An underrated but extremely important piece of kitchenware. Rubber spatulas consist of a piece of thin rubber mounted at the end of a stick or handle. They are used primarily to scrape containers for whatever sticks to the sides, but also to smooth out the top and sides of a frosted cake, to safely recover dough that is too moist for re-flouring, and to spread lutefisk over potatoes.

Rubber spatulas come in many sizes, and you need them all. You can't call yourself a cook without several rubber spatulas. When I moved out of my parents' house, one of the first things I purchased to furnish my new abode was a set of rubber spatulas. I mean, sure, a desk may be important, but if you can't eat, you'll die.

Apparently, a contingent of die-hard metal spatula zealots insists that metal spatulas are in all cases more useful. I contend that they fail to see the point on several counts:

  1. A rubber spatula's primary purpose is to scrape liquids or goos from the sides of containers. If a metal spatula is used for this, not only does it lack the proper flexibility for acting as a wiper, but it will scratch the heck out of the surfaces in question. The spatula itself will be quickly dulled.
  2. A rubber spatula cannot and should not take the place of a good metal spatula for flipping pancakes or serving cornbread. While a plastic spatula can be used in both cases, metal is preferable.
  3. A rubber spatula cannot be easily improvised, whereas just about anything can be used as a metal spatula, including soup can lids, forks, knives, large coins, sheet metal, aluminum foil, and obscene combinations of the preceding.
In conclusion, despite the verbose and mildly intriguing arguments under metal spatula, you'd be well advised to maintain a complement of rubber spatulas for those difficult- to-scrape moments.

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