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Whilst kitchens bristle with electrical equipment it is perhaps surprising to learn that Jamie Oliver‘s essential tool is the wooden spoon. This simple implement is used to gently stir sauces where the handle stays cool. Also, because of its ‘soft feel’ , it does not scratch surfaces and is useful for creaming and mixing baking ingredients.


Iron age wooden spoons and ladles have been uncovered in archeological sites dating from about 250 BC. Roman spoons have been found in excavations in the city of London and both anglo saxons and vikings are known to have carved spoons for domestic and ceremonial purposes.

As everyday items wooden spoons often reflect local folk traditions and as such are common in many parts of the world. African carvings have ritualistic and ceremonial  significance but today they are produced predominantly for the tourist market. Distinctive painted spoons have been made in the Khokholama region of Russia for the past 200 years and carved Welsh Love Spoons are popular gifts.