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An enamelled colander

A colander (or cullender) is a kitchen utensil used to strain foods such as pasta or to rinse vegetables.[1] The perforated nature of the colander allows liquid to drain through while retaining the solids inside. It is sometimes also called a pasta strainer or kitchen sieve.

Description and history[edit]

Traditionally, colanders are made of a light metal, such as aluminium or thinly rolled stainless steel. Colanders are also made of plastic, silicone, ceramic, and enamelware.[2]

The word colander comes from the Latin colum, meaning sieve.[1]


Mated colander pot
A mated colander pot showing the colander fully inserted into the bottom pot, and slightly lifted out of it
  • Bowl- or cone-shaped – the traditional colander
  • Mated colander pot[3]

Other uses[edit]

Pastafarian protester wears a colander while showing an icon of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

The colander in the form of a pasta strainer was adopted as the religious headgear of the religion Pastafarianism in deference to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.[4]

Colanders are also used during solar eclipses to project multiple images of a partial eclipse onto the ground for safe viewing of the eclipse.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "colander". Merriam-Webster. 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Colander". 15 October 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Mated Colander Pot". Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Pastafarian protester carries an icon of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at Piazza XXIV Maggio square in Milan, Italy, on June 2, 2012". Wikimedia Commons.
  5. ^ "Annular Solar Eclipse Safety". NASA. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  6. ^ "How to observe an eclipse safely". BBC Sky at Night Magazine. BBC. Retrieved 25 August 2023.

External links[edit]