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Old 08-26-2008, 06:23 PM   #1
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You can tell 'em, but you can't tell 'em much.

As you can see from the pic, I bought myself a small bamboo cutting board. I am preparing it with food-grade mineral oil. It is the small slender board more towards the front, it has lighter colored handle wings.

(As usual, my wife found me some more work to do, so I am also cleaning her Pampered Chef boards. Besides being the incredibly handsome chiseled featured rogue that I am, I'm also a successfully trained husband.)

Here's the dang deal. A debate brews. Many people, in fact many friends, dislike bamboo in favor of hardwood boards. To that, many Japanese cooks (or those who use the Japanese style) steadfastly demand bamboo and nothing else.

Me? I'll cut open a bagel on a dishcloth with a jackknife out of my pocket.

However, I hate being told what to think.

So, a test is brewing. As a rep/shill for JWW, I got the board for ten bucks. I also scored the nakiri for 59 dollars. Considering how much loose change Black Betty eats per day, the total of the 69 samolians to settle the quarrel seems cheap.

As of tonight, my wife is going to use the nakiri on bamboo to do some preparations on red and yellow tomatoes. Will the board fall apart? Will the nakiri die a horrible death? Or will we simply have some perfectly sliced tomatoes and a smeared Japanese vegetable knife?

You be the judge!


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Old 08-26-2008, 06:35 PM   #2
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The test subjects:

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Old 08-26-2008, 07:25 PM   #3
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I have a cutting board like the narrow one. I use it for bread. I don't oil it, nor did I know I was supposed to.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:10 PM   #4
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I'm not sure that all bamboo cutting boards need to be oiled. I do know that mine will see wet objects, or in the case of tonight's meal, tomatoes and zuccini. Here's my wife preparing the veggies:




She reports that the nakiri "walked" right through the tomatoes, even the rind on the summer yellow zuccini. After we ate (I don't eat zuccini, I'm a guy), we examined the knife and the board.

The blade was still toasty sharp and the board did not even show one shadow of a mark cut into its finish.

However, since this was the first time the board was used, I washed it, dried it throughly, and then applied another coat of the mineral oil.

For me, this particular knife and the board are a perfect pair for preparing veggies in this manner, i.e., a slicing technique as opposed to chopping.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:59 AM   #5
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very interesting.

Im like you ill cut anything on anything or cut it on nothing...
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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I have had an end grain bamboo board for a while now. i actually just retired it last week after getting an end grain wood board. I found the bamboo to be very hard and I suspect that my knives were not holding their edge as long as they could have if I was cutting on wood.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:18 AM   #7
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I like a little bigger board than the one shown here - I do have that size and don't use it very often. Cute though - and I do oil my boards.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:56 AM   #8
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I suspect that my knives were not holding their edge as long as they could have if I was cutting on wood.
To be honest, this is a part of the "equation" that is easier for me to address. If the knife dulls, I'll fix it--for you, possibly 100 bucks.

And as Barbara has added, she also oils her boards.

Here's where I stacked the deck. I chose a Japanese laminate knife. Despite the fact the spine arrived a tad bent, most home kitchens don't have the luxury of playing with the toys I can. When a potential client asks for an opinion it's because we use "test mules" like this nakiri. In fact, some clients look for these test knives to save some bucks.

Additionally, when I search out ancillary equipment, I usually turn to the Japanese Woodworker. First off, it's really Japanese, not like a recently famous kitchen hostess, who can cook within thirty minutes, and hawks a "Japanese" santuko, which might be a German Avalon brand made in China.

If JWW sells a bamboo board, that's what it is, Japanese grown, assembled and shipped. (And for you lottery winners out there, I'd love to sell you a 9.75-inch Hattori gyuto. )

My nakiri isn't dull, rolled, or even scratched. The properly oiled and well made board has no cuts or dents. The food was perfectly sliced, and the work done seamlessly.

And we are going to keep cutting on this board until something--anything--actually happens.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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$100 to sharpen it? Am I missing something? Don't most professional sharpeners charge a buck or two per knife? Heck most of my knives did not even cost $100 to purchase.

I have a few sharpening systems and will be getting an Edgepro system soon so sharpening is not an issue. I would rather not use something that would make me need to sharpen more often if there is something else that will prolong the edge.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:25 PM   #10
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$100 to sharpen it? Am I missing something?
Perhaps some charge a buck or two, I don't.

I use many of the same tools that a Japanese sword polisher might. In fact, most of the "advanced adult education" I have acquired comes from the art of old world sword sharpening. (My favorite book is pictured below.)

And like formal polishers, I actually do polish, clean, stop the invasion of rust and verdigris and render the edge to four-star uptown girl keenness.

The first time I see a knife, it might take me most of the afternoon to repair the little guy.

Contact me PM.

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