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Jan 15, 2011 08:55 AM

ISO Julia Child's "mashing fork", for lack of a better term

I watched an early French Chef episode in which she used an oversized fork to mash potatoes. It had a heavy handle and long tines that were bent at much more of an angle than an eating fork would be. It looked like it did a better job than a masher, with more ergonomic efficiency. It seems to me that it would also be better for hand-mixing doughs and batters than a mixing spoon. Are these still available anywhere? I looked on eBay and Amazon in vain. The Norpro granny fork is similar in size, but is too straight.

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  1. Are you talking about a mixing fork, similar to the one depicted below? In my copy of The French Chef cookbook, there are a couple pages of utensils that Julia used, with explanations. This is the only one that matches what you are describing. Called a mixing fork, Julia said she used it for mashing as well as blending soft foods.

    1 Reply
    1. I think that's a Foley Fork, but no longer made under that manufacturer. You can get similar per the Amazon link Trish provided or the original Foley (vintage) on eBay sometimes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: iyc_nyc

        Trish and iyc, I edited my OP to say that neither Amazon nor eBay have the style I saw on the program. It has just the right curve to both the tines and shaft to allow mashing without your elbow akimbo, and efficient mixing.

        1. re: iyc_nyc

          If you can find a Foley Fork, get it. They were made up through the 80's , so there should be some floating around.

        2. Dorie Greenspan talks about thIs I believe. You have to scroll down a little. The one pictured is somewhat like a Foley fork.

          I don't think the one Amazon has works as well as the Foley. I have one I bought at an antique mall.

          It is hard to see this on the picture but the tines each are angled a little more on the Foley, so there is a little more cutting action.
          Here is a picture of one. I think you can bend the whole thing a little to make it the angle you want.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wekick

            DG and I watched the same episode but I do not think her fork, or the Foley fork, are the same shape as Julia's, which I believe had longer tines and only 4 or 5 of them. Definitely more of an angle to the handle, and curve to the tines, though she may have bent them that way. It appears to be a better design than the modern ones. I once had a large antique eating fork that probably would have worked but never thought to use it as a prep tool, and long since sold it. No big deal as other tools suffice, but if I ever see one in a flea market or yard sale, I'm getting it!

            1. re: greygarious

              I would like to find that tool. Probably some thing she got in France! Maybe handmade. I have seen bigger mashers and the handle is angled more but the tines are closed at the top. I did see something online somewhere in Asia, but couldn't tell if the tines were closed on the distal end. I also have a slightly smaller pastry blending fork with 4 tines and it is cast aluminum I believe.

          2. The Amazon Granny Fork gts extremely good reviews. Thanks to this post I've decided to buy one. BTW, the Foley Fork in The French Chef Cookbook has a black handle. Apparently, from what I have read the black they had wooden handles at one point then switched.

            1. I think this is the fork you are referring to, starting at :20. Julia on David Letterman, back in the day.



              2 Replies
              1. re: Satiated

                What a wonderful video! Loved it! Julia was one sharp cookie.

                1. re: Satiated

                  I have dial-up, so it took over a half hour to download 30 seconds of the clip but I think it is part of the PBS special remembering Julia, because I've seen it in recent years. Enjoyable clip but no, that's not the same fork.