What it is


It’s time to reveal the mystery tool!

Wow– we’ve had some great answers– and some great restraint from those of you who already recognize it.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Here are some of the guesses that were entered as comments– it’s a great list, and worth a read. My real surprise on this list: four guesses were that it was a piece of a time machine.

  • Scoop for lifting boiled eggs out of water. (X5)
  • Time Machine or part thereof (X4– WTF?)
  • Golf ball retriever (X3)
  • Eggcup (X2)
  • Egg dipper for coloring Easter eggs (X2)
  • Yolk separator (X3 — might work; kinda sharp.)
  • Candle Snuffer (X2 — probably won’t work.)
  • Antenna for communicating with intelligent aliens. (X2)
  • A spiral (Yup.)
  • Cocktail stirrer or Cocktail whisk
  • Mayo whip
  • Egg Beater
  • Frothing whip for an espresso set.
  • Heat sink for pouring hot water into glass (Does such exist?)
  • Potato Masher
  • Futon tataki, for beating the dust out of futons
  • Magic wand for putting the magic smoke back into blown components! (Nice!)
  • Magic wand – other (X2)
  • Eggpoacher
  • Hair ornament
  • Implement to politely push away public huggers
  • Ectoplasm handler
  • Sproingy Springtime hamsterlift
  • Barbeque tool
  • Rejected design for a supppository.
  • Manufacturing tool to keep two materials separate.
  • An “Infinite Speculum.”
  • “I’m not at liberty to say.”
  • Golden Ratio Bubble Wand! (Neat idea!)
  • Instrument used to keep eyes open whilst driving. (Ow!)
  • Fancy urethral sound
  • A bismuth crystal scoop.
  • IUD
  • Cone stand from an ice cream shop.
  • Thalidomide baby contact-lens application tool. (High points for originality.)
  • High quality nose picker.

To this list let me add my own “guesses”:

  • Professional level egg-in-spoon-race spoon.
  • Lollipop for robots.
  • Support armature for world’s largest lollipop.
  • Advanced nose-hanging spoon.
  • Dieter’s ice cream scoop.
  • Traditional umbrella for use during Festivus.

The tool is so simply and beautifully constructed that it is very difficult to judge the overall scale of the object. Is it three inches or three feet long? Of course, it turns out to be pretty small.

Nine answers assumed that the tool was the right size to hold an egg. And it sure is– a robin egg. ;)

You could indeed balance a chicken egg in the spiral, but it would be unsteady. The most popular answer was a tool for lifting boiled eggs out of water. Even for robin eggs, that would be difficult because (1) there’s very little angle between the spiral and the handle, and (2) the handle is very short. It might work as a golf ball retriever if the water trap is no deeper than your Beta bowl and you don’t mind turning the bowl upside down to get the ball out.

Honorable Mentions: The tool would be very good as a…

  • Tea bag remover thingy
  • Olive spoon for getting olives out of jars.

But of course, as one person answered, it’s a tool…

…Used to dip things in melted chocolate to make them chocolate-coated-things (strawberries, peanut butter balls, etc.).

Indeed it is. The tool is a member of the chocolate dipping fork family.


On the left are two chocolate dipping “forks,” of which the fork-shaped one is used for dipping strawberries and so forth.

These particular tools were made by Ateco, and normally come as part of a three piece set. You can sometimes find the fork or spiral tool available solo as well.

Tools of this nature do tend to be fairly specialized, and the spiral is one of the more common and useful types.


Choco Ball1   Choco ball2

Here, we are making chocolate truffles. The spiral tool perfectly cradles the small, soft center of a truffle as we lower it into the molten bittersweet chocolate that will become its hard shell. The wide gaps between the turns of the spiral allow excess molten chocolate to drip away while still holding a perfect thin coating amount in place through capillary action. [In a dark and distant memory (my life “before” the spiral dipping tool), I used to use a plain old kitchen fork to do this job. It can slightly deform soft centers, but invariably leaves an uneven coating on the side that was against the fork.]


Scoop   Chocolate


13 thoughts on “What it is

  1. I also thought that olive spoon was a fabulous answer. I may start using it that way, since a genuine (designed for that purpose) olive spoon is one of the few kitchen tools we don’t have.

  2. huh, so I was sort of correct. I was one exhibiting restraint (hehehe). But after seeing this, to be fair don’t you think some semblance of scale is appropriate?

    Oh and I should check the truffles so go ahead and send me one as a consolation prize…

    1. The truffles don’t ship well. Are you local (SF bay area)? ;)

      (There actually *is* a hint about the scale, but you have to be very, very observant– the place where the two steel rods are joined are met by a naturally sized bronze brazing fillet.)

      Windell H. Oskay

  3. Too big for picking noses. Human noses, anyway.

    We’re visiting the Theo chocolate factory on Thursday. They claim they give you so many samples you won’t look at chocolate again for a year. I highly doubt that, but certainly invite them to try.

      1. Yup, happened to me, too. But the eventual result was better than that: I developed a taste for good chocolate. I no longer want to eat whatever chocolate comes within range. I can resist almost any chocolate and have actually thrown out cheap bad chocolate rather than eat it.

        I’m a sucker for trying new exotic dark chocolates, though.

        1. Yes, my son and I are into very good, dark chocolate. Our Easter Bunny shops at Fran’s, and so does Santa. I’ve made truffles a lot, just not lately because of lack of time. But it never made me sick of them.

          I’ll let you know if the factory overdoes us. Theo is pretty good chocolate. :)

          Have you eaten any Candy Fab sculptures?

  4. Windell:

    It is well known that you have an assortment of auspicious truffle recipes. Are they posted anywhere?


  5. Yeah, yeah. You can try all you may to slime your way out with this cock-and-ball story about it being a choco-fondu thingy BUT I know what it is and I STILL want it back. I’ll be around yours soon so just leave my CETI transceiver next to the choco-covered nuts (I’ll take these as well as part-payment thx u v. much).

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