The Wooden Spoon: An Ancient Kitchen Tool Still Popular Today

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Wooden spoons have stood the test of time as an essential kitchen tool, cherished by generations of home cooks. With their humble origins dating back to ancient civilizations, these versatile utensils continue to hold a special place in modern culinary practices.

An Ancient Kitchen Tool Still Popular Today | 31Daily.com

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I hope you’ve had an awesome week.

And tried some new recipes.

​​​​​​​Summer recipes, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. Fall and winter recipes if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere.

Or anywhere in between.

We’ve had a full week of testing and creating new recipes for you as we do every week. This week’s recipes were summery and delicious. Be sure to check out our latest posts!

Last week I made you a promise. And it’s incredibly interesting… at least to me (and I hope to you too!)

As you know, we’ve been hosting a Reader Survey to help us create and write posts that are most interesting to you. Thank you for the enormous response! It’s more helpful than you could imagine!

One of the questions on the survey was this:  “What is your favorite cooking tool?”

A couple of weeks ago, ALL respondents answered with the same tool. As of last week, it had shifted only slightly.

Survey Results

Here is how you answered the question:

A wooden spoon or spatula.

The remaining 10% or so answered:

A whisk.

I didn’t take the survey, obviously, but if I did, I would have answered exactly the same.

I love both tools and can’t imagine cooking without either one.

Can I give you a bit of history on the wooden spoon?

An Ancient Kitchen Tool Still Popular Today | 31Daily.com

Crafted from durable and sustainable wood, the timeless appeal of wooden spoons lies in their ability to delicately stir, mix, and scrape, all while preserving the integrity of delicate ingredients. Whether used for stirring sauces, flipping pancakes, or tasting soups, the wooden spoon remains a beloved staple in kitchens around the world, symbolizing tradition, simplicity, and a connection to our culinary roots.

History of the Wooden Spoon

It’s quite fascinating.

I think of Grandma’s kitchen when I think about wooden spoons. But oh my, they date back so much further.

Back, like, to the Iron Age.

An archaeological excavation at Glastonbury Lake Village revealed wooden spoons and ladles were in use by Iron Age Celts (C. 250BC) of Britain. Similar finds have been found in London.

That’s about 2,266 years ago!

It’s amazing that all these years later, we’re still loving and using that simple tool.

Before electric mixers were widely used, wooden spoons were the tool of choice for creaming butter and sugar or mixing anything, really.

They’re a preferred tool when cooking with non-stick surfaces as well as in making soups, stews, and risotto’s as they don’t transfer as much heat as metal implements do.

Wooden Spoon World Wide Use

Today, wooden spoons are made and used in virtually every nation on earth.

In fact, they have become folk art in many cultures.

In African nations, they are carved with wild animals and cultural symbolism.

For nearly 200 years, the Russian Khokhloma region produces gorgeous painted wooden spoons for domestic use.

An Ancient Kitchen Tool Still Popular Today | 31Daily.com
Workers painting wooden spoons. Semyonov, Russia, 1896

In Wales, they are intricately carved with symbols of love and devotion and dubbed a “lovespoon”.

An Ancient Kitchen Tool Still Popular Today | 31Daily.com

Scandinavia and Eastern Europe also create variations on a “lovespoon” theme.

In Botswana, the wooden spoon symbolizes community and shared duty.

An Ancient Kitchen Tool Still Popular Today | 31Daily.com

Caring for a Wooden Spoon:

Wooden spoons can be treated to protect from cold liquid absorption with coconut or mineral oil. Edible drying oils such as hempseed oil, walnut oil, and flax oil are used to create a more durable finish. For best results, drying oils should be given adequate time to polymerize after application before the spoon is used. Other vegetable oils should be avoided because they will undergo rancidification and leech into food during use. If the wood grain rises up after boiling or washing, a light sanding and application of coconut oil will prevent the spoon from becoming fuzzy and harboring bacteria.”

So… the next time you’re making a batch of cookies, or stirring a pot of soup, and reach for that ever-so-handy and perfect wooden spoon, take a second and revel in the ancient tradition you are continuing.

Hug your loved ones’ extra tight and–

Have a beautiful week…

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