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Who on earth uses an egg cutter anyway? I do!

Carolin Teufelberger
Zurich, on 07.06.2022

I don’t own a bulky pasta, bread or Kenwood machine. Not even a dishwasher. Instead, I recently got myself an egg cutter. This is my eulogy to it.

There are kitchen gadgets I thought I needed. A smoothie maker, for example. Mine was used about three times in the last five years. When it’s not in use, it’s just taking up space in my kitchen cabinet. A microwave is another one of those. For years, I thought I couldn’t do without it for reheating food. But since I got rid of it, I hardly miss it at all. Instead, I enjoy the extra work space. Then there are gadgets I didn’t know I needed until now. One of these is the egg cutter.

egg slicer
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OXO egg slicer
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My Austrian grandma used to have one. As a child, I took great pleasure in peeling the boiled, slightly cool and rolled eggs and clamping them in the cutter. Mostly, I didn’t even eat the slices; the process was the aim of the game. That’s all changed today.

Rolling an egg like a pro.
Rolling an egg like a pro.

For a long time, I was convinced that cutting eggs is just as easy with a knife. An egg is an egg, after all. Wrong. My salads and sandwiches would always end up with egg yolk crumbs and semi slices of egg white. Still, I never considered buying a gadget to do the job. Mainly, because I’d totally forgotten that egg slicers even exist. Until «Die Zeit» published an ode to the egg cutter in its magazine. My memory was jogged and I was catapulted back to my childhood and the image of my grandma using her egg cutter.

This is what I call perfect egg slices.
This is what I call perfect egg slices.

So how did the egg cutter come to be? Its story is quite an interesting one. In 1904, Minna Sophie Friederike Petersen registered a patent for a plier-shaped egg cutter – similar to a modern-day garlic press. However, the device didn’t become established until Willy Abel’s patent was registered in 1912. Within a short time, he sold 10 million units of the mass-produced product all over the world. Other bestsellers he came up with and sold through is company «Harras-Werke» are the bread slicer and the heart-shaped waffle iron.

Simple but effective: using wire as a cutting device.
Simple but effective: using wire as a cutting device.

Finally, the over 100-year-old invention has finally made it into my kitchen. No more crumbling pieces and cubes, only perfectly cut slices. Visually, my cutter is nothing to write home. It’s the plastic in particular I’m not a fan of. If this cheap version breaks, I’ll make sure to buy an egg slicer – or egg harp, as my grandma would say – made of stainless steel. It’s no coincidence that the Austrians call it a harp. Not only do the cutting wires look like the strings on a harp, they can also be played like one. At least if you’re a member of the British avant-carde band Coil.

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My life in a nutshell? On a quest to broaden my horizon. I love discovering and learning new skills and I see a chance to experience something new in everything – be it travelling, reading, cooking, movies or DIY.


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