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ISO cutting board advice

tanuki soup | Dec 18, 201007:43 PM

Hi guys:

Thanks to the expert advice of the folks here at CH, my knives are now RAZOR sharp. As a result, they cut really deeply into my OXO plastic cutting boards, which is extremely annoying because the boards kind of "grab" onto the edge of the knives, even with relatively light pressure. My knives are all western-style Japanese steel (i.e., relatively brittle alloys sharpened at 16 degrees), and I even worry that the edge might chip when I pivot the blade during chopping.

So I've decided to switch to wood cutting boards. I've done a little reading, and it seems that everyone praises end-grain boards, especially maple ones. However, I live in Japan, and it is impossible to find end-grain maple boards here. Pretty much all of them are made of Japanese cypress and are side-grain -- even the super-expensive ones for sushi chefs, which can run up to $6000 for one the size of a desktop!

I basically have two questions:

1. Is it worth ordering an end-grain maple cutting board from the US? They are heavy, so the shipping is really expensive.

2. Would it actually be better for me to use a Japanese cypress board? I especially wonder about this because I am using Japanese knives anyway, and it seems that Japanese cutting boards should be ideal for use with Japanese knives given the whole "thousands of years of Japanese knife-making tradition" thing. Also, I can pick up a nice 3-cm-thick one at the local kitchen store for around $30.

I'd really appreciate your advice, including suggestions for other options that I may not have mentioned -- bamboo? rubber? make my own? just learn to chop better?


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