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<P>A colander is simply a bowl with lots of little holes poked into it. Since
a bowl is a container for holding liquids, this may seem rather daft.</P>

<P>However, if it seems daft to you, you're probably not a cook. Many
ingredients arrive in a kitchen in a state that's not quite fit for
delivery to the table. Vegetables and fruits are speckled with dirt or bird
droppings; corned beef is coated with drippings.</P>

<P>The colander is the answer. Simply place it in the sink, fill it with the
offending ingredient, run water over it until it's all clean, and let the
water drain out the bottom. What could be simpler?</P>

<P>The word derives from the Latin 'colare' (to filter or strain) via the
French 'colum' (a strainer). Related words in English include cullis (as in
porticullis) and culvert. As far as I know, though, Collie dogs are not
related to colanders in the slightest.</P>

<P>In mankind's never-ending quest to invent new items to be sold via
late-night telly commercial, several offshoots of the colander have
appeared. These include the 'can colander' (sized to fit over the mouth of
a tuna fish can so as to allow easy draining of the liquid from the tuna)
and the ever-popular 'salad shooter' (a cylindrical colander with a sleeve
that removes the water from your vegetables through the magic of
centrifical force).</P>


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