A 28cm (11 inches) spurtle, with decorated end resembling a Scottish thistle
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.
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 unappealing. It looks like a fat wooden dowel, often with a contoured end to give the user a better grip.
Traditionally, a spurtle is made from Scottish maple trees.
The Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge-Making Championship, held in Carrbridge each year, invites porridge-makers from across the globe to compete for the "Golden Spurtle".