Like knives, spatulas come in a great variety of shapes and sizes geared for special tasks. Thin metal ones ― long or short ― are for spreading, flexible plastic (or silicone) ones are for scraping, and wide ones are for lifting and turning. But in that last department, there's a subcategory: Wide, slotted, slightly curved, and flexible spatulas, like the one at right, slide easily under fragile foods. My chef friends tell me they're indispensable for getting sautéed sole fillets, sand dabs, and the like out of the pan in one piece. Various sizes are sold in cookware stores and catalogs. This model costs about $20.
- FOOD & WINE