Swissmar Bamboo Crumb Catching Bread Cutting Board

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Swissmar Bamboo Crumb Catching BreadAs one of those who does prefer good ecologically sensible products, I'll say up front that I like bamboo when used correctly. I have a bamboo cutting board I use every day. This Bamboo Crumb Catching Board from Swissmar may appeal to those who bake their daily bread more often than I do--from a purely practical point of view as a long time woodworker, I do have some reservations about this product, but I like the idea.

Bamboo is extremely hard, very fibrous and tight grained, something like a bundle of tiny hard rods glued together in perfect parallel. It's an excellent material for cutting boards, whether cross grain or end grain patterns are used. As a thin rod, it's more susceptible to damage, and I think the thin slats in the grill of this laminated bamboo board err towards the fragile. Especially since many bread knives are serrated, if you buy this board you'll have to be careful not to saw through the grill.

Aside from that, this is a beautiful board, well made and with a convenient storage slot for a medium sized bread knife. The usual procedure for breaking in such a board involves daily rubdowns for a week with mineral oil or special "bamboo oil" which is twenty times more expensive. I've used mineral oil with success. Keep the board dry and set it on edge for storage, otherwise there will be some warping--with this board that will definitely affect the fit of the grill.

A very renewable "green" resource, bamboo groves of the quality needed to make this board typically re-establish themselves in as little as three years, compared to from two hundred years to never for mature hardwood forests. It's a product that deserves a chance.

Here's a cutting board to consider from Totally Bamboo for your other kitchen needs.

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