The rod-like shape means that porridge can be stirred without congealing and forming lumps, unlike a spoon that would have a dragging effect during stirring, and the low surface area reduces the chances of porridge sticking to the instrument.
Spurtles are made from wood, including beech, cherry wood, and maple. They come in a range of sizes. Traditional spurtles have stylized thistles at the top, while modern ones often have a smooth taper.
Old Scots spurtell is recorded from 1528. There was a Northern English dialect word spartle, for stirrer. The modern West Germanic and North Germanic languages, as well as Middle English, also have spurtle cognates which refer to a flat-bladed tool or utensil – so more akin to the couthie spurtle (see below) in shape. Latin spatula, as used in medicine and pharmacy, is their shared ancestor. Spatula is a diminutive of Latin spatha, a broad, flat tool or weapon, which in turn is from Ancient Greek σπαθη ("spathe"), the broad, flat tool used in weaving, or a paddle. The reconstructed Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language hypothesises *spe-dh- for spade and its root *spe- for a long, flat piece of wood as the ultimate source of σπαθη. Our spade and our spoon are also derived from the same PIE *spe- and are therefore distant cousins of spurtle.
Early spurtles were flat, wooden or metal instruments, with long handles and flat blades. The spatula-like utensils, known as 'Couthie Spurtles,' can be used for flipping oatcakes or making pancakes - but not for making porridge.
|Look up spurtle in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spurtle.|
- "Dictionary of the Scots Language". Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- "The Spurtle; customs, myths, legends and lump free Porridge". The Porridge Lady. 20 January 2014.
- National Trust (2007), Gentleman's Relish, p. 67, ISBN 978-1-905400-55-3
- Spade on Online Etymology Dictionary https://www.etymonline.com/word/spade, retrieved 5 May 2020
- "Previous Winners". Golden Spurtle. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
|This Scotland-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|
|This article about kitchenware or a tool used in preparation or serving of food is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|