I never realized how much I take my tools for granted until I was standing in a foreign kitchen trying to prepare meals for 14 people. I should have brought my 5 gallon stock pot and a carving set but that's another story. Today I want to talk about whisks and how if you're only going to have one then you should have a good balloon whisk.
What is a whisk? It's a tool that aerates and blends your food. The precursor to the modern whisk was a bundle of twigs; I don't even want to think about making Snow with a bundle of twigs.
Why a balloon whisk? Their shape is ideal for whisking things in bowls and in most pans. There are many different shapes, most of them for specific purposes or pan shapes, but I think this is the best all purpose option.
What should you look for? Firstly, a comfortable grip/handle Nobody is going to want to use a tool that doesn't feel good in the hand. A heat resistant silicone coated model would be useful if you intend to make a roux or use the whisk on any of your nonstick or enameled cookware. The loops should be sturdy and the piece that keeps them separated should also be sturdy.
What can you do with it? Make whipped cream, mousse, meringue, roux, Snow, matcha (powdered green tea)...
Happy cooking! - KP