Monday, July 9, 2012
The term Spatula is used to refer to various small implements with a broad, flat, flexible blade used to mix, spread and lift materials including foods, drugs, plaster and paints. The term derives from the Latin word for a flat piece of wood or splint (a diminutive form of the Latin spatha, meaning broadsword), and hence can also refer to a tongue depressor. The words spade (digging tool) and spathe are similarly derived. The word spatula is known to have been used in English since 1525.
In referring to kitchen utensils, spatula can often refer to any utensil fitting the above description. One variety is alternately referred to as a turner, and is used to lift and turn food items during cooking, such as pancakes and fillets. These are usually made of plastic, with a wooden or plastic handle to insulate them from heat.