Clyffe Hall’s Tongue Press

The manufacture of meat, such as tongue, required pressure to be applied to force out excess moisture and also to mould the meat product into a compact and even shape which could easily be sliced. A meat press or tongue press was the item used for this. Clyffe Hall, as a country hotel, would have manufactured its own meats of this kind and so it is no surprise that it had a tongue press.

Meat press from Clyffe Hall. This item, which may be Edwardian in origin, is now at Market Lavington Museum

The basic idea was that cooked and prepared meat was placed in the container where it sat on what was, effectively, a sturdy metal sieve. The lid could then be screwed down tight forcing the meat together. Liquid would seep out through the bottom sieve and the natural jelly in the meat would bond it into  shape.

Whilst this item was used at Clyffe Hall Hotel, in the late 1930s through to the 1970s, we think the device itself may be Edwardian. A very similar device is very well described by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia – click here. They suggest their tongue press may have been made in Ireland or Australia. We guess ours has a UK origin.

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