What would we do without our whisk?
The classic whisk, considered by many to be indispensable, has a long handle and a series of wire loops joined at the end to enable whisking or whipping – a process that blends or incorporates air into a mixture. The English word whisk came from a Norse word “viska”, which means to braid.
The whisk is a kitchen tool that culinary historians suspect hit the cooking scene sometime in the 16th century. Back then, it was more of a wooden brush or rake and many speculate it was initially created with wooden branches.
The oblong, balloon shaped wire whisk we know today was developed in the 19th century. Victorians popularized the handy tool, whisking and blending creams, sauces and puddings, which were all the rage at the time.
But we can thank Julia Child for making the whisk a popular part of everyone’s kitchen tool collection. In 1963, Child was a featured as a guest on the show “I’ve Been Reading” to help spread the word about her new book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. She demonstrated – with her usual panache – how to whisk egg whites into soft meringue peaks. The whisk immediately became all the rage. So many viewers wanted to see more cooking techniques and more Julia; she was offered her own show.
Whisks come in all shapes and sizes and beyond the classic style there are flat, ball, coil, birch and cage among others. For the classic balloon style, both Cooks Illustrated Magazine and Kenzi J. Lopez of Serious Eats mention the Oxo Good Grips Classic Whisk favorably. For $9.99, we agree.