Saturday 20 October 2012

Kitchen Drawer Surprises

I was doing the washing and drying up this morning and found myself pondering upon the humble melon baller I'd used last night. Melon baller? Surely that wasn't its proper name? It started me off on a little quest to discover what the proper names of my kitchen utensils are.

Sadly, many are simply called what we imagine they're called; the spatulas, ladles, slotted spoons and cookie cutters are just that. But there were some surprises. For instance, I discovered that I own a makisu, a tamis and an araignée. Who knew? Maybe you do too.

Here's my list so far:

Pinces à escargots – Tongs for eating snails. Used in conjunction with a slender two pronged snail fork called a fourchette à escargots.

Banneton - A wicker basket which provides shape for  sour dough during proofing, and draws moisture from the mixture.

Chinoise - A conical sieve.

Lame - Used to slash the tops of bread loaves in artisan baking.

Araignée (or 'Spider') - A wide shallow wire-mesh basket with a long handle.

Tamis – A drum sieve.

Makisu - A bamboo mat used for making sushi rolls.

Pique-vite - A 'pastry pricker'; a revolving spiked drum.

Mezzaluna – a ‘half moon’ shaped double handled curved cutter originally used to cut pizza, now used more often to chop herbs. The pizza cutter or pizza wheel has become the more commonly used utensil.


Cuillère Pommes Parisiennes - a 'Parisian Apple Spoon' or ... melon baller.

Do you know any more?


  1. a passe vite, and/or moulinette is a food mill :)

  2. Nice! (I don't have one but have used one)

  3. Oh dear!

    Our lower Middle Class kitchen draws just have those wooden and plastic chip forks in them! don't suppose they have a posh name do they?