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Published on Jun 7, 2009
A Craftsman At Work.The art of wood Turning
The spurtle (or "spirtle") is a Scots kitchen tool, dating from at least the fifteenth century. It was originally a flat, wooden, spatula-like utensil, used for flipping oatcakes on a hot griddle. This terminology is now confined to Angus and Perthshire.
Over time, the original implement changed shape and began being used specifically for stirring oatmeal and soups. The rod-like shape is designed for constant stirring which prevents the porridge from congealing and so becoming lumpy and unappetising. It looks like a fat wooden dowel, often with a contoured end to give the user a better grip. It is in common use throughout Scotland, although it is rarer in Angus and Fife where the term theevil is used.
The word may derive from the Latin spatula.
There is a World Porridge Cooking Contest known as "The Golden Spurtle".