Corkscrew, peeler, lullaby chopper, giraffe … In the kitchen, utensils are king


Peel your vegetables, filter your coffee, create an emulsion … His instrument is used for each gesture. We tell you all about the history and usefulness of five utensils.

The bimetal corkscrew

His history In the kingdom of helixophiles – the name given to collectors of corkscrews – the bimetallic strip is king. But this atypical variant of the conventional stopper extractor (the pigtail-shaped wick) is not only used to embellish shop windows. Because with the help of its two thin metal rods, sharp and parallel which run the length of its body, the bimetallic strip acts as a specialist that is unsheathed, in the event of a problem, to extract the broken, damaged or even stuck in the corks. the neck of wine bottles.

The ancestor of the corkscrew is probably the barrel-twist, or “steel-worm”, a long twisted iron point which, until the end of the Middle Ages, was used to pierce barrels to serve wine directly into the barrel. pitchers. The familiar shape of “T” corkscrews, as we know them today, coincides with the invention of glass bottles in the late 17th century.e century, in England, and their democratization.

Until the XIXe century, at the same time as the first restaurants and bistros are born in the big cities of Europe, its aspect evolves. The corks are lengthened in order to adapt to the design of these new bottles, with their fine neck, to allow horizontal storage. Among the patents filed by the inventors, that of the bimetallic strip, which we owe to a certain Charles Pégué, dated 1is July 1847.

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Thanks to this new tool, the wine drinker can open and close his drink without damaging the stopper. Legend has it that some waiters – a little worn on the bottle – used the bimetallic strip to serve a drink to the eye and, above all, to the nose and beard of customers. Today, the bimetallic strip is mainly used by sommeliers and amateurs of fine wines as a backup tool, when a cork breaks or crumbles in the neck.

Son usage “You need a little training before mastering the bimetal technique, because it is a real skill, warns Jean Dusaussoy, columnist in specialized magazines and consultant in wine and food pairings. We start by gently inserting the longest blade into the gap between the stopper and the wall of the neck. When halfway, we plant the second blade – shorter – by performing a circular back and forth movement. Once the bimetallic strip is firmly secured, all that remains is to turn in the opposite direction, by repeated and progressive twists, until the bottle is completely free from its defective cap. “

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