Stefano Giovannoni's Alessi Pressure Cooker

If you think of pressure cookers at all there are usually just two ways to go: Either, it's something inherited from a grandmother's cupboard and ignored in yours, or it is the subject of a tale of horror involving a) a ruined ceiling or b) blindness. Pressure cookers are known as hideous contraptions and are notorious for either being unused or dangerous. But, no longer, my friend.I bought my first pressure cooker at an Indian appliance shop. It was moments before closing and the only place I could get my pot at that hour.  It was a pressure cooker emergency. (You're dying to know, aren't you? Let's just say that I had to cook a lot of beans in a hurry, and leave it at that.)

"It is the best brand in India," the clerk said.

So, I asked, "Oh, do they use a lot of pressure cookers in India?"

Snarky me.

He explained and I withered, "Fuel is very expensive in India, so we use the pressure cooker to save fuel".

Somehow, here in New York, where gas is cheap, and the only thing we worry about running out of is time, it had never crossed my mind that the pressure cooker had another purpose. Pressure cookers save energy, up to 70%, in fact.

And, thanks to designer, Stefano Giovannoni (thanks Moco!, the Alessi Mami pressure cooker  is one good-looking piece of kitchenware and built so it won't blow its lid. [by Tamara Holt]

:: £149.00 at Panik