A Brief History of the Whisk

The New York Times

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)

3 Comments