegetables, and are not particularly easy to clean. But in my humble opinion a little extra sweat in pursuit of gustatory pleasure is well worth it.

Among the car tuning community, the term "ricer" is used to describe a vehicle that, quite simply, looks fast, but doesn't drive fast. It also may refer to the owners of such cars. Instead of upgrading the actual performance of the automobile, these people put money and work into just giving the superficial impression of a high performance vehicle, because that is cheaper or easier to do.

Most modifications ricers make are visual, such as tinted windows, chrome rims, larger wheels, euro lights, non-functional cold air intakes, stickers and decals. They may also add a giant sound system which makes the car "louder", but actually adds weight, thus in fact making the car slower. Bodykits, spoilers, and racing exhausts are especially popular among ricers since they look impressive, however they don't help with speed or handling significantly unless the car is high performance already. Which a ricer, per definition, is not.

There are certain car models notorious for being turned into a ricer, most notably import cars, among these most popularly Japanese brands, among these most prominently Honda models, and again, among these, most typically Honda Civics. This is because the models are cheap, but easy to turn into "looking fast," since the number of tuning parts available for Japanese import cars is legendary.

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