I have a lot of cutting boards. They range from the plastic rainbow of colours from IKEA to fancy bamboo boards to a beautiful Henckel board, complete with a meat groove to collect any juice that goes rogue (as it so often does). The list goes on and on. And you know what, they all do their job. They do their job just fine in fact. So when it comes to crazy, high-end boards, I often take a pass. That was, until a couple of months back when I decided to treat myself.
It started with a search on our good pal Yahoo Google and the ever-skewed* Chow boards. To no surprise, I found tons of cutting board manufactures out there. Making every shape and style you can imagine. Even with wood** that shouldn’t be used for food. Eventually my searches lead me to a company called The BoardSMITH. Created in 2005 by David Smith, the man behind The BoardSMITH is doing amazing things. Producing 400+ boards a year in a tiny shop. Can’t get much more hands on than that.
Offering boards in maple, mahogany, walnut and cherry, I was instantly sold by the sound and look of his mahogany selection; Beautiful colors, from tan to red to black to purple, the look of mahogany is rich and expensive. Naturally finished with no dyes, fillers or stains, to alter or change the resident colors. Over time, the colors will deepen to a deeper and richer look. So what did I do? I pulled the trigger and ended up with what David calls The Carolina Slab. A 2″ x 16″ x 22″ chunk of mahogany butcher block.
As you can imagine, this board didn’t arrive over night. In fact, after paying for my shipping fees (don’t kid yourself about these), I almost forgot about it. Then out of the blue, my father gives me a ring and says, “Hey, there is a heavy package that showed up for you”. Inside, I found the boarding hiding inside a protective case of Styrofoam and plastic. Ripping the package open with my hands (Hulk Hogan style), I could do nothing more than just stare. It was beautiful. The colour..the weight..the size…the grain. In fact, it took more than a couple of days to do anything with it. It’s just that beautiful. With just a week of service, I don’t feel that I can speak to the long term results. With that said, I can’t imagine this beautiful product performing any less than stellar for a long, long time.
*As a regular poster in the past, my frustration with Chow is centered around their seemingly, at-times, nonsensical logic for removing posts and thus biasing entire threads.
** What about exotic woods? – Many are toxic and should be avoided. Woods like Teak contains silica which is highly abrasive to your knife edges. Also, avoid any spalted wood. Spalted wood contains a bacterium that is eating the wood and is toxic to humans. Steer clear of woods like red and white cedar. They contain oils that the insects can’t stand and it the insects won’t eat it, you shouldn’t be eating off of it.