What is a Koutala and why is it so popular for Greeks?

Greek wooden spoon, koutala, wooden spoon, Yiayia -

What is a Koutala and why is it so popular for Greeks?

Whenever you have an older Greek Grandmother (Yiayia) in the kitchen, you’ll find a koutala or the wooden spoon. She was tasked with watching her grand children while the husband and wife worked outside the home. In addition to being the child watcher, she was often cooked meals and doing both duties can sometimes be hazardous if you are the child or children misbehaving. Anger Yiayia and you often saw her wave the spoon along with loud verbal assaults. Over the years the koutala has become the symbol of discipline and punishment.
We got this idea while reading a Greek-American magazine named, ‘Mia’ that was put out by a friend of ours. Inside this monthly publication were articles describing woman’s issues, products, stories and an advice column. A Greek Dear Abby column was included, instead of her, a fictions woman named ‘Yiayia koutala’ played the part of the advice giver. Pictured was a wooden spoon that give me the idea to engrave phrases that Yiayia says. All verbal lashings are short to the point, and full of description and violent. Phrases could be mean, funny and don’t translate well in English.
Take for example one of the most popular and well known phrase in the Greek language, Θα φας ξύλο οr phonetically Tha fas ksilo. One of the beauties of the Greek language is that you can communicate using English letters and when read out loud it sounds Greek.
The above phrase translates to, "You will eat wood", meaning you were going to be hit with a wooden instrument. By engraving this phrase on the wooden spoon, it communicated a specific meaning that everyone understood.
Let's explore a few other phrases and their meanings. First in Greek, then phonetically, then a short translation.
  • Θα σε βράσω, Tha se vraso....I'm going to boil you.
  • Θα σε φάω, Tha se fao....I'm going to eat you
  • Θα σε σπάσω, Tha se spaso...I'm going to break you
  • Αλίμονό σου, Alimono sou....Beware (basically a warning)
  • Κάτσε κάλα, Katse kala....Sit still or sit still
This year we are adding a quite few new phrases to collection of more insults.
  • Σκάσε, Skase! Shut Up or Σκάσε βρε, Skase vre! Or Shut the F^^^ Up!!
  • Δεν πάμε κάλα, Den pame kala…This isn’t going to go well

The spoon always excites Greek folks

When they see the koutala for the first time at Greek Festivals. With a wide smile, they reach for the spoon and proceed to tell me a story of how their mother or grandmother would smack them. A friend of mine relayed a story where they would hide the spoon from their mother, without the spoon the children would not get physically disciplined. Years later while cleaning out the garage she came across a storage locker and when they she looked inside she found all the spoons that were hidden from her mother.

We added new spoons to our collection that can be seen here.

Let's celebrate the new additional spoons. Use coupon code SPOON2020 and when you purchase anything you get a free koutala. Please write in the comments box when checking out which spoon you will like.


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