A ladle is a type of serving spoon used for soup, stew, or other foods. Although designs vary, a typical ladle has a long handle terminating in a deep bowl, frequently with the bowl oriented at an angle to the handle to facilitate lifting liquid out of a pot or other vessel and conveying it to a bowl. Some ladles involve a point on the side of the basin to allow for finer stream when pouring the liquid; however, this can create difficulty for left handed users, as it is easier to pour towards one's self. Thus, many of these ladles feature such pinches on both sides.
Ladles are usually made of the same stainless steel alloys as other kitchen utensils; however, they can be made of aluminum, silver, plastics, melamine resin, wood, bamboo or other materials. Ladles are made in a variety of sizes depending upon use; for example, the smaller sizes of less than 5 inches in length are used for sauces or condiments, while extra large sizes of more than 15 inches in length are used for soup or punch.
- Swartz, Oretha D. (October 2, 1988). Service although not actually a spoon as is commonly found on a table, serving spoons are grouped under the 'utensil' umbrellaEtiquette (4th ed.). United States Naval Institute. p. 228. ISBN 978-0870216206.
- Von Drachenfels, Suzanne (November 9, 2000). The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners, and Tableware. Simon and Schuster. p. 213. ISBN 978-0684847320.
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