One of the most used accessories in our homes are chopping boards. They come in a variety of shapes, dimensions, and can be made of a wide array of materials. Chopping boards are a basic tool, of great utility for the preparation and serving of our dishes. They are key due to their different functions, not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also and in particular for their several uses. Chopping boards were already used in ancient times when many of the kitchen utensils we ordinarily use today had not yet been invented and despite the advances in technology they have not yet lost their importance and utility.
The numerous functions of chopping boards
A chopping board is a tool featuring a plain surface, normally with a limited size and is used to work, chop and dice food. However, what looks like the simplest of uses, in reality encompasses a series of other functions that are crucial for our kitchen in the every-day-life. As a matter of fact, chopping boards are in the first place a hygienic barrier between food and the worktop, useful not to cause scratches on surfaces like the kitchen counter tops and to avoid that they get damaged; chopping boards come handy when using sharp knives and other tools; if properly used they also avert blames from ruining. Chopping boards are useful in other occasions unrelated to food as well. Chopping boards with a handle for instance, are often used to bring food like bread, salami or cheeses on the table, or in restaurants to present meat or fish-based dishes in a sophisticate way.
Wooden chopping boards and their maintenance
Wooden chopping boards are definitely the most common ones in our houses. They are usually made of little porous essences like beech, durmast or walnut. These wood varieties are for their characteristics more suited to this specific use than other materials as they wreck slowly and hardly splinter during food preparation. Nonetheless, it is of utmost importance that these chopping boards are properly handled and stowed. After use a chopping board must be washed and disinfected with water and soap. In order to avoid that strong odors remain, it is advisable to rub it with coarse salt, lemon or baking soda. Before stowing next to other utensils, make sure it is well dry so to avoid humidity and bacteria proliferation.
Materials and uses of professional chopping boards
Professional chopping boards deserve some specific considerations, as they are used differently than in normal home kitchens. The cutting surfaces need to be especially sturdy and in some cases large. They must grant impermeability to liquids and odors. That is why very frequent in the catering industry are polyethylene chopping boards. These kind of surfaces are made in appliance with strict safety criteria and with HACCP rules, according to the self-control manual on food hygiene. Polyethylene chopping boards are almost always made in white, so to avoid the usage of colorants or other potentially toxic substances.
Chopping boards with the fanciest shapes and most original functions
Some features of chopping boards have improved over time with an aim to get a specific product for every different food typology. Chopping boards with dripping grooves are a fitting example in this sense. Along with the perimeter of the typical smooth surface, a slight groove has been added to collect the liquids of waste released by some ingredients during meal preparation; these types of chopping boards are thus ideal for fruits and vegetables. Other types of chopping boards feature small recesses or tiny containers to accommodate small or previously minced ingredients; they are perfect for enjoying appetizers and starters with friends and family. In the most modern versions it is also possible to find chopping boards supplied with small sticks or cutlery, specifically designed to cut and savor food like salami and cheese.
How to use chopping boards as decorative elements
Kitchen chopping boards can turn into ornamental elements with which to decorate a corner of your home or maybe the walls of a rustic and traditionally-flavored restaurant. You can decide to lay the typical rectangular chopping boards on a shelf or in the cupboard of the kitchen to give the room a warmer and more welcoming look. You can also decorate them, for instance, with the decoupage technique or with other kinds of applications to give a touch a color and character to the environment. If you prefer a more modern style, you could opt for a more contemporary version of this utensil, as for instance the more recent lava stone chopping boards, with the characteristic dark color and with colder and more minimalist tones. The multitude of models on the market allow to let the inspiration and imagination speak; everyone can find the chopping board that better matches their style and decide how to best use it.
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