Where did the whisk come from? In the US, the whisk's debut and resulting popularity can be traced to Julia Child's 1963 television appearance (her first ever) when she brandished a whisk and furiously whipped egg whites into a fluffy frenzy. But naturally, the tool had been around long before Julia.
In a short article for The New York Times, Pagan Kennedy writes that the whisk goes all the way back to the 1600's. Of course, back then it was really more of a wood brush. (Pagan notes that one early recipes calls for beating the ingredient with "a big birch rod.") But the wire whisk, developed by "gadget-loving Victorians," didn't come about until the 19th century.
Still, it was Julia Child who made a whisk an essential kitchen tool in American kitchens. She not only taught home cooks how to buy the right whisk, but also how to "wield it with a snap of the wrist."
And, interesting side note: apparently Chuck Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma, outfitted his (then) new store with a lot of the utensils and things that Julia recommended!
Read More: Who Made That Whisk? | The New York Times
Related: The How's and Why's of Whisking by Hand
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)